The latest state-of-the-art submarine in the Astute class has been unveiled during a ceremony at its site in Barrow-in-Furness.
Artful – a 7,400 tonne, 97 metre long attack submarine – was officially named in front of thousands of guests in an event to mark the end of its build process. The ceremony was performed by Amanda Lady Zambellas, wife of the Royal Navy’s First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, inside BAE Systems’ giant Devonshire Dock Hall submarine construction facility. 

John Hudson, Managing Director of BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines, said: “The design and build of a nuclear powered submarine is as challenging as it is complex, so today represents a significant milestone in Artful’s programme. 

“It requires real skill and innovation to deliver submarines as sophisticated as Artful and this would not have been possible without the valued contribution of our employees and the collaborative efforts of the whole submarine enterprise. 

“With this ceremony Artful moves one step closer to joining her sister vessels HMS Astute and HMS Ambush in the Royal Navy fleet, equipping the submarine service with a class of highly capable vessels.”

Following the ceremony, Artful will remain in the DDH to complete a series of commissioning activities, before being launched in early 2014 for further test and commissioning. 

Mr Hudson added: “For the first time we have taken a decision to separate the naming ceremony and the launch. It is crucial that we complete as much work inside the DDH as possible before putting Artful in the water, and this allows us to do just that. 

“We have designed and built submarines at Barrow for more than 100 years and over that time we have strived to continually improve. This is one example of where we have taken account of lessons learnt from the build of previous submarines, the result of which will be the most complete submarine ever to be launched from our shipyard.” 
BAE Systems is the prime contractor for the Astute submarine programme, designing and building seven nuclear-powered attack submarines for the UK Royal Navy. It is also the industry lead for the design of a replacement for the Vanguard class submarines, employing more than 5,000 skilled employees across its Maritime – Submarines’ sites. 

The MoD’s three main contractors in the submarine enterprise are BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and Babcock, while thousands of other small and medium size enterprises make up the supply chain. In 2012 alone, BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines spent more than £375m with over 3,000 suppliers.

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