The keel was put down in a ceremony at BAE Systems’ shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness attended by Defence Minister Philip Dunne, and came with the news that the first 2 of the 7 Astute Class submarines, HMS Astute & HMS Ambush, are nearing completion of their extensive sea trials and have been handed over to the Royal Navy to begin to prepare for operations.
The seven Astute-Class submarines are being built for the Royal Navy to replace the Trafalgar-Class submarines and have greater firepower, state-of-the-art communications equipment and advanced stealth technology, making them quieter than their predecessors and harder to detect.
HMS Astute and HMS Ambush are the first submarines in class to be accepted by Navy Command, which is responsible for operating all of the Royal Navy’s vessels. The next three submarines in the class: Artful, Audacious and Anson are all at varying stages of build and the keel-laying for Agamemnon marks the next key milestone for the programme.
BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines is responsible for delivering all seven submarines and for the design of the successor to the Vanguard-Class, which will carry the UK’s nuclear deterrent.
MOD has agreed a new contract with BAE Systems that will not only help to sustain the thousands of highly skilled defence jobs based at Barrow-in-Furness but also drive down the costs of building future submarines.