Britain’s newest nuclear powered submarine has set sail for the first time today.
The vessel, called ‘Astute’, is the first of a new class of attack subs set to be the biggest and most powerful in the fleet.
Defence Equipment and Support Minister Quentin Davies was upbeat about the launch.
“This is a significant milestone for Astute as she sails for the first time.” he said.
“Astute will now begin a set of sea trials ahead of her full acceptance with the Royal Navy next year.”
The MOD’s plan to build a total of seven astute class submarines have drawn criticism from campaigning groups.
John Ainsley, Scottish coordinator for the CND, says the whole program was running over budget.
“The four submarines that are finished and under construction now are already £1.2bn over budget” he said.
“Although they aren’t actually nuclear armed submarines this is of concern to us as it shows just how much money replacing Trident could potentially cost.”
The submarines are built by BAE systems.
Once trials are finished they will be able to circle the entire globe underwater and will never need to be refueled thanks to advanced nuclear technology.