The 7,400-tonne nuclear-powered submarine, officially named Anson at a ceremony last year, emerged from the Devonshire Dock Hall and entered the water for the first time earlier yesterday.
The Barrow shipyard is also celebrating its 150th year and a long relationship with the Royal Navy.
The fifth of seven submarines will now begin the next phase of its test and commissioning programme, before leaving Barrow for sea trials with the Royal Navy next year.
Steve Timms, managing director of BAE Systems Submarines, commented: “The launch marks an important milestone in the Astute programme and seeing Anson enter the water at such an advanced state is a tangible demonstration of everyone's hard work over the years. Designing and building nuclear-powered submarines is a national endeavour and days like this bring a huge sense of pride for our workforce, our partners in the submarine enterprise and our UK supply chain, not to mention our communities.
"We now look forward to a successful test and commissioning phase and working alongside Anson's crew to prepare the submarine for operations with the Royal Navy.”
The Astute class boats are the largest and most advanced attack submarines ever built for the Royal Navy. Measuring 97m in length, the boats can circumnavigate the globe submerged, producing their own oxygen and drinking water.
The first four submarines in the class have been handed over to the Royal Navy, with a further two boats currently under construction at BAE’s Barrow site.
Working alongside the Submarine Delivery Agency and Rolls-Royce, BAE is also helping to deliver the UK's next class of nuclear deterrent submarines. Two of the four submarines are under construction, with the first due to enter service in the early 2030s.
Approximately 10,000 people work on the Dreadnought and Astute programmes at the Barrow site. Over the next five years, BAE expects to recruit more than 200 graduates and 1,500 apprentices.
BAE Systems www.baesystems.com