Agamemnon keel laid at ceremonyThe keel for the sixth Astute class submarine has been laid – on the same day the Ministry of Defence declared HMS Astute and HMS Ambush have been handed over to the Royal Navy.
Philip Dunne MP, the Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, used the event at BAE Systems’ site in Barrow-in-Furness to announce the first and second submarines in the Astute class have now been officially handed over to the Royal Navy.
Mr Dunne joined guests from BAE Systems, Royal Navy, MoD and local community for a ceremony at the home of UK nuclear submarine building, where he officially laid the keel for Agamemnon.
He said: "The keel laying of the sixth submarine, Agamemnon, and the handover of HMS Astute and HMS Ambush to the Royal Navy are huge milestones reflecting significant progress in the programme.”
The ceremony marks the start of the transition from preparation and fabrication to construction for Agamemnon.
"The keel laying for HMS Agamemnon, the sixth of seven immensely powerful Astute Class boats, marks a milestone in our programme to equip the Royal Navy with the most advanced nuclear-powered submarines." Philip Dunne MP, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology
John Hudson, Managing Director for BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines, said: “This is a very important milestone for the programme and as we mark the first step in one submarine’s construction, we also acknowledge the importance of HMS Astute and HMS Ambush being handed over to the Royal Navy.
“These are highly effective submarines, engineered and built to provide the Royal Navy with unrivalled underwater capability. While Agamemnon has some way to go before it joins HMS Astute and HMS Ambush it will one day form part of a formidable class of submarines.
“In reaching this stage I’d like to pay tribute to the highly specialist engineering and manufacturing skill base we have at BAE Systems, and in the submarine enterprise and across our supply chain.”
Mr Dunne also used the keel laying ceremony to announce the signing of a contract between the Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems.
The eight-year Foundation contract underpins an existing arrangement between the MoD and industry, known as the Submarine Enterprise Performance Programme (SEPP). The aim of SEPP is to improve performance, reduce costs and develop a sustainable submarine enterprise, delivering overall programme savings of £900m, of which BAE Systems’ target is £386m.