BAE Systems launched HMS Anson, the fifth of seven Astute-class attack submarine being built for the Royal Navy at Barrow-in-Furness site in Cumbria.
The 7,400-tonne nuclear-powered submarine, officially named at a ceremony in December, emerged from the Devonshire Dock Hall and entered the water for the first time Monday.
Anson will now begin the next phase of its test and commissioning programme, before leaving Barrow for sea trials with the Royal Navy next year.
Astute submarines are the first nuclear submarines to be designed entirely in a three-dimensional, computer-aided environment. The first four submarines in the class, HMS Astute, HMS Ambush, HMS Artful and HMS Audacious, have been handed over to the Royal Navy, with a further two boats currently under construction at the Barrow site.
The Astute class boats are the largest and most advanced attack submarines ever built for the Royal Navy. Measuring 97 metres in length, the boats can circumnavigate the globe submerged, producing their own oxygen and drinking water. An Astute submarine’s 90-day dived endurance is only limited by the amount of food that can be carried and the endurance of the crew.
These submarines can carry both Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles (TLAM) and Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes. They can strike at targets up to 1,000km from the coast.