Return of two periscopes marks progress of submarine restoration

17/10/12      SB''The HMS Alliance attack periscope gets removed at the Gosport Submarine Museum to be refurbished.''Picture: Paul Jacobs  (123397-8)
17/10/12 SB''The HMS Alliance attack periscope gets removed at the Gosport Submarine Museum to be refurbished.''Picture: Paul Jacobs (123397-8)
The Russian destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov as seen from HMS Somerset in the Moray Firth

Royal Navy ship shadows a Russian destroyer

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IT WAS a landmark moment as two fully restored periscopes were returned to a Second World War submarine in Gosport today.

The 40ft periscopes from HMS Alliance have been restored by defence firm Babcock International Group at Faslane, in Scotland.

Both the attack and search periscopes were lowered into Alliance using cranes at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Haslar Road, Gosport.

Bob Mealings, curator at the museum, said it was a landmark day for the restoration project.

He said: ‘They’ve been on board the submarine since its inception as a preserved historic ship.

‘But in all that time before they were never actually functional.

‘They’ve now got all optical integrity so people will be able to look through them and sweep them round for a view of Portsmouth Harbour.

‘It’s very rare to see a periscope like this in all its glory fully restored.’

As reported, the periscopes were removed from the only surviving war-era A-class submarine in October last year for refurbishment.

Alliance is the subject of a £7m conservation project and visitors to the museum will now be able to use the periscopes to view Portsmouth Harbour.

The boat was left exposed to sea water and her outer structure had corroded, with parts in danger of falling into the sea.

The project to restore Alliance will end in spring next year but the museum is currently open.

HMS Alliance will be closed until Tuesday, May 21 while the periscopes are refitted.