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Haynes deep dives into The Astute Class Nuclear Submarine

3rd May 2018
Professor Jonathan Gates
Thursday, 3 May, 2018


3rd May 2018: Haynes Publishing has released a new manual that provides an in-depth look at the Astute class nuclear submarines, less than eight years after HMS Astute was first commissioned into the Royal Navy on 27 August 2010.

With Astute class submarines being among the most complex and challenging engineering projects ever undertaken, author Professor Jonathan Gates tells the fascinating story of the genesis, design and construction of this complex vessel. 

Built to survive the crushing pressure of the deep ocean, diving and surfacing many times during a 25-year life span, the anatomy of the boat is examined in detail.  The intricacies of the submarine’s systems that allow it to operate and the combat system that enables it to safely go in harm’s way are also examined. 

Through his meticulous research, which has included interpreting unclassified sources from throughout the defence industry, Jonathan Gates brings the Astute story to a wider audience.  

Fully illustrated with over 300 colour photographs and diagrams, many of which have been specifically commissioned for the book, the Haynes Astute Class Submarine Manual provides an authoritative and unique insight into one of the world’s most capable and technologically advanced submarines. 

Talking about HMS Astute, Jonathan comments: “She is the first in a new class of advanced 7,400-tonne nuclear powered fleet submarines and was followed by HMS Ambush and HMS Artful – the initial batch of a planned class of seven boats. 

“HMS Astute is one of the most powerful submarines of its kind, able to carry up to 38 weapons – more than any of her predecessors.  She can embark a mixture of the newest versions of Spearfish heavy-weight torpedoes and latest Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles.  They give her the ability to attack enemy submarines and surface ships with force and to deliver a precision strike against land targets up to 1,600km away. 

“Furthermore, to detect her underwater adversaries Astute has a sonar with several arrays integrated into a single system, giving her probably the most sensitive sonar of any deployed by a submarine today.  This, and her stealth features, gives Astute unique advantages and makes her ideal for detecting and tracking enemy vessels while remaining unobserved.”

The nuclear reactor and its associated equipment are also explained, revealing how the system supplies not only power for propulsion and electricity generation, but also the means of producing fresh water and oxygen.  This enables the crew to survive while the submarine remains submerged for up to 90 days, during which time she could circumnavigate the globe.  Unlike Astute’s predecessors, her reactors do not require regular refuelling but are fuelled for life.  


Title details

TheAstute Class Nuclear Submarine Owners’ Workshop Manual is priced at £25.00 and is available from The book number is H6071. The ISBN is 9781785210716. It is published in May 2018.


About the author  

Professor Jonathan Gates is a consultant whose career in defence began in 1974.  His projects have been wide-ranging but he has continually returned to naval engineering.  He has written many papers and several books on naval topics, including the Haynes Type 45 Destroyer Manual, and has lectured worldwide on naval engineering. 


For more information about the book and to request content please contact McCann PR: 

Sylvie Pender on 0117 921 8131 or

Ellie James on 0117 921 8135 or

Alternatively, email


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