7,400-tonne nuclear submarine heads out for testing

The Royal Navy are preparing to trial the second of their £1.6bn Astute Class attack submarines, Ambush.

Built by BAE Systems at their shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, the 7,400-tonne behemoth is the most powerful and advanced model that Britain has ever sent out to sea.

They feature the latest nuclear-powered technology, which means they never need to be refueled and can circumnavigate the world submerged, manufacturing the crew’s oxygen from seawater as they go.

They are also undetectable in virtually all circumstances, despite being twice the size of the current Trafalgar class submarines.

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said:

“Ambush is a very sophisticated and potent vessel and I look forward to her departure from the shipyard here for the sea trials that will prepare her for her planned entry into service with the Royal Navy next year.

“They are needed by the fleet and they will play a vital role in the future defence of the UK.”

The boat’s Commanding Officer, Commander Peter Green, said:

“It is now time to start putting Ambush through her paces on sea trials and prove that this amazing piece of equipment is ready for operations.”

Picture: Mike Vallance, BAE Systems