Another significant milestone in the Astute programme has been achieved as the steelwork structure for the Command Deck Module of the fifth submarine was delivered to the Devonshire Dock Hall build facility. The seven new Astute-class nuclear powered hunter-killer submarines (SSNs) will have the capability to circumnavigate the globe without surfacing, limited only by their food storage capacity.
Able to deploy rapidly they are powered by a nuclear reactor that can run for their 25 year lifespan without refuelling. Built in the Devonshire Dock Hall at BAE Systems Submarine Solutions’ Barrow shipyard, Astute marks the latest chapter in the town’s illustrious history of shipbuilding.
The 80 tonne structure will eventually house the accommodation areas for the Royal Navy crew, including the Commanding Officer’s cabin, mess facilities, galley, laundry and ward room, as well as the submarine’s main control room. Areas of Michaelson Road, Bridge Road and North Road were closed for one hour as the module was moved on a multi-wheeled transporter no faster than 5mph.
It has now taken its place in the Devonshire Dock Hall (DDH) having been constructed in the shipyard’s main steelwork and fabrication facility, the New Assembly Shop. There it will undergo shot blast and painting.
This is the fifth of seven Astute submarines that will eventually be built by BAE Systems, in what has been described as one of the world’s most complex engineering programmes.
Each 7,400 tonne, 97m long nuclear powered attack submarine is packed with state-of-the-art technology that will deliver unrivalled capability to the Royal Navy, including a reactor that can fuel the boat for its entire 25-year life without the need to refuel.
Source: baesystems, August 6, 2012