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Construction begins on Royal Navy's 5th Astute Class sub


Astute Class Submarine. A BAE Systems photo.

LONDON (BNS): The main construction phase of the Royal Navy's fifth Astute Class submarine, Anson, has begun with a traditional keel-laying ceremony.

The ceremony officially marked by Minister for International Security Strategy Gerald Howarth, took place at the BAE Systems Submarine Solutions shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria on Thursday. BAE Systems is the lead contractor for the Astute Class submarine programme.

"The keel-laying for the fifth of seven immensely powerful Astute Class boats marks another milestone in our programme to equip the Royal Navy with the most advanced nuclear submarines. It demonstrates this government's ongoing commitment to investing in the equipment that will form the basis of the Future Force 2020," Howarth said.

The keel is a large beam around which the hull is built and is the first part of the 7,400-tonne vessel to be constructed. The state-of-the-art submarine is equipped with cutting edge technology, including a nuclear reactor capable of powering the submarine for its entire 25-year life, without the need to refuel. The Astute Class is the most potent and sophisticated attack submarines ever ordered for the Royal Navy.

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