Fourth Astute-class Submarine Named Audacious
BARROW-IN-FURNESS, U.K. — Audacious, the fourth submarine in the U.K. Royal Navy’s Astute class, was officially named Dec. 16 during a ceremony at the submarines site in Cumbria.
Guests watched as Lady Jones, Audacious’ sponsor and wife of Adm. Sir Phillip Jones, the First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, named the 7,400-ton, 97-meter-long attack submarine. In keeping with tradition, she then smashed a bottle of locally brewed beer against the hull.
Tony Johns, managing director of BAE Systems Submarines, said: “Today marks an important milestone in Audacious’ build program 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 toward 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 program 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.”
Audacious will stay inside the company’s main construction facility — the Devonshire Dock Hall — following the 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 also is the industrial lead for the Dreadnought program, the Royal Navy’s next generation of submarines that will carry the continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent.