It was a considerable privilege to take control of Audacious for the first time during the trial.

Captain Scott Bower

Some 16 tonnes of lead were taken on board and moved across the width of the vessel so naval architects could confirm their calculations. 

The crew then dived 15 metres underwater to prove the safety and stability of the 7,400 tonne, 97 meter-long attack submarine.

Captain Scott Bower, the Commanding Officer of HMS Audacious, said: “It was a considerable privilege to take control of Audacious for the first time during the trial.

“Yet as Commanding Officer I recognise this was a combined effort across the submarine enterprise, pulling together ship’s and Ministry of Defence staff, BAE Systems and a range of contractors to achieve success. 

“The completion of this successful trial brings great satisfaction to all involved and puts Audacious significantly closer to joining the fleet.”

Officially named in December 2016 and launched in April last year, Audacious is scheduled to leave Barrow for sea trials later this year.

HMS Astute, HMS Artful and HMS Ambush are already in-service with the Royal Navy.  Boats 5 and 6 – Anson and Agamemnon – along with a yet un-named seventh Astute class submarine are in different stages of construction at the Barrow site.

On completion of her sea trials Audacious is due to join her three sister Astute class vessels at HM Naval Base Clyde, the home of the UK Submarine Service.