The first of a class of new attack submarines being built at Barrow-in-Furness for the Royal Navy, arrived on Friday morning. ASTUTE left the BAe Systems yard earlier in the week and has been conducting initial sea trials as she made her to the Clyde. Ordered in 1997, this vessel has suffered from considerable delays and has been beset with problems during construction, including a fire on board while fitting out.
This second picture, sent by a correspondent, shows ASTUTE heading up the Gareloch to Faslane, accompanied by SD IMPULSE. The submarine is 97 metres in length, and has a submerged displacement of 7,800 tonnes. She will be armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, and has six torpedo tubes. A complement of 12 officers and 97 ratings is carried, and ASTUTE and her sisters will replace the 'Trafalgar' class boats in due course. Delivery to the Royal Navy is now anticipated to be sometime around the end of next year.