HMS Artful, the newest Astute class submarine, is currently preparing to leave the construction yard in Barrow-in-Furness for sea trials, before joining the Royal Navy fleet around the end of this year. The seven Astute Class submarines support the jobs of 3,700 workers and 400 supply companies across the UK supply chain.
The Astute class is the latest class of nuclear-powered attack submarines in service of the Royal Navy. The class sets a new standard for the Royal Navy in terms of weapons load, communication facilities and stealth. The boats are being constructed by BAE at Barrow-in-Furness. Seven boats will be constructed.
The Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
“The Astute submarine programme is a key part of our £163 billion plan to ensure that our armed forces have the equipment they need. Artful will now join Ambush and Astute, helping to keep Britain safe. The next four boats are already under construction, securing thousands of jobs and showing our commitment to increase defence spending each year for the rest of the decade.”
Director Submarines at the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, Rear Admiral Mike Wareham, said:
“The Astute Class are amongst the most advanced submarines operating in the world today and provide the Royal Navy with the capability it needs to defend UK interests at home and overseas.
We have learned many lessons from the build of the first two Astute Class submarines and Artful will soon be ready to leave Barrow and to commence operations as the newest Submarine in the Royal Navy.”
The 7,400-tonne submarine will soon leave the BAE Systems shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria to conduct sea trials, before heading to its new home at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde in Scotland.