Second Cumbria built nuclear sub to be launched

image captionBAE Systems is currently constructing three other vessels in the seven-boat class

The second Cumbria built Astute class submarine is to be launched in December, it has been announced.

The 7,400 tonne nuclear powered attack submarine, Ambush, will be rolled out and named on 16 December at BAE Systems shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness.

BAE Systems is the lead contractor for the Astute programme.

Each Astute submarine is 97m (318ft) long and fuelled by a nuclear reactor powerful enough to serve a city the size of Southampton.

BAE Systems is currently constructing three other vessels in the seven-boat class.

Lady Anne Soar, Ambush's sponsor and wife of the Royal Navy's Commander in Chief Fleet, Admiral Sir Trevor Soar, will perform the ceremony in December.

Spearfish torpedoes

John Hudson, BAE Systems Submarine Solutions managing director, said: "The launch of Ambush will represent another significant milestone in the Astute programme, following the commissioning into service of HMS Astute in August this year."

Following the ceremony, Ambush will be inched out of the construction dock. It is planned that she will then be lowered by a ship lift to allow further outfitting and testing and commissioning to take place.

Each Astute submarine is armed with Spearfish torpedoes, Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, and their sonar suite has the processing power of 2,000 laptops.

They can circumnavigate the globe without needing to surface as they make their own air and water.

HMS Astute is currently undergoing inspection at Her Majesty's Naval Base Clyde, in Faslane, Scotland, following her grounding in the Kyle of Lochalsh, on 22 October.

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