Farewell to Astute - pictures
Last updated at 14:19, Monday, 16 November 2009
HUNDREDS of people braved the wind and rain to witness the historic occasion of the first of class Astute submarine leaving Barrow.
The crowds said farewell to the Royal Navy’s most powerful and advanced attack sub and her crew yesterday as she left the town for sea trials.
Proud families gathered at Walney and Roa Island to wave her off.
Many had stood and watched the £1.2bn sub leave Devonshire Dock at lunchtime on Saturday and make her way through the dock system at the start of a milestone weekend for Barrow.
Astute is more complex than a space shuttle.
She has involved 10 million man hours of design and 10 million man hours to build.
The crowd could hardly wait to see her in the open water yesterday.
Astute set off from the docks at around 9.30am.
As she emerged into view at Roa Island, the black clouds dispersed and sunlight fell around her to the delight of spectators, who had their cameras ready to capture the momentous sight.
The boat, which is 97 metres long – the length of more than 10 London buses – moved under her own power through the sea and was flanked by four tug boats.
Children sat on the shoulders of their parents to get the best view of Astute passing Piel Island and some people held the Union Flag aloft.
The spectators, many with connections to the shipyard, waved to members of the crew who stood on Astute’s highest point.
The crew waved back and the mighty Astute sounded her horn as she approached Barrow Lifeboat Station.
She then made her way out into the Irish Sea. Astute is now beginning her sea trials and is expected to be at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, at Faslane, Scotland, in the coming days. That will be her operational base.
The sea trials could last 18 months before she eventually enters service.
Astute is equipped with the world’s most advanced sonar system and Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Her missiles can strike at targets up to 1,000km from the coast with pinpoint accuracy. Once deployed, she is designed not to require refuelling throughout her full service life, which is more than 25 years.
Astute is the first Royal Navy sub not to be fitted with an optical periscope.
She has high specification video technology instead.
BAE Systems Submarine Solutions is also working on Astute class submarines, Ambush, Artful and Audacious.
First published at 11:49, Sunday, 15 November 2009
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
I have been in the royal navy for nearly a year now. The reason why i joined was because i watched Astute get launched in 2007, and decided that is where i want to be. I am currently based at Faslane and there are many people looking forward to the Astute finally making it up here.
Met some fantastic blokes from the navy while they were working on the Astute. Good luck to you all in your next journey of Naval life xx Take care, a pleasure knowing you xx
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