Fourth Astute class submarine Audacious completes first dive

The fourth Astute class submarine, Audacious, which is being built by BAE Systems for the Royal Navy, has completed her first ever dive.

The trim and basin dive took place over two days in Devonshire Dock, at the Company’s site in Barrow-in-Furness last week. The company said in a statement:

“The operation, which saw Audacious submerge fully under water for the first time, tested many of her on-board systems, and proved the safety and stability of the 7,400-tonne, 97 metre-long attack submarine.

Employees from BAE Systems worked alongside Audacious’ crew, including its Commanding Officer, Captain Scott Bower, to complete the test.”

Officially named in December 2016 and launched in April last year, Audacious is scheduled to leave Barrow for sea trials later this year.

HMS Astute, HMS Artful and HMS Ambush are already in-service with the Royal Navy. Boats 5 and 6, Anson and Agamemnon, along with a seventh, as yet unnamed but likely to be Ajax, Astute-class submarine are in different stages of construction at the Barrow site.

Long lead items for her construction were ordered in 2006 although the actual order was not placed until 2007. Launch was expected in the fourth quarter of 2016, and the submarine was due to leave the yard in 2017. She was eventually formally named in December 2016 and floated out in April 2017, she is due to leave in 2018 for sea trials.

The original budget was £1,279m but by 2015 this had risen to £1,492m.


  1. Agreed and whilst the UK has many problems 10 of these would be one hell of a conventional deterrent. They can strike hundreds of miles inland with pinpoint accuracy and pretty much deny any nation on the planet transit by sea if required. A silent, low profile but very potent stick that is unfortunately not really appreciated by our politicians who like more prestigious weapon systems.

    • Agree with all points. Sets the UK armed forces apart from so many others despite the endless moaning at just how crap we apparently are.

  2. We need more and could probably squeeze an eighth in to the build schedule without delaying the new SSBNs by much but at that price is just isn’t happening. We might be better off buying 2/3 cheap SSKs to cover Perisher and and support the SSBNs thereby freeing up all the Astutes for other operations.

    • Yes. That is why in the US SSNs and SSBNs inherited the Battleship and Heavy Cruiser naming conventions of being named for large cities (Los Angeles) or States (Ohio and Virginia classes).

  3. Are the problems with the reactor a thing of the past? I know it was not identified particularly on an Astute class sub but it’s the same class reactor.


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