The future HMS Artful is afloat after a delicate two-day operation to roll her out from the Devonshire Dock Hall and into the basin at Barrow-in-Furness. With experience gained in building earlier boats being applied, the third of the highly complex Astute class boats was launched in the most advanced state of construction of any submarine to be built by the submarine specialists at Barrow. After a phase of harbour trials to prove system safety and operability, initial sea trials are scheduled to begin in 2015.
Artful is the first boat of the class to be equipped with the Common Combat System (CCS). Using common consoles, electronics cabinets and commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software, the CCS is intended to be easier to update and maintain. Of the first two boats, Astute is on her maiden deployment, while Ambush is working toward becoming operational. Audacious, Anson, Agamemnon and Ajax are to enter service 2018-2024.