10 February 2017
The Royal Navy’s fleet of attack submarines are all currently out of action, according to reports.
Britain’s seven ‘hunter-killer’ vessels are understood to be ‘non-operational’ as they undergo repairs and maintenance.
HMS Astute is the only vessel currently at sea, but she is still "weeks away" from active service.
Theresa May is said to have been kept in the dark by Defence chiefs, the Sun reports.
A Whitehall source told the newspaper: “No one is being honest about the scandal.”
It is the first time in decades that Britain does not have an attack submarine on stand-by in the event of an attack.
Sources say the three new Astute class subs, which cost £1.2billion each, are beset by technical problems.
Five of the fleet, including one of the new type, are having refits or maintenance after breaking down.
And HMS Ambush is also being repaired after crashing into a tanker near Gibraltar last year.
It comes after Britain's ability to defend itself against a major military attack was called into question after an investigation found Navy warships are so loud they can be heard 100 miles away by Russian submarines.
A Royal Navy spokesman said: "We don’t comment on specific submarine operations.
"Britain has a world-class fleet, the Royal Navy continues to meet all of its operational tasking, deploying globally on operations and protecting our national interests as Britain steps up around the world."