THE next Barrow-built submarine due to enter service is sitting in dock ahead of trials next year.

HMS Anson is taking part in a test and commissioning programme having been launched earlier this year.

The submarine will be the fifth of seven Astute hunter-killer boat to leave the shipyard.

The 7,400-tonne nuclear-powered submarine, officially named at a ceremony in December 2020, emerged from the Devonshire Dock Hall and entered the water for the first time in April.

The Astute class boats are the largest and most advanced attack submarines ever built for the Royal Navy.

Measuring 97 metres in length, the boats can circumnavigate the globe submerged, producing their own oxygen and drinking water.

The first four submarines in the class, HMS Astute, HMS Ambush, HMS Artful and HMS Audacious, have been handed over to the Royal Navy, with a further two boats currently under construction by BAE in Barrow.

HMS Audacious set sail from Barrow in April 2020.

Jobs to work on the next generation of boats to replace Astute have already been secured.

The Government announced last week it had awarded an £85 million contract to BAE to work on designing the new class of submarines.

The programme is due to support around 250 jobs at Barrow's shipyard.

The roles will focus on developing the platform design and delivery arrangements.