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Attack submarine Artful arrives at Faslane

Britain's latest nuclear-powered submarine has arrived at its new home on the Clyde.

Artful, a 7,400-tonne attack submarine, was received during a ceremony at the Faslane naval base near Helensburgh.

The third boat in the seven-strong Astute Class was welcomed by Scotland's senior naval officer Rear Admiral Jon Weale.

Artful will be commissioned into the Royal Navy later this year, when she will officially become one of Her Majesty's Submarines (HMS).

The Astute class of vessels are the largest and most powerful attack submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy, boasting state-of-the-art communications equipment and advanced stealth technology.

As home of the UK submarine service, HM Naval Base Clyde will host all seven vessels and is already home to HMS Astute and HMS Ambush.

The other submarines in the class - in various stages of design or build - are Audacious, Anson and Agamemnon. T he seventh boat name has still to be confirmed.

Artful left its construction hall at the Devonshire Dock Hall in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, in May last year ahead of a series of trials.

Artful arrived in extremely wet conditions which did not appear to bother her crew, who were happy to be home.

Warrant Officer 1 Scott Robertson, 46, said: "It feels great, it doesn't matter what the weather's like.

"I am a Scottish boy, I was born in Edinburgh but live in Balloch, so it's nice to be back.

"I have spent three years on Artful now, from the building stage to operating it at sea.

"It's a great sense of pride to be back home with the third of the submarines now up here."

Artful Commanding Officer, Commander Scott Bower, said: "It's an extremely special day.

"Many of the crew have been on board for up to two years - I have myself - and we've been looking forward to getting Artful to its base port and it's wonderful to have achieved it.

"Rather wet conditions, but having been based at Faslane before, I'm kind of used to it.

"The next step will be to continue with the sea trials. We've only done a few days so far.

"She's been underwater and just about everything has worked well. One or two little hiccups but I'm sure we can resolve those.

"I am thoroughly looking forward to taking her a little deeper and making sure everything works in those conditions."


From Belfast Telegraph