DN - Defence Notes

Fourth Astute class boat named

20th December 2016 - 09:12 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The fourth submarine of the Royal Navy’s Astute class has been officially named Audacious during a ceremony at BAE Systems’ Submarines site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

The 7,400 tonne, 97m long attack submarine will remain inside the site’s main construction facility – the Devonshire Dock Hall – in preparation for her launch in 2017.

BAE Systems is the prime contractor for the Astute programme. Seven nuclear-powered attack submarines are being designed, built, tested and commissioned under the programme.

Tony Johns, managing director of BAE Systems Submarines, said: ‘We have already delivered three highly-capable Astute class submarines to the Royal Navy and Audacious now takes another significant step towards joining her sister submarines. 

‘This is a fitting end to a very important year for our business, in which we also began construction on the Dreadnought submarine programme and opened the first of our new facilities. The focus for Audacious now turns to getting her ready for launch next year.’

The first of class, HMS Astute, was handed over to the Royal Navy in July 2013 and is now in service. HMS Ambush has now completed the final phases of both UK and US sea trials.

Third of class, HMS Artful, was launched in April 2014. Artful is the most mature of any boat at this stage. Handed over to the Ministry of Defence in November 2015, she fired her first torpedo using the new UK-made advanced common combat system and officially joined the Royal Navy fleet following her commissioning ceremony in March 2016.

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