The Royal Navy’s newest submarine has been revealed in Barrow, Cumbria after leaving the vast hangar where she was built for the first time. The ship weighs 7,400 tons and is over 300 foot long, yet it will be near impossible for enemy sonar to detect as it is covered in thousands of tiles that confused enemy systems, according to the Express.
The vessel, named Artful, has twice the firepower of the navy’s current submarines and will carry Tomahawk missiles capable of hitting targets 1,200 miles from the coast. It will have Spearfish torpedoes capable of attacking other submarines and surface ships.
Its surveillance equipment is also so advanced that it can listen into phone calls and even detect a ship leaving port on the other side of the Atlantic.
The Artful is the third submarine of the “Astute Class” to be built after HMS Astute and HMS Ambush. The construction programme is currently six years late and £1.5 billion over budget.
The Astute programme director, Stuart Godden, told the BBC: “Moving a submarine of this size from its build hall to the water is very challenging.
“It’s testament to the experience and careful planning of the team involved that Artful is now ready for the next phase in her programme.
“Witnessing a submarine move out of the hall and be readied for launch is truly inspiring and a source of great pride to the thousands who have played a part in getting Artful to this stage.”
Rear Admiral Mike Wareham, the Ministry of Defence’s director of submarines, said that the vessel will “provide a key capability for the Royal Navy and an essential component of the Submarine Service.”