Tag Archives: HMS Audacious (S122)

Sea Trials

HMS Audacious (S122), the fourth of seven Astute-class attack submarines being built by BAE Systems for the Royal Navy, set sail from our Barrow-in-Furness site on 6 April 2020.

HMS Audacious (S122) sets sail for her home base

New ways of working and amended protocols have been introduced at the site, in line with Government guidelines, to enable a small team of employees to provide vital support to the Royal Navy ahead of the boat’s departure, while protecting their health and wellbeing.

The submarine was guided into open water for the first time before setting off on her inaugural journey to Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, the home of the UK’s Submarine Service.

Cliff Robson, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines, said: «This is an incredibly difficult time for employees, their families and the community but, as is often the case in times of great adversity, it has been truly humbling to see everyone come together to support the Government’s critical defence programmes and help deliver HMS Audacious (S122)».

Ian Booth, Chief Executive of the Submarine Delivery Agency, said: «The departure of HMS Audacious (S122) from Barrow is a key milestone in the Astute Class programme. The delivery of our incredibly complex submarine programmes depends on the extremely skilled submarine workforce and close collaboration with our industrial partners across the supply chain to deliver a first class product for the Royal Navy. I am extremely grateful to everyone involved in the significant efforts to meet this milestone and the key roles they have played in the shadow of these unprecedented circumstances to get HMS Audacious (S122) to sea».

The boat’s departure comes days after the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Sir Stephen Lovegrove, thanked the defence industry for its efforts to continue to deliver critical and nationally important defence operations and programmes during the difficult and unprecedented times the country is facing.

The 97 metre/318 feet, 7,400-tonne Astute-class submarines are the most capable submarines ever built for the Royal Navy. The first three submarines, HMS Astute (S119), HMS Ambush (S120) and HMS Artful (S121) are in service, while the final three Astute-class are at various stages of construction at Barrow.

First dive

The fourth Astute class submarine, HMS Audacious (S122), which is being built by BAE Systems for the Royal Navy, has achieved a significant milestone by completing her first ever dive.

Fourth Astute class submarine completes first dive
Fourth Astute class submarine completes first dive

The trim and basin dive took place over two days in Devonshire Dock, at the Company’s site in Barrow-in-Furness last week.

The operation, which saw Audacious submerge fully under water for the first time, tested many of her on-board systems, and proved the safety and stability of the 7,400-tonne, 318-foot/97-metre-long attack submarine.

Employees from BAE Systems worked alongside Audacious’ crew, including its Commanding Officer, Captain Scott Bower, to complete the test.

Officially named in December 2016 and launched in April last year, HMS Audacious (S122) is scheduled to leave Barrow for sea trials later this year.

HMS Astute (S119), HMS Ambush (S120) and HMS Artful (S121) are already in-service with the Royal Navy. Boats 5 and 6, HMS Anson (S123) and HMS Agamemnon (S124), along with a seventh, as yet unnamed, Astute-class submarine are in different stages of construction at the Barrow site.

Find out more
Find out more

Audacious was launched

HMS Audacious (S122), the fourth of seven Astute class attack submarines being built for the Royal Navy, was launched on April 28 by BAE Systems at its site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, UK.

HMS Audacious (S122), Latest Royal Navy SSN, Readied for Launch
HMS Audacious (S122), Latest Royal Navy SSN, Readied for Launch

The 318-foot/97-metre long, 7,400 tonne highly-capable nuclear powered submarine which was officially named at a ceremony in December last year, emerged from the site’s giant Devonshire Dock Hall yesterday. On April 28, it was lowered into the dock water for the first time to begin the next phase of its test and commissioning programme ahead of leaving Barrow for sea trials next year.

Will Blamey, BAE Systems Submarines Managing Director, said: «Today’s launch marks an important milestone in the Astute programme and demonstrates our pride in building submarines for the Royal Navy. Audacious enters the water in a more advanced state of build than any previous Astute class submarine, which puts us in a good position for the next phase of work – the testing and commissioning of her complex systems. Designing and building a nuclear-powered submarine is extremely challenging and today’s launch is yet another reminder of the unique skills required to deliver such complex programmes. We now look forward to working alongside Audacious’ crew to prepare her for sea trials, before she joins her sister submarines in service with the Royal Navy».

Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Submarines Rear Admiral John Weale said: «It’s an exciting moment to see Audacious enter the water for the first time ahead of trials. Such a feat of engineering is testament to the skills of the BAE Systems workforce in Barrow. As part of an increasingly capable Royal Navy, Audacious will go on to serve on operations right around the world, helping keep Britain safe».

HMS Audacious (S122), an Astute-class nuclear attack submarine, has left the covered hall in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria (BAE Systems photo)
HMS Audacious (S122), an Astute-class nuclear attack submarine, has left the covered hall in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria (BAE Systems photo)

Armed with Spearfish torpedoes and Tomahawk land attack missiles, the Astute class submarines are the most highly-capable submarines ever built for the Royal Navy. They can strike at targets up to 540 NM/621 miles/1,000 km from the coast with pin-point accuracy, are equipped with a world-leading sonar capability and powered by a nuclear reactor. The first three submarines in the class, HMS Astute (S119), HMS Ambush (S120) and HMS Artful (S121), are now in service with the final three Astute class submarines are at various stages of construction at the Barrow site.

BAE Systems is the prime contractor in the Astute programme and the UK’s only designer and builder of nuclear powered submarines – one of the world’s most complex engineering challenges. The Company is also the industrial lead for the Dreadnought programme, the Royal Navy’s next generation of nuclear deterrent submarines. Construction of the first of four submarines, named Dreadnought, began last year.

The Company’s Submarines business employs approximately 8,500 people and spends more than £300M per year with over 1,000 direct suppliers – 85 per cent of whom are based in the UK.

BAE Systems launches HMS Audacious (S122) – the fourth state-of-the-art Astute submarine
BAE Systems launches HMS Audacious (S122) – the fourth state-of-the-art Astute submarine

Officially named

HMS Audacious (S122), the fourth submarine in the Astute class, was officially named on 16 December 2016 during a ceremony at our Submarines site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. Guests watched as Lady Jones, Audacious’ sponsor and wife of Admiral Sir Phillip Jones, the First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, named the 7,400 tonne, 318-foot/97-metre-long attack submarine. In keeping with tradition, she then smashed a bottle of locally brewed beer against her hull.

Fourth submarine in Astute class named at Barrow-in-Furness
Fourth submarine in Astute class named at Barrow-in-Furness

Tony Johns, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines, said: «Today marks an important milestone in Audacious’ build programme 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 towards 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 programme 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. Backed by a rising defence budget and a £178 billion equipment plan, Barrow will remain the hub of our submarine building programmes for years to come».

HMS Audacious (S122) will stay inside the Company’s main construction facility – the Devonshire Dock Hall – following today’s 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 is also the industrial lead for the Dreadnought programme, the Royal Navy’s next generation of submarines that will carry the continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent.

The Company’s Submarine operation employs approximately 8,000 people and spends more than £300 M per year with over 3,000 suppliers – 85 per cent of whom are based in the UK.

Facts and stats
Facts and stats