How to Build a Nuclear Submarine
As a proud supplier to BAE Systems Submarine Solutions and being in the fortunate position to have already produced an award winning brochure in celebration of the achievements of ‘Astute Class’ Submarine and its successful exit from Barrow. The Forepoint team had been looking forward to and can highly recommend watching, the first in a series of documentaries to be broadcast by the BBC within it’s ‘How to Build…’ Series.
This episode ‘How to Build A Nuclear Submarine’, follows the construction and events of the ‘Astute Class’ submarine within BAE Systems Submarine Solutions at Barrow-in-Furness over a period of a year.
The BBC gained exclusive access to the facility building these amazing machines; one of the most secure and secret places in the country, and the Royal Navy; who commissioned it; allowed BAE Systems to tell the story of how one of the world’s most complicated vessels is built.
Fourteen years to design and build and costing around one billion pounds, the ‘Astute Class’ nuclear submarine is one of the most technically advanced and controversial machines in the world.
Able to circumnavigate the globe without surfacing and as long as a football pitch, the nuclear engine that powers Britain’s brand new class of submarines will never need refueling, has a life expectancy of 25 years and makes less noise than a baby dolphin. Its sonar system is so advanced that if one of our new submarines was in the English Channel it would be able to detect ships leaving New York harbour over 3,000 miles away. Each submarine will carry 38 Tomahawk cruise missiles able to hit targets 2,000 kilometres inland with pin-point accuracy and will also be armed with the worlds most advanced torpedoes.
The ‘Astute’ is a 7,400-ton machine more complex than the space shuttle – able to keep a crew of 98 alive while deep underwater for months at a time. Four of them are currently being built by a dedicated team of engineers, designers and skilled craftsmen and women in Britain’s only shipyard capable of doing such a complex and potentially dangerous task.
Computer graphics go inside the construction of the submarine itself, giving a blueprint of the design, the life-support systems and weaponry. They also help to illustrate the areas that could not be filmed due to national security.
The film features many of the workers including Erin Browne, a 19-year-old apprentice electrician who wires up the boat; Commander Paul Knight, responsible for the safety of the nuclear reactor; and Derek Parker, whose job involves moving massive pieces of the submarine that weigh hundreds of tons into position before the welding team join them together.
The ‘Astute’ class submarine is a true example of technological advancements, capability, construction and engineering skills at their innovative and very best. The planned commission of ‘Astute Class’ demonstrates the cost effectiveness in rolling out a number of boats in order to amortise the initial development cost.
The first episode is currently available on the BBC’s iPlayer at the following link:
Next week’s episode features ‘Rolls Royce’, yet again another client that Forepoint are proud to work with as guardians of their brand.
Previous features and links of our award winning service to BAE Systems Submarine Solutions