The new submarine was named Audacious in a traditional ceremony at the BAE Systems shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness.

Lady Elizabeth Jones, the wife of First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones, formally christened the submarine.

The naming ceremony of the 7,400 tonne nuclear submarine took place in front of thousands of people, including members of BAE Systems workforce who have built her and the Royal Navy submariners who will serve on board.

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin said:

“HMS Audacious is the fourth in our fleet of Astute Class submarines, the largest and most advanced attack submarines in service with the Royal Navy, already providing unprecedented levels of stealth and attack capability across the world.”

According to a press release, the ceremony comes almost a year to the day since the third Astute submarine, HMS Artful, was officially handed over to the Royal Navy.

“HMS Audacious will now stay inside the Devonshire Dock Hall in Barrow for final work to be undertaken on her, before being launched next year for testing and commissioning of the boat’s systems. Alongside Audacious in the Dock Hall, the fifth (Anson), sixth (Agamemnon) and the un-named seventh Astute submarines are all at various stages of their build schedules.”

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones said:

“Today’s naming ceremony for HMS Audacious adds another world-beating nuclear submarine to the already formidable Astute class. 

Ahead of her, HMS Astute, Ambush and Artful are already contributing to operations and are well placed to protect both the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and the Continuous At Sea Deterrent.

The nuclear submarine remains the hallmark of a first rate maritime power: Audacious, and the men and women of the Royal Navy submarine service, will give the UK a decisive advantage for decades to come.”

The Astute Class is being built by BAE Systems, which employs around 8,000 people in its Submarines business, including those that work on the Astute programme, with thousands more working in the UK submarine supply chain. BAE Systems is also the industrial lead for the Dreadnought programme, the Royal Navy’s next generation of nuclear deterrent submarines.

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Any ideas what the 7th one will be called?


Previously planned.


HMS Ajax according to wikipedia


There can be no doubt that the Astute class submarines will be one of the UK’s strongest military assets for years to come. Ironically most of the work they will do will go unseen. No other European nation can come close to this. In the near future we will have the ability to put to see a full size carrier group with a couple of 5th gen fighters and these sub’s as part of that group.

Dave B Philips

I agree, The Astute class submarine is our best naval asset… However, this is the UK Armed Forces future, excellent capability on one hand but glaring holes on the other.


With the exception of the US, every other country on the planet has ‘glaring holes’ in their defence capability.

Dave B Philips

By glaring holes im talking about a lack of maritime patrol for over 10 years (We have had to rely on Canada and France for our maritime patrol ability), a lack of a carrier group with jet aircraft for over 10 years (not at full strength for 15 years) a navy with no anti ship missile for… who knows? I don’t see Russia, China, France, Italy, South Africa etc relying on anybody else for such important tasks. Or would you care to elaborate more on your statement?


I would like to see 10 astutes built in total – we should recognise that these ships are world class as is the workforce. The additional 3 units will ensure we maintain this workforce well into the future.


I don’t think they want to build any more with PWR2 reactors hence the urgency to build the Dreadnoughts with PWR3 reactors

Barry Larking

The United Kingdom gives overseas aid worth 250 million GBP every year. Many Indians regard this as a pittance. India is nuclear power, has developed I.C.B.M.s and cruise missiles and is working on a firth generation fighter with Russia.

It takes around five years or so to knock up an Astute class submarine.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Build more until better comes along.

Barry Larking

“The United Kingdom gives overseas aid worth 250 million GBP every year.” – to India, obviously. Apologies


I would consider building 4 conventional bombers similar to the USN Ohio class conversions


A piece of RN hardware I can’t complain about!

(Apart from the cracks appearing in the first 2 from cheap build materials and the transmission which was likened to having the engine of a Ferrari with the gearbox of a Morris Minor).


I live in Cumbria, and I regular deliver down in barrow in Furness. It’s great to see all those jobs been secured buildings these fantastic submarines protecting our fantastic country ?????? Proud

mike saul

Nuclear powered submarines are a key strategic asset and force multiplier in any conflict.

We have to retain this industrial capability irrespective of the cost. Given the potency of this weapon l too would like more ordered, which give the RN a constant and viable world class capability across the world.


Is it only money stopping more Astutes being built? If (from the article) “Alongside Audacious in the Dock Hall, the fifth (Anson), sixth (Agamemnon) and the un-named seventh Astute submarines are all at various stages of their build schedules.” then would there be enough space and personnel to at least have a Successor and an Astute build going concurrently? Maybe the start of Successor has been pushed so far to the right that considerable concurrency of those builds will be required such that the entire dock hall and all available qualified staff will be needed just the get those out… Read more »


Successor is at least a 10 year build programme and ultimately needs to start – so probably no more astutes in this window. Going forward though we really do need 10 of these and I for one think this is a more potent asset than the carriers or any other naval asset other than successor itself. We should all remember that it was a sub that sent the Argentine navy to port in the Falklands and the U-Boats nearly brought our country to its knees, until such time as we can accurately track these things I believe subs to be… Read more »

Steven K

More subs would be great but it’s nothing more than wishful thinking. The US, Russians and I now believe the Chinese and Indians will continue to out number us for decades to come as their military grows. I’m sure I read that part of Chinese military doctrine requires an unprecedented size of a submarine fleet. The question I ask is how do a nation like the UK keep up with threats and technological advancements when our potential adversaries have greater budgets. Is quality better than quantity? Our T45’s cost £1B each and to date still have issues and a poss… Read more »


The type 45’s were built at an average cost of 625 million each according to a recent MoD answer to a parliamentary question. Nearly 200 million of that was the cost of the anglo-french PAAMS missile system

Significantly cheaper than their American contemporary Arleigh Burkes.

mike saul

The total cost of the T45 programme was £6.46bn. You say that each T45 ship cost 0.625bn, so six ships cost £3.75bn. So we spent nearly £3bn on R&D plus set up costs for 6 warships? I think your number of £0.625bn is questionable, could please supply a source to support that figure. The cost of the latest Arleigh Burke flight 111 including all weapon systems/missiles and other government supplied equipment is $1.8bn each. Given the greatly increased capability of this ship over a T45 ( land attack, BMD, asw and so on) plus the engines work in warm sea… Read more »


I did. But let me repeat: check either a) parliamentary q&a’s or b) MoD major projects report.

You’re welcome.

Mike Saul

A link to your source please. This would be helpful.

So you are confirming that nearly £3bn was spent on R&D and set up costs?


Grow up & google parliamentary questions & search for type45 questions in November 2016. Answer is 633 million pounds each as delivered to RN with no r&d costs.

Dave B Philips

Even if that were the case Ron. The T45’s are fitted ‘for’ not ‘with’ in much of its capability…


No they were not.

Mike Saul

No CEC (which were told was vital for there mission, we were also told at the time that 7 and 8 build T45 were abandoned that the money would be used to install CEC in the first 6 T45), no anti ship missile procured ( 4 sets of very old harpoon missiles taken from T22 batch 3 and installed on 4 T45, no BMD defence, no on board ASW system, the on board sonar incapable of ASW, no land attack capability, and the gun installed mk8 is based on an army 1950,s design that is well past its sell by… Read more »


You are making up your own facts. You must be a child or a Russian.


Sounds like an MoD exercise desperate for good news. Naming a ship before it is ready to be launched sounds like the phoniest of phony ceremonies.

What’s next? “The first type 26 was named to today in a Bae office in front of a computer screen showing a virtual ship. Defence minister du jour was quoted saying this was the latest step in their 5 trillion pound investment plan that would start any day now.”


Just hope they don’t break a bottle of bubbly over the computer or we could be waiting for another 20 years whilst they redo the design work that went up in smoke.

Alex V

During trials (4+ months at sea) in the US, HMS Astute blew away the Americans with her capabilities. This class is a real asset.


Bring me HMS Artful Dodger!


At £40bn p.a we have the budget, we are spending it really inefficiently. We do not necessarily have to compete with India or China with numbers, but we do have to have a capability that they recognise will ensure mutual destruction. The Astutes are world class, the CVF and a properly fitted out T45 likewise. We really do need to decide how we decide to spend this £40bn and in my opinion £10bn for the RN is well within the gift of the MOD as is £12bn for the RAF and £12bn for the Army. Time to spend the money… Read more »

Mike Saul

Having 20000 civil servants working defence procurement doesn’t come cheap. I understand that state of Israel has about 400 staff working in its defence procurement branch. Whilst l understand there are differences in the capability of the the two nations, we do seem to be top heavy in a number of areas.


I would like to see the seventh named ‘Ardent’ with Lady West, (wife of Admiral The Lord West of Spithead), ‘launching’ her.

Steve Salt

The 7th Astute boat S125 will named Ajax.

steven kirkland

Guy’s it’s quality over critical mass that we don’t have and in my unprofessional view i think when it comes to national defence, profitability has to be questioned. We have limited budget and with an already increased number of complex contracts and technology at our disposal, can we really afford to take any losses in the event of war? The lesson for me was the failure to protect our colonial outposts in the Far East and inc Australia during WW2 and in this modern day you can’t guarantee despite the might of the Americans that they can deliver to protect… Read more »


The stark reality that the UK Govt has lumped in the overseas aid budget of £10bn into the defence budget and this is skewing the numbers massively. Ultimately it is a lack of a dedicated and consistent capital budget allocation allied to a total lack of fleet management that has got us in this position. Put simply we should be launching a sub every 2 years and an escort every 9 months. This is all doable on a capital budget of £2.5bn p.a. As for the airforce they need an annual capital budget of £4bn p.a. to get them to… Read more »