The Royal Navy’s fleet of attack submarines are all currently out of action – and Ministry of Defence chiefs are said to have kept it a secret from the Prime Minister.
Britain’s seven ‘hunter-killer’ vessels are understood to be ‘non-operational’, with five understood to be undergoing maintenance.
It is believed the HMS Astute, commissioned in 2010, is the only one currently at sea although she is still ‘weeks away’ from active service following a tune-up.
According to The Sun, it is the first time in decades Britain does not have an attack submarine on stand-by to respond to threats.
Sources said the Navy’s three Astute-class vessels – built by BAE Systems - are ‘beset by problems’ despite costing around £1.2billion each.
The others currently in service are the HMS Ambush - which is being repaired after crashing into a tanker off Gibraltar in 2016, and HMS Artful.
A Whitehall source told the paper: ‘No one is being honest about the scandal.’
All seven submarines are nuclear powered and are used to patrol trade routes ‘under threat from Iran’ and keep tabs on Russian action in the Atlantic.
Meanwhile the Astute class submarines have all been commissioned since 2010, beginning with the HMS Astute, with Ambush following in 2013 and Artful entering service last year.
Despite only being in use for a small number of years, they have experienced teething problems with break-downs. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Daily Mail website.