The British Royal Navy’s fifth Astute-class nuclear submarine, Anson, has concluded its initial trim dive at Devonshire Dock in England.

As part of the operation, the 7,400t, 97m-long Anson completely submerged under the water.

During the trim dive, the crew carried out trials of on-board systems to confirm the submarine’s stability and safety.

Anson commanding officer commander David ‘Bing’ Crosby said: “The trim and basin dive is a key step in the commissioning of HMS Anson. This period will enable us to set the boat’s internal weight, prove her water-tight integrity, test sensors and put some of our systems through their tests ahead of sailing for the first time.

“All involved should be very proud. The entire enterprise has again come together to achieve this evolution safely and on time, which is clear evidence of our joint approach and demonstrates what we can achieve when we all pull together.”

In April last year, BAE Systems launched Anson at its Barrow-in-Furness site in Cumbria.

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The company is under contract to build a total of seven Astute-class boats for the service.

A trim dive includes numerous tests that to verify and set up the vessel’s accurate weight and centre of gravity.

During the exercise, over 60 crew members were on board.

Tonnes of ballast were taken aboard to test the vessel’s stability as part of the exercise.

BAE Systems Submarines Astute programme director John Moorby said: “The successful trim dive of Anson is a significant milestone in the submarine’s test and commissioning phase. It demonstrates the continued successful collaboration between BAE Systems, the Submarines Enterprise, and our suppliers on delivering this national endeavour for the UK Royal Navy.”

HMS Astute, HMS Artful, HMS Ambush and HMS Audacious are the first four vessels that are already in service.

Agamemnon and Agincourt, the sixth and seventh Astute boats, are at different construction phases at the Barrow shipyard.

Additionally, BAE Systems is under contract to deliver the Dreadnought-class submarines.