British Defense Secretary John Hutton conducted a ceremony for the Audacious keel laying and called the achievement a significant advance for the construction of the nuclear-powered Astute-class attack submarines, the British Ministry of Defense reported.
The Audacious is the fourth submarine in the Astute class and is being constructed by BAE Systems Submarine Solutions at Barrow-in-Furness, England. The Astute-class submarines are designed to improve the Royal Navy's submarine capabilities with greater firepower and better communication technologies, among other advances.
"The Astute class will be the most advanced and powerful attack submarines the Royal Navy has ever operated, and these boats will play a key part of our defenses for decades to come," Hutton said in a statement.
"The Royal Navy has a long-term and enduring requirement for nuclear-powered submarines, and the Barrow-in-Furness yard remains the United Kingdom's center of excellence for submarine building."