The UK Royal Navy's second Astute-class nuclear-powered submarine, HMS Ambush (S120), has been commissioned into official service at HM Naval Base Clyde, UK, following completion of extensive sea trials and the signing of the certificate of acceptance.
First Sea Lord admiral Sir Mark Stanhope said that the submarine features advanced military technology to perform a broad spectrum of maritime operations worldwide for many years in future.
BAE Systems has also received a contract from the Royal Navy to build seven Astute-class submarines to replace the existing Swiftsure and Trafalgar-class vessels.
Launched in January 2011, the 93m-long and 11.3m-wide vessel will support a variety of missions including the deployment of Tomahawk cruise missiles, intelligence gathering, anti-ship and anti-submarine missions, and support for land forces.
Powered by a nuclear reactor, the submarine can operate for 25 years without refuelling, and is expected to contribute significantly in the protection of UK interests worldwide.
HMS Ambush commanding officer commander Peter Green said HMS Ambush's crew were now looking forward to the challenges ahead and exploring the full range of the submarine's capabilities.
Following completion of further sea trials, the 7,400t HMS Ambush is scheduled to enter full operational service with the Royal Navy later this year.
The first submarine of the class, HMS Astute (S119) entered service in August 2010, while the third, fourth and fifth submarines, HMS Artful (S121), HMS Audacious (S122), HMS Anson (S123) respectively, are at different stages of construction.
HMS Agamemnon (S124) and HMS Ajax (S125), the sixth and seventh submarines of the class respectively, are yet to be officially christened.
Image: Royal Navy officials at the HMS Ambush commissioning ceremony. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.