The Royal Navy's third Astute Class attack submarine has been formally named.
The new submarine was named Artful in a traditional ceremony at the BAE Systems shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness.
Marking this milestone in the vessel’s construction, Lady Amanda Zambellas, the wife of First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas, named the submarine in the classic tradition of breaking a bottle on her bow; in this instance a bottle of beer from a local Cumbrian brewery.
The naming ceremony comes just 2 months after MOD announced that the first 2 of the 7 Astute Class submarines, HMS Astute and HMS Ambush, were nearing completion of their extensive sea trials and have been handed over to the Royal Navy to begin to prepare for operations.
Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said:
HMS Artful is the third in our fleet of Astute Class submarines, the largest and most advanced attack submarines ordered by the Ministry of Defence; providing unprecedented levels of stealth and attack capability for the Royal Navy.
Mr Dunne added that the Astute submarine building programme represents a significant investment by the government and is set to sustain more than 5,000 jobs in the UK.
Admiral Zambellas said:
Today’s naming ceremony in Barrow for Artful adds another capable nuclear submarine to the gathering momentum in the Astute Class. Ahead of her, HMS Astute and HMS Ambush are already being pressed hard towards operational use, contributing to the wider renaissance in the UK’s naval equipment programme and adding to the Royal Navy’s operational authority.
The Astute class submarines will replace the older Trafalgar Class boats, and possess greater firepower, the latest communications equipment and advanced stealth technology, making them quieter than their predecessors and harder to detect.
Artful is expected to be rolled out of the shipyard construction hall early next year and is due to start sea trials in early 2015. She is the second Royal Navy submarine to hold the name. The first HMS Artful was constructed by Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering in Greenock in 1947.