Technical problems have caused a delay to the completion of British nuclear-powered attack submarines, the Ministry of Defence has admitted.
HMS Audacious, the fourth of seven vessels due to be delivered under the £11 billion Astute-class programme, was supposed to have entered service in summer but its final handover is likely to be delayed by 17 months.
The postponement has had a knock-on effect on production of HMS Anson, the fifth boat, and is likely to affect the timetable of the final two vessels.
The Astute-class submarines are due to be based at the Faslane naval base near Helensburgh.
The MoD declined to disclose details of the engineering problems on the grounds that it could harm the effectiveness and security of the boats. (end of excerpt)
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