The Royal Navy’s latest Astute Class submarine has been officially named at BAE Systems’ Submarines site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

Agamemnon – named after the ancient Greek king – is the sixth of seven Astute submarines being built by the Company.

She is due to be launched later this year, ahead of being commissioned into the Royal Navy.

The ceremony was attended by the Minister for Defence Procurement and included an address by the boat’s Lady Sponsor, Lady SJ Sedwill, the wife of former UK National Security Adviser Lord Mark Sedwill. Agamemnon was then blessed and christened, with a bottle of beer from the local Ulverston Brewing Company smashed against her hull.

Steve Timms, Managing Director, BAE Systems’ Submarines business, said:

“This is a key milestone for Agamemnon and the UK nuclear submarine programme, and contributes to the Government’s Defence Nuclear Enterprise Command Paper, which underpinned the importance of our business and Barrow in delivering this national endeavour.

“The Astute Class submarines are a vital component of our nation’s defence capabilities and we are fully focused on completing the remainder of Agamemnon’s programme so she can join her sister submarines in service with the Royal Navy.”

Five Astute Class submarines are already in service, while work is also well under way in Barrow on the seventh and final boat.

Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge, said:

“HMS Agamemnon will play a vital role in defence of the nation, providing our Armed Forces with a competitive edge for decades to come.

“The Astute Class programme continues to support tens of thousands of jobs, with these submarines being a leading example of our commitment to investing in British sovereign capabilities.”

At 97 metres long and weighing 7,400 tonnes, advanced nuclear technology means the Astute Class submarines never need to be refuelled. They can manufacture their own oxygen and fresh water from the ocean and are able to circumnavigate the globe without surfacing.

Equipped with world-leading sensors, the Astute Class carry both Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles (TLAM) and Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes.

As the home of UK submarine design and build, the UK Government, through the Ministry of Defence are investing with BAE Systems to expand the Barrow shipyard in preparation for an exciting future. In addition to the Astute Class, construction is underway on the first three boats in the Dreadnought Class, which is the next generation of nuclear deterrent submarines that will replace the current Vanguard Class.

BAE Systems is also developing the SSN-AUKUS programme, as part of the trilateral security pact between Australia, the UK and America. Under the AUKUS agreement, Australia and the UK will operate a common submarine of the future, incorporating technology from all three nations, based on the UK’s next generation design, which BAE Systems is leading.

Last year, the Ministry of Defence awarded the Company a £3.95bn contract for SSN-AUKUS, while in March the Australian Government selected BAE Systems and ASC Pty Ltd to build Australia’s new fleet of conventionally armed, nuclear powered submarines.

Recognising Barrow’s integral role to the nation’s defence, the UK Government recently announced it will commit more than £200m over the next decade to ensure the town thrives and becomes an even more attractive place to live and work.

BAE Systems’ submarines business already employs approximately 13,500 people, mainly in the North West of England, with that figure set to grow to around 17,000 in the coming years.


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