MS Agamemnon: The Royal Navy's New Submarine

The submarine HMS Agamemnon has been named at a ceremony in Barrow, marking a step towards becoming operational.

HMS Agamemnon, the Royal Navy’s sixth Astute-class submarine, has been officially named. This milestone represents significant progress toward her future frontline operation. “Awesome Aggie,” as her crew calls her, is a 7,000-ton hunter-killer equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles and Spearfish torpedoes, ready to attack and defend both on the surface and underwater.

The event took place at the Devonshire Dock Hall in Barrow-in-Furness, where Lady Sedwill, the submarine’s patron, led the ceremony. After a display of naval technology and tradition, she broke a bottle of local beer on the submarine’s hull, following shipyard custom. This act symbolizes the blessing of the Agamemnon and her crew, who will be on board for more than 25 years.

The ceremony concluded with Lady Sedwill and Aydon Hogg, the crew’s youngest member, cutting a cake. The event not only celebrated the submarine’s naming but also showcased it to all those involved in the project since 2013. The Agamemnon will continue its preparation for sea trials, followed by diving and operational tests before joining the fleet in HMNB Clyde.

This submarine, named after a historic ship commanded by Horatio Nelson, possesses “in abundance” the qualities of stealth, power and capabilities that distinguished its namesake. HMS Agamemnon continues a long tradition of excellence in naval engineering and operations, reaffirming the Royal Navy’s commitment to maritime defense and security.

HMS Agamemnon moves towards operational status after naming ceremony
Steve Timms, Managing Director of Submarines at BAE Systems, highlighted the importance of HMS Agamemnon in the context of the UK’s nuclear program. “This submarine reinforces the critical role of Barrow and our business in national defense, as set out in the Defense Nuclear Enterprise Command Document,” he said. The naming ceremony symbolizes a crucial development for the submarine, which will soon join the Royal Navy’s operational fleet.

David ‘Bing’ Crosby, first commander of the Agamemnon, shared his excitement during the event. “It is an honor to be part of this project and celebrate this achievement with colleagues, family and friends. “Everyone plays an essential role in getting ‘Awesome Aggie’ ready for active duty,” he commented. The Astute class, to which the Agamemnon belongs, is critical to the UK’s submarine defense capabilities.

Since its launch in 2007, the Astute class has been essential in the renewal of the Royal Navy’s submarine fleet. The Astute, the first submarine of this class, was launched by Queen Camilla and declared operational in 2014. Currently, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce are working on the design of the successor to the Astute, with an investment announced in 2021 of 170 million pounds.

In a recent development, in March 2023, it was announced that the replacement of the Astute class would be a joint project between the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, with plans to begin the replacement in the fleet by the late 2030s. Additionally, an Astute submarine is planned to operate from the HMAS Stirling base in Australia from 2027 as part of the AUKUS defense initiative.