Third Astute submarine Artful sets sail for sea trials

Third Astute Class submarine Image copyright BAE Systems
Image caption Artful will be home to more than 100 men and can spend months at a time submerged

The third Astute Class submarine built at a Cumbria shipyard for the Royal Navy has set sail for its sea trials.

HMS Artful, a 97m-long (318ft), 7,400-tonne, nuclear-powered vessel is one of seven being built by BAE Systems.

The sea trials with the Royal Navy put the submarine through its paces, proving all of its systems before it officially becomes part of the fleet.

Tony Johns, managing director of BAE Systems Submarines, said everyone involved should feel "immensely proud".

The vessel, built in Barrow, completed its maiden dive last year.

Image copyright BAE Systems
Image caption The submarine will undergo a series of sea trials with the Royal Navy to test its full range of capabilities

The first two submarines in the Astute class, HMS Astute and HMS Ambush, were handed over to the Royal Navy.

Four others - Audacious, Anson, Agamemnon and the yet to be named seventh - are in various stages of construction.

They are capable of circumnavigating the world without the need to resurface.

Artful will follow its sister submarines to Her Majesty's Naval Base Clyde in Scotland.

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