The Royal Navy’s latest Astute Class submarine has been officially Christened at BAE Systems’ Submarines site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria April 22. 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.

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 program, 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.

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.

Recognizing Barrow’s integral role to the nation’s defense, 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.