THE Royal Navy's newest attack submarine HMS Astute will make an official visit to Southampton tomorrow.

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The boat will slip into the port's Z-berth in Eastern Docks at about 1pm for a five-day stay until Sunday.

Last year Southampton City Council accepted the Royal Navy's offer to affiliate the Astute's sister vessel HMS Artful - currently under construction - with the city.

But the nuclear-powered vessel no longer has its Southampton born commander Andy Coles at its helm.

The 47-year-old was relieved of his command of the £1bn sub in November after it ran aground on a shingle bank in the Isle of Skye.

He did not face a court-martial but it is understood he now has a desk job.

His successor is commanding officer Iain Breckenridge.

He said: "I am delighted to bring HMS Astute into Southampton. My ship's company and I are very much looking forward to the visit and meeting with the people of Southampton."

During its stay HMS Astute will host several visits from sea scouts and local school and college pupils from the throughout the city and New Forest.

Civic dignitaries and senior City Council officers will also visit the vessel and meet her crew.

It is the first visit to Southampton by a nuclear-powered submarine since HMS Torbay arrived for a five-day stopover last November.

City council leader Councillor Royston Smith said: "I welcome HMS Astute to the city. We in Southampton are immensely proud of the work the Royal Navy does around the world to protect the country, and we are honoured to host this world-class submarine visit."