Submarine Ambush makes first dive off Cumbria

HMS Ambush first dive off Barrow
Image caption Ambush is to undergo sea trials next year

The Navy's second Astute Class hunter-killer submarine has completed her first dive off the coast of Cumbria.

The BAE Systems-built Ambush completed the important milestone off Barrow ahead of sea trials next year.

More than 70 Ministry of Defence personnel, BAE engineers and Navy staff were involved in Tuesday's operation to ensure the boat's safety.

The 7,400-tonne vessel is one of three Astute submarines built in Cumbria at a cost of almost £4bn.

Cmdr Peter Green said: "This is a major milestone for Ambush and shows she is firmly on track to exit Barrow early next year in order to commence her sea trials.

"Nuclear submarines are some of the most complex machines on earth and therefore to see everything come together in order to dive the boat for the first time is very satisfying. It has been a superb team effort."

The Astute-class are the largest, most advanced and most powerful attack submarines in the history of the Navy.

At 318ft (97m) in length, they can travel more than 500 miles in a day, allowing them to be deployed anywhere in the world within two weeks.

They can fire Tomahawk missiles as well as carrying out intelligence-gathering missions.

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