The Royal Navy’s latest hunter-killer submarine has successfully completed her maiden dive prior to sea trials in 2015.
HMS Artful, the third Astute class submarine being built by BAE Systems, underwent the so-called trim and incline test over two days to prove the boat’s safety and stability in the water.
The dive was undertaken in the dock on BAE Systems’ site in Barrow-in-Furness and involved a team of 80 personnel, including naval architects, engineers and Royal Navy crew members.
Launched in May this year, the 7,400 tonne, 97m long submarine was submerged to a depth of 15m to allow naval architects to calculate its precise weight and centre of gravity, two factors essential for the boat to safely dive and resurface.
According to BAE Systems, the dive also gave the crew the opportunity to test the submarine’s sonar, navigation and optical systems.
The first two submarines in the Astute class – HMS Astute and HMS Ambush – have been handed over to the Royal Navy, while the remaining four – Audacious, Anson, Agamemnon and the yet to be named seventh – are in various stages of construction.