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Dec 26,2007
British sub damaged during test
by UPI

LONDON -- The British navy's most technologically advanced submarine was undergoing repairs after a crucial component failed during its first test.

The HMS Astute, the first of a new generation of nuclear submarines, sustained serious damage to its turbogenerators when oil stopped circulating during a test, The Times of London reported Wednesday.

The vessel, which was built by BAE Systems for a cost of more than $2 billion, was launched in June and is scheduled to go into active service in 2009.

"We don't yet know whether there is going to be a delay in the program but they are working hard to make sure there isn't," a British navy spokesman said in the newspaper report.

Technical and project-management difficulties have put the sub more than three years behind schedule.

A BAE Systems spokesman said the repairs are expected to be completed within a week.

"The incident was the result of a lubrication pump failing to operate during testing of the system. Once this failure had been identified, the test was immediately halted but by that time both turbogenerators had sustained damage because oil had ceased to circulate," he told The Times.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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