HMS Astute will be the Royal Navy's most stealthy and well armed submarine, capable of delivering pin-point strikes at 2,000km with Tomahawk cruise missiles. She will also be armed with the new Spearfish torpedo weapon system. The largest and most powerful nuclear attack submarine, Astute will be equipped with the world’s most advanced sonar system, communications and intelligence gathering equipment. A new advanced nuclear power core means HMS Astute will never have to be refuelled throughout her 25-year operational life. She will also produce her own air and water meaning she can circumnavigate the globe without needing to surface. Designed entirely in a three dimensional computer aided environment, Astute has been designed entirely with performance in mind, not size or cost.
Taking part in the launch ceremonies were frigate HMS Lancaster, destroyer HMS Exeter, plus patrol boats HMS Charger and HMS Biter. All four vessels are berthed at either Town Quay or Buccleuch Dock (Barrow) from today, with Biter and Charger open to the public tomorrow between mid-day and 4pm, and Lancaster and Exeter throwing open their gangways between the same hours on Saturday and Sunday. Entry is free.