Three Astute class submarines are on order with BAES (Submarine Solutions), and a further order was placed on 21 May 2007 to commence the build of the fourth boat. Long lead orders have been placed for items in respect of boats five and six. The intent is to place the first long lead order for boat seven before 2010.
As the hon. Member may be aware from the answer I gave on 12 January 2009, Official Report, column 71W, to the hon. Member for Bromsgrove (Miss Kirkbride), there has been some delay to the Astute programme. We are re-baselining the programme and I will make an announcement in due course.