The traditional keel laying ceremony for the fourth Astute Class nuclear powered submarine Audacious took place at the Barrow in Furness shipyard on March 24th.
The keel is a large beam around which shipbuilders make the hull of a ship or submarine. It is generally the first part of the vessel to be constructed. Laying the keel, or placing the keel in the cradle in which the engineers build the vessel, is a momentous event in the vessels construction and is therefore marked with a ceremony. Builders place coins in the keel to invoke good fortune during the submarines construction and throughout the future years at sea. The ceremony marks a significant milestone in the construction of what is the fourth boat in the planned seven strong Astute Class.
Barrow in Furness MP and Defence Secretary John Hutton took centre stage amongst the 100 VIPís which included BAE Personnel, MoD & Navy representatives and key suppliers. David Richards, Customer & Technical Support Manager was proud to represent Truflo Marine at the ceremony and to participate in a key networking event.
HMS Audacious, who takes her name from an original 74 gun ship which served under Nelson, is likely to enter service in approximately 2018 following 12-18 months of sea trials and will be fitted with approximately 5,000 high integrity valves supplied by Truflo Marine. Marine Valves supplied will range from 250mm diameter hull valves through to 10mm bronze ball valves. Twenty three hull valves which will be welded onto the inside of the submarine are critical to the operation of the vessel; such valves are responsible for the inlet and outlet of seawater used for cooling, garbage eject and desalination.
Truflo Marine, Tel: 0121 327 4789