HMS Astute Christening
The Sub Report has lots of links to today's christening of the newest Brit SSN, HMS Astute. (They're not calling it a "christening", though -- it's a "launch and naming".) The Duchess of Cornwall will be doing the honors -- I suppose that's kind of like having the Vice President's wife as the ship's sponsor.
I was interested in a chart on the manufacturer's web page comparing HMS Astute to the Royal Navy's first submarine (named Holland, like ours). The Brits list a higher top speed for their SSN -- 29 knots, as opposed to the "faster than 25 knots" we acknowledge. But, for some reason, they list range as only "7,000 nautical miles (at economical speed)". I'm assuming that's just left over from their diesel boat pages, and they really don't have such a crappy core (as this "Fascinating Facts" page seems to confirm -- it says it's a life-of-the-ship reactor core).
Here's hoping the ceremony goes as planned, and no royalty slips and falls into the water.
Update 0612 08 June: The ceremony apparently went well. The Duchess used a crew-brewed bottle of beer to seal the naming instead of champagne; this is supposedly traditional at the BAE shipyard.
Update 1724 08 June: Here are some pictures of the ceremony.