Fourth submarine in Astute class named at Barrow-in-Furness
Audacious, the fourth submarine in the Astute class, was officially named during a ceremony at BAE Systems' Submarines site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
Guests watched as Lady Jones, Audacious' sponsor and wife of Admiral Sir Phillip Jones, the First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, named the 7,400 tonne, 97 metre long attack submarine. In keeping with tradition, she then smashed a bottle of locally brewed beer against her hull.
Tony Johns, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines, said: "Today (Friday 16th December) marks an important milestone in Audacious' build programme and is the culmination of many years' hard work. We have already delivered three highly-capable Astute class submarines to the Royal Navy and Audacious now takes another significant step towards joining her sister submarines. This is a fitting end to a very important year for our business, in which we also began construction on the Dreadnought submarine programme and opened the first of our new facilities. The focus for Audacious now turns to getting her ready for launch next year."
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.
“Backed by a rising defence budget and a £178 billion equipment plan, Barrow will remain the hub of our submarine building programmes for years to come.”
Audacious will stay inside the Company's main construction facility – the Devonshire Dock Hall – following today's ceremony, before being launched next year.
BAE Systems is the prime contractor responsible for the design, build, test and commissioning of the seven Astute class nuclear-powered attack submarines. It is also the industrial lead for the Dreadnought programme, the Royal Navy's next generation of submarines that will carry the continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent.
The Company’s Submarine operation employs approximately 8,000 people and spends more than £300 million per year with over 3,000 suppliers – 85% of whom are based in the UK.