British nuclear submarine damaged in collision off Gibraltar

LONDON, July 21 (UPI) — A British nuclear submarine has been damaged after a “glancing collision” with a merchant vessel off the coast of Gibraltar, authorities said Wednesday.

The HMS Ambush, an Astute-class submarine, sustained external damage in the collision, the British Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

“There is absolutely no damage to her nuclear plant,” the ministry said, and the merchant ship was undamaged. There were also no reported injuries. Damage is on the front section of the conning tower.

The incident occurred during a training exercise at about 1:30 p.m. and the submarine was submerged at the time.

The Astute-class submarines are considered Britain’s best submarines. The Ambush is 318 feet long and loaded with torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The submarine’s nuclear reactors do not require refueling and because the subs produce their own air and water, they can travel all the world’s oceans and never have to surface.

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