A HUGE white structure has appeared on the Gosport skyline as work to save HMS Alliance gathers pace.
The veteran submarine has been shrink-wrapped as her £6.75m restoration moves into its first critical stage.
The only surviving Second World War era submarine, which is at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport, has been temporarily closed to visitors while engineers take her apart piece by piece for cleaning.
The museum’s conservation project manager, Jason Lowe, said: ‘The conservation of HMS Alliance is now really taking shape. The shrink wrap is a hi-tech approach designed to ensure that any potential residue arising from 30 years of paint coatings on HMS Alliance is removed safely within the confines of the enclosure.’
Portsmouth-based contractors ML UK have carried out ultrasonic surveys on the 70-year-old boat and are documenting the restoration process for future reference.
Once all the components are removed, they will start high pressure cleaning to spruce up the corroded metal work so conservation can begin.
The project to save Alliance from decay started in October last year and she has remained open to visitors throughout the process until now.
During her closure, the museum is offering guided tours of Holland 1, the Royal Navy’s very first submarine built in 1901, and the X-24 – the only surviving Second World War midget submarine.