The UK Royal Navy’s third Astute-class nuclear powered submarine HMS Artful departed the BAE Systems yard in Barrow-in-Furness this week for its maiden sea trials, 15 months the attack sub was rolled out of the covered construction hall and ten and a half years after the first steel was cut.
In the 15 months since the boat entered the water, Artful has undergone numerous tests of its propulsion and power systems – notably its nuclear reactor – and carried out a partial dive in the dock (shown in the video at the bottom of this post).
The 97-meter, 7,400-tonne Artful is expected to join the first two Astute-class subs, HMS Astute and HMS Ambush, at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde in Scotland later this year.
Tony Johns, managing director of BAE Systems Submarines, said seeing the boat leave was the crowning moment of “a huge amount of hard work from everyone at BAE, our partners and the hundreds of businesses in our supply chain network.
“Everyone involved in the Astute programme should feel immensely proud of their achievements as the third in class Astute submarine reaches this significant milestone.”
The Astute class submarines are the most technologically advanced and powerful submarines Britain has ever sent to sea. A total of seven boats have been ordered.
Photos courtesy BAE Systems via UK Royal Navy