In the next few days Ambush, the Royal Navy Astute class submarine, will leave the BAE Systems shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria (where she was built) and sail to HM Naval Base Clyde in Scotland to undergo sea trials.
The seven Astute class boats planned for the Royal Navy are the most advanced and powerful attack submarines Britain has ever sent to sea.
They feature the latest nuclear-powered technology, which means they never need to be refuelled and can circumnavigate the world submerged, manufacturing the crew's oxygen from seawater as they go.
The Astute class is quieter than older submarines and has the ability to operate covertly and remain undetected in almost all circumstances.
Astute class facts:
- Submarine is constructed from over a million components.
- The vessels are 97 metres long and weigh 7,400 tonnes.
- The nuclear plant is more complex than that of a power station.
- The submarines do not to require refuelling throughout their 25 year lifespan.
- They can strike at targets up to 1,000 km from the coast, with pinpoint accuracy.
- The sonar suite has the processing power of 2,000 computers.
- Astute class is capable of circumnavigating the globe without surfacing.
- The submarines are one of the first to be designed in an entirely three-dimensional, computer-aided environment.