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Subject: Alien submarine breaks technical barriers
AdamB    5/8/2007 2:40:27 PM
Alien submarine breaks technical barriers [/size] By Brian Milligan Business reporter, BBC News, Barrow, Cumbria, northern England The Royals Navy's Astute is seen as the most advanced submarine yet, probably in the world. The three submarines currently planned are HMS Astute (launched on 8th June), HMS Ambush and HMS Artful. But there could eventually be 4 more to be built after those. "It's a mean looking beast. I think it looks like the alien," remarks Chris Nelson of BAE Systems, as we walk round the front of the Royal Navy's new Astute submarine in Barrow. Looming above us is a construction shed 12 storeys high. Within it are three nuclear-powered submarines at different stages of construction. And as a huge, red neon sign reminds the workforce, the first one is now just 32 days away from launch. But to judge by the scaffolding surrounding it, it's hard to believe it's going to be ready on time. "I'm determined it will be," says operations director Nigel Ward. "However it's a nuclear submarine, and lots of things can go wrong." Secrets intact Under all its covers, Astute is a technological phenomenon. Its nuclear reactor means it'll never need refuelling in the whole of its 25-year life. Since it makes its own air and water, it can circumnavigate the globe without needing to surface. And its weapons systems are so accurate that were it positioned in the English Channel, its cruise missiles could pinpoint targets as far away as North Africa. Indeed, down in the weapons room it looks like a Tomahawk cruise missile is already waiting to be loaded into one of the torpedo tubes. "It's only a dummy," says the man who's keeping a close eye on us. His job is to stop us photographing anything that might give away some of Astute's secret capabilities. Reduced requirements It may be one of the most sophisticated submarines ever built, but the project has been beset with problems. The three submarines are £900m ($1.8bn) over budget and four years behind the original schedule. But a new boss at Barrow, Murray Easton, introduced big changes when he arrived a few years back. A team of psychologists was brought into the yard to improve management effectiveness, and to create better ways of communication. Even now a psychologist is present at every board meeting. Another big innovation, learnt from the America submarine-builder Electric Boat, was to build sections of the submarine vertically rather than horizontally. Equipment can be lowered in with the help of gravity, cutting the need for manpower dramatically. Future missiles It all leads to a prouder, more committed workforce. "We needed help over Easter," says Nigel Ward, "and over 300 men volunteered to work, even though the weather forecast was good." Workers are also enthusiastic about what they have built. "It's a fantastic product," says Andy Ogden as he stands near the conning tower of Astute. "And something the Navy will be extremely proud of when they get their hands on it in a year's time." Three-and-a-half thousand other workers have a vested interest in such customer satisfaction. Because if all goes according to plan, they'll be rewarded with contracts to build four more Astute submarines, and eventually the submarines that will carry the next generation of Britain's nuclear missiles. ASTUTE FACTS Cost: £3.5bn for three subs (but there is a chance there could actually be 7 to be built eventually) Weight: 7,800 tons Length: 97m Time to build: 6 years 4 months Power: pressurized water reactor, fuelled for life Crew: 98
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AdamB       5/8/2007 2:43:02 PM" border=0>" border=0>" border=0>
The Barrow yard built its first submarine in 1886, for the Ottoman Empire. It later built the Royal Navy’s first submarine - the Holland class - which entered service in 1902.
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Astute on the shiplift (a giant, caterpillar-like vehicle) in Barrow, Cumbria [Picture courtesy of BAE Systems]" border=0>" border=0>" border=0>
HMS Dreadnought, the UK’s first nuclear powered submarine, was built at Barrow by Vickers, using American parts and a British hull. She entered service in 1963.

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The Vanguard class of nuclear submarine was built to carry the Trident nuclear missile system and entered service in the 1990s. They were the first built in Barrow’s vast Devonshire dock hall.

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The Royal Navy’s new Astute class of nuclear attack submarine are built using modular construction methods. BAE is building three subs in Barrow but hopes to get an order for four more.

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BAE has sped up production with the use of vertical outfitting. The submarine modules are turned on their side, allowing cranes to drop them into the hull.

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HMS Astute will be launched on 8 June 2007. This is an artist's image of how the boat should look when it enters service in 2009. HMS Ambush and HMS Artful are due to enter service in 2010 and 2012
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Herc the Merc    Nice pictures Adam   5/8/2007 3:38:51 PM
Honestly that is impressive. But (always one..) all we need to do is grab a few of your blokes, twist their little pinkies, and Great Britain will surrender as recently witnessed.
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Herald1234    Nice comment, Herk, you bigot.    5/8/2007 11:05:11 PM
Don't claim you are an American, liar. We don't want to be associated with you in any way, shape, or fashion.

Are you sure  you aren't a  PRC?  You sure are xenophobic enough, ignorant enough, and a big enough coward and liar  to pass as one of those  bandits.

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neofire1000       5/9/2007 6:54:08 AM
We're going to have some navy........8 subs, 4 destroyers, still deciding wether to build aircraft carriers, a handful of frigates and the rest of the crap not worth mentioning.
Mabye I'm just getting pissed off with the constant media speculation stating that the UK's navy is going to be half it's size, I wish we would get some hard facts from the government as to excactly whats going to happen and what we'll have in the end.
I was reading an article from the daily telegraph saying that we'll end up with 24 boats in the water..........thats scary.... If anyone knows any different then let us know.
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Francois       5/9/2007 8:16:21 AM

Since it makes its own air and water, it can circumnavigate the globe without needing to surface.

Well, when the commander has finished eating the last sailor on board, he will have to surface, won't he?
Jokes aside (but admit it, the text is stupid), I like the design.
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french stratege       5/9/2007 9:46:16 AM
Very nice submarines but article is a piece of justification propaganda bullsh@it.
I'm happy that British discovered modern technics of submarine building by going to see Americans:
Another big innovation, learnt from the America submarine-builder Electric Boat, was to build sections of the submarine vertically rather than horizontally.
You could maybe have visited us 10 years ago.
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Herald1234    Like the French visited us.   5/9/2007 11:42:32 AM
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VelocityVector       5/9/2007 1:44:18 PM

Who didn't see that one coming ;>)  (narcissists perhaps)  Curious why an alien submarines are being discussed at surface forces.  They also fly I hear.


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Herc the Merc    Adam just when u thought it was safe to go back into the water JAWS 5-   5/9/2007 5:20:10 PM
GUESS WHO?? Its quieter than ur Astute-
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Yimmy       5/9/2007 5:25:43 PM
Whos rust bucket is that ruining my photo?
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