The British Royal Navy’s fourth Astute-class nuclear-powered fleet submarine, the future HMS Audacious, has successfully completed its first ever dive.
The Royal Navy vessel is being constructed by BAE Systems and has attained a significant milestone with the completion of the dive, which enabled engineers to calculate the submarine’s exact weight and centre of gravity.
Approximately 16t of lead was carried on-board and moved across the width of the UK Navy submarine in order to allow naval architects to confirm their calculations.
Crew members then dived 15m underwater to demonstrate the safety and stability of the new attack submarine.
The trim and basin dive was carried out over two days at Devonshire Dock, located at the company’s construction site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
The operation saw the 97m-long future HMS Audacious completely submerged under water for the first time.
In addition, BAE Systems also tested several of the vessel’s on-board technologies during the exercise.
BAE Systems personnel worked in collaboration with the submarine’s crew in order to complete the test, including its commanding officer captain Scott Bower.
The 7,400t Royal Navy vessel was officially named in December 2016 and launched in April last year.
It is slated to depart from Barrow-in-Furness to conduct sea trials later this year.
The future HMS Audacious is then scheduled to join its three sister ships HMS Astute, HMS Artful and HMS Ambush at the home of the UK Submarine Service, HM Naval Base Clyde, following the completion of the trails.