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Launch Date for Nuclear Submarine

BAE Systems in Barrow said the first of three Astute Class vessels would be launched on 8 June 2007 - almost four years later than originally planned. The £3.5bn programme was dogged by delays and budget overruns, with the Government putting in an extra £450m. The Astute vessels will be the Royal Navy\'s biggest, most powerful attack submarines ever. Weighing 7,800 tonnes - equivalent to 1,000 double-decker buses and almost 100 metres (328ft) long - they will have more firepower than any previous attack sub. The Government signed the Astute contract in 1997 but the first hull sections were not laid until 2001.