Barrow-in-Furness, UK: BAE Systems has announced it will launch the second Astute class submarine on 16 December 2010. The 7,400 tonne nuclear powered attack submarine, Ambush, will be rolled out and officially named at the Company’s shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
Lady Anne Soar, Ambush’s sponsor and wife of the Royal Navy’s Commander-in-Chief Fleet, Admiral Sir Trevor Soar KCB, OBE, will perform the ceremony. Lady Soar will be joined by invited guests from the Royal Navy, Ministry of Defence and the Barrow community.
John Hudson, BAE Systems Submarine Solutions Managing Director, said: “The launch of Ambush represents another significant milestone in the Astute programme, following the commissioning into service of HMS Astute in August this year.”
After the ceremony, Ambush will be inched out of the Company’s main submarine construction facility, the 51 metre high, 58 metre wide and 260 metre long Devonshire Dock Hall. It is planned she will then be lowered into the dock by a ship lift to allow further outfitting, testing and commissioning to take place.
In total BAE Systems is building seven submarines in the Astute Class. The programme employs more than 5,000 BAE Systems people and involves 1,200 supplier companies. Activity on the first three boats alone is delivering £1.6 billion into the supply chain.
Each Astute submarine is 97 metres long and fuelled by a nuclear reactor powerful enough to power a city the size of Southampton. The boats are armed with a mix of Spearfish torpedoes and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, and their sonar suites have the processing power of 2,000 laptops.
The first boat, HMS Astute, left Barrow for her operational base of Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, at Faslane, Scotland, in November 2009, and was officially commissioned into the Royal Navy in August this year. Boat three, Artful, is now well advanced following the integration of the Command Deck Module earlier this year. The final butt weld followed this to form a complete hull and outfitting of the vessel continues. Construction of major steelwork for the fourth boat in Class, Audacious, continues after its keel was laid in 2009. In addition, early build phases have begun on boat five, and long lead items, including the reactor core, has been ordered for boat six.
Editor’s note: HMS Astute is currently undergoing inspection at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, in Faslane, Scotland, following her grounding in the Kyle of Lochalsh, on October 22.
About BAE Systems
BAE Systems is a global defence, security and aerospace company with approximately 107,000 employees worldwide. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. In 2009 BAE Systems reported sales of £22.4 billion (US$ 36.2 billion).
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Neil Lauderdale, BAE Systems
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