Ambush, the second of the Royal Navy’s ‘ferociously complicated’ Astute class submarines, has arrived at Faslane for the first time after completing basic sea trials during a four-day transit from Barrow-in-Furness. Nine years after she was laid down and 18 months since she was launched, the £1.6 billion boat will begin to test her capabilities from her new home on the eastern shore of Gare Loch, where all seven submarines of the class will be based.

The programme has been delayed by several years due to early design and engineering issues, but the end result has, according to HMS Astute’s Commanding Officer, ‘surpassed every expectation’ following several months of extensive sonar and weapon trials in the USA in late 2011.As for the rest of the submarines in the class, boats three and four (Artful and Audacious) are taking shape in the Devonshire Dock Hall, while boat five (Anson) was laid down in October 2011. Long lead procurement for boat six (Agamemnon) is underway with the final boat (Ajax) yet to be formally ordered.


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