American submarine slips into Portsmouth Harbour

ARRIVAL USS Scranton.   Picture: Bryan M Moffatt
ARRIVAL USS Scranton. Picture: Bryan M Moffatt

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AN AMERICAN nuclear submarine quietly slipped into Portsmouth for a nine-day visit.

USS Scranton, a Los Angeles-class submarine, appeared in Portsmouth Harbour just after 10am yesterday.

The 21-year-old boat will be in the city until February 25.

She is docked in a nuclear safety berth in Portsmouth Naval Base.

Her 110-stong crew will enjoy a nine-day run ashore in Portsmouth before heading back out to sea next Friday.

It is quite rare for nuclear submarines to stay in the city.

Naval base officials expect to welcome only one or two a year.

Scranton – which is 330ft long – is an unusual submarine because she was the first to be built without a keel being laid. She was almost fully built out in individual hull sections and most of the internal structure, and machinery were lifted in through her open ends. The hull sections were later welded together before she was taken to a dry dock.