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UK Ministry Of Defence - HMS Astute First Tomahawk Launch In US & Hit Target [480p]

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Uploaded on Nov 22, 2011

The Royal Navy's newest submarine has blasted Tomahawk missiles far across the North American skies, as part of its first test firing mission.

The Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles rocketed from first-of-class HMS Astute at up to 550 miles per hour across the Gulf of Mexico in their first firing from an Astute class boat. Commanding Officer, Commander Iain Breckenridge, said "This first-of-class firing proves that Astute is a truly capable submarine. It means that the UK submarine service will be able to provide the UK's strike capability for many years to come."

The submarine, built by BAE Systems in Barrow-in-Furness, UK, travelled to the USA in early October 2011, following completion by the Company of a range of work packages at HM Naval Base, Faslane, UK and a short period of re-proving trials. Additional trials were conducted during the crossing.

On arrival in the USA, the submarine was prepared for the embarkation of the cruise missiles, before transit to the firing range in the Gulf of Mexico. The 5.5 metre long cruise missile weighs 1,300kg and has a range of more than 1,000 miles. The UK is the only country supplied with Tomahawk technology by the USA, It has been in operation by the Royal Navy since 1999 and has been launched from various submarines to support operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and, most recently, Libya.

Both missile variants that will be carried on board the Astute class -- the "Block III" missile, which is programmed and controlled from on-board computers, and the "Block IV" missile, which is controlled externally via satellite, were fired.

BAE Systems' Submarine Solutions Project Manager Kevin Critchley said: "Both variants were fired successfully and both systems fully proven."

HMS Astute will remain in the USA until the early spring, supported by a BAE Systems team of up to 20, mainly Combat Systems personnel. During this time further trials will be conducted, chiefly of the combat and weapons systems. The boat will then return to the UK for further Ship's Staff training before her first operational deployment.

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