Home Europe Fourth Royal Navy Astute-class attack sub starts homeport voyage

Fourth Royal Navy Astute-class attack sub starts homeport voyage

Astute-class submarine HMS Audacious
HMS Audacious departing Barrow-in-Furness. Photo: BAE Systems

Royal Navy’s nuclear-powered attack submarine HMS Audacious got underway from BAE Systems’ Barrow-in-Furness shipyard on April 6 to head for homeport at Faslane, Scotland.

The fourth of overall seven Astute-class submarines to be built for the Royal Navy was sent off by a small team of BAE Systems employees, in line with government guidelines in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As noted by the company, this will be the submarine’s first underway in open water which will see her make a maiden journey to Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, the home of the UK’s submarine service.

“The departure of HMS Audacious from Barrow is a key milestone in the Astute Class program. The delivery of our incredibly complex submarine programs depends on the extremely skilled submarine workforce and close collaboration with our industrial partners across the supply chain to deliver a first class product for the Royal Navy,” Ian Booth, Chief Executive of the Submarine Delivery Agency, said.

The 97 meter, 7,400-tonne Astute-class submarines are the most capable submarines ever built for the Royal Navy. The first three submarines, HMS Astute, HMS Ambush and HMS Artful are in service, while the final three boats in the class are at various stages of construction at Barrow.

BAE Systems is also in charge of delivering the next-generation of ballistic missile submarines that will start entering service from the early 2030s.