THE Royal Navy’s latest Astute Class submarine has been officially named at BAE Systems’ Submarines site in Barrow.

Agamemnon - named after the ancient Greek king - is the sixth of seven Astute submarines being built by the company.

She is due to be launched later this year ahead of being commissioned into the Royal Navy.

The ceremony was attended by the Minister for Defence Procurement and included an address by the boat's Lady Sponsor, Lady SJ Sedwill, the wife of former UK National Security Adviser Lord Mark Sedwill. 

Agamemnon was then blessed and christened with a bottle of beer from Ulverston Brewing Company smashed against her hull.

Steve Timms, managing director of BAE Systems’ Submarines business, said: "This is a key milestone for Agamemnon and the UK nuclear submarine programme, and contributes to the Government's Defence Nuclear Enterprise Command Paper, which underpinned the importance of our business and Barrow in delivering this national endeavour.  

"The Astute Class submarines are a vital component of our nation's defence capabilities and we are fully focused on completing the remainder of Agamemnon's programme so she can join her sister submarines in service with the Royal Navy."

Five Astute Class submarines are already in service, while work is also under way in Barrow on the seventh and final boat.

The Mail:

Minister for Defence Procurement James Cartlidge said: “HMS Agamemnon will play a vital role in the defence of the nation, providing our Armed Forces with a competitive edge for decades to come. 

 “The Astute Class programme continues to support tens of thousands of jobs, with these submarines being a leading example of our commitment to investing in British sovereign capabilities.”

At 97 metres long and weighing 7,400 tonnes, advanced nuclear technology means the Astute Class submarines never need to be refuelled.

They can manufacture their own oxygen and fresh water from the ocean and are able to circumnavigate the globe without surfacing.

In addition to the Astute Class, construction is under way on the first three boats in the Dreadnought Class, the next generation of nuclear deterrent submarines that will replace the current Vanguard Class.

The Mail: Youngsters gather at the naming ceremony for Agamemnon Youngsters gather at the naming ceremony for Agamemnon (Image: BAE Systems)

BAE Systems is also developing the SSN-AUKUS programme, as part of the trilateral security pact between Australia, the UK and America.

Under the AUKUS agreement, Australia and the UK will operate a common submarine of the future, incorporating technology from all three nations, based on the UK’s next generation design, which BAE Systems is leading.

Last year, the Ministry of Defence awarded the company a £3.95bn contract for SSN-AUKUS, while in March the Australian Government selected BAE Systems and ASC Pty Ltd to build Australia's new fleet of conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines. 

Recognising Barrow's role in the nation's defence, the UK Government recently announced it would invest more than £200 million over the next decade into projects in the town.