The fourth submarine in the Astute class was officially named Audacious during a December 16 ceremony at builder BAE Systems’ 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-metric-ton, 97-meter-long attack submarine, and then smashed a bottle of beer against her hull.
“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,” said Tony Johns, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines. “This is a fitting end to a very important year for our business, in which we also began construction on the Dreadnought submarine program and opened the first of our new facilities. The focus for Audacious now turns to getting her ready for launch next year.”
U.K. Defense 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 defense budget and a £178 billion equipment plan, Barrow will remain the hub of our submarine building programs for years to come,” Baldwin added.
Audacious will stay inside the builder’s main construction facility – the Devonshire Dock Hall – 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 program, the Royal Navy's next generation of submarines that will carry the continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent.