Monthly Archives: May 2013

WWI German submarine has an underwater Lake Michigan grave (Video Clip)

Click on picture for Video clip

A view of the German U-boat, UC-97

It is no secret that one of the major attractions at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry is a World War II German submarine.

What you may not know is that Chicago also has a World War I German submarine but it happens to be resting in a place where very few people can see it.

We are turning the clock back to 1919 which was an incredible year in Chicago’s history.

There were race riots that took lives and others died when a hydrogen blimp crashed in the loop.  There was a transit strike, political scandal, the Black Sox lost the series and the City of Chicago became host to a German submarine that has disappeared, but never left.

It was something of a trophy from the Great War.  The German mine-laying sub U-C 97 was brought to the states in the summer of 1919.  It toured some of the Great Lakes making stops in Racine, Milwaukee and its final destination Chicago.  Along the way people could see, board, touch, perhaps curse this modern machine of war.

“The U-Boat was on tour.  It was kind of a post-war, ‘we won’ tour, and so people got to go on to it and see it, and then as a condition of the armistice, it had to be sunk,” Pritzker Military Library CEO Ken Clarke said.

Indeed, the order was to sink the UC-97 in deep water.  In June of 1921, the sub was towed 20 to 30 miles off of Highland Park.  The USS Wilmette was brought within rang, and fired her four inch guns.

“My understanding is they fired about 15 shots and they hit her about the water line and she went down pretty quick.  She nose down and down she went,” well-known maritime searcher Taras Lyssenko said.

And out there she rests – on the bottom of Lake Michigan.

“You know where the submarine is.  I can take you right to the submarine and put you in the hatch if you want to go,” Lyssenko said.

How about the aft hatch?  It’s there  In 300 feet of water.  Sleeping with the fishes.  Here’s a hole from one of the Willmette’s shells.

Cold, fresh water has kept the sub in pretty good shape as the years have passed.  Lyssenko and colleagues spent four years searching for it, and found it back in the 1990s.

In the years since, he’s recovered numerous World War II fighter planes from the Lake – now restored and displayed, but Lyssenko’s continuing dream is to do the same with the sub.  But raising, restoring, and finding a home for it would cost, he says, upwards of 50 million dollars.

“That’s huge, but the value to this city and state and country is far, multiplier.  It’s an exponential multiplier of the value,” Lyssenko said.

“If I was a betting person, it’s going to take somebody with a very particular specific interest and desire to see this piece of history come alive again,” Clarke said.

And here’s one more piece of history.  The ship that sunk the UC-97, The USS Wilmette, had different name and purpose a few years earlier.  It was the Steamship Eastland that in 1915 turned onto its side while docked in the Chicago River.  Over 800 lives were lost in one of the worst maritime disasters ever.

The Eastland, later the Wilmette, was cut up for scrap after World War II.  The UC-97 sits at the bottom, this appetizing, unseen pearl of history.

Pearls are expensive, and raising this one, while doable, will most definitely require “digging deep” in many respects.

Source – ABC Local

South Africa – Submarine open days turn ugly over delays

        SAS Charlotte Maxeke
Tempers frayed and tensions rose as hundreds of people who had queued for hours to see the SA Navy’s attack submarine in Port Elizabeth harbour were turned away yesterday.

A few hotheads became aggressive after the long wait.

The SAS Charlotte Maxeke docked on Friday and was berthed near the port’s naval base, the SAS Donkin, where it was to be open for public viewing between 9am and 3pm on Saturday and yesterday.

But the submarine was relocated to another berth on Saturday, causing a three-hour delay. This led to a lot of sightseers being turned away on both days.

Lieutenant Gert van Staaden, of the Port Elizabeth naval cadet base, said port control had ordered the relocation of the submarine because another ship was due to dock near the naval base.

“Moving the sub is not a simple task and takes time,” he said.

In addition, a pontoon, which keeps the vessel from colliding with the side of the quay, had to be put in place at the new berth.

“The submarine was moved at 10am and was open to the public again at 1pm,” said Van Staaden.

“A decision was taken to issue tickets to people, some of whom had been waiting for many hours.

“There were about 100 [people] left at the end of the day and they were given tickets and instructed to return early on Sunday,” he said.

The tours finished at 7pm on Saturday.

But frustrations in the queues arose again yesterday, when scores of ticket holders, some of whom were said to have brought others with them, arrived later than requested and demanded to be taken to the front of the growing queue.

Harbour Master Rajesh Dana said the relocation was in the interests of public safety because another vessel had docked nearby, causing “heavy truck movement” .

“We were also completely overwhelmed by the public interest. Adding to the logistical challenges was that only 10 visitors could go on board at a time.

“To avoid people standing for hours and not getting on board we closed the gates early.”

Dana said improved public access would be introduced as soon as possible.

Source – Times Live

Landlocked USS Dallas to be site of major maritime museum

The USS Dallas, a 362-foot nuclear-powered submarine, will be displayed next to the museum building. The submarine is scheduled for decommissioning in 2014.

Plans are afoot to build a major maritime museum in Dallas. You heard right.

The $80 million Dallas Maritime Museum will be on a 3.5-acre site near the Trinity River, but more than 250 miles from the nearest body of salt water. Plans will be officially announced Friday morning by Mayor Mike Rawlings and members of a foundation formed to create the new facility.

“Dallas is a city of big ideas, and this is just one more example,” said Phillip Jones, president and CEO of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is backing the idea. “Lots of people are excited about this.”

One big idea is to acquire and display the 362-foot nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Dallas next to a 30,000-square-foot museum building. Foundation officials said naval authorities have approved the transfer once the vessel is removed from active duty.

The submarine is scheduled for decommissioning in 2014. It would be another 21/2 years before the vessel is ready for public display.

“By that time we want to have the museum ready,” said John Shellene, the foundation’s executive director. “We’re in the early stage of the fundraising process.”

Shellene said the money will largely come from private sources, though he said backers may apply to the city for additional funding.

Museum plans call for two other major acquisitions besides the submarine. Shellene declined to elaborate, other than to say that one of the exhibits “would excite people not just on the national, but the international, level.”

Rollie Stevens, a retired Navy captain who is the foundation’s president, said the idea was launched in 2009 after he and other local military supporters became aware that the USS Dallas was scheduled to leave active duty.

The idea was also conceived as a way to create an attraction in southern Dallas along the Trinity River Corridor, he said. The foundation has acquired land on Riverfront Boulevard in the Rock Island area for the project.

“We look upon its purpose as education, but also as a living memorial to the contributions North Texas has made to the Navy, the Coast Guard and the merchant marine,” he said.

While the city is not usually regarded as a major seaport, Dallas is still a logical place for a maritime museum, he said.

“It’s important to know that North Texas is the No. 1 recruiting area in the country for the Navy,” he said. “Last year in the Veterans Day parade, the Navy had 100 new recruits, as big as the Army.”

Jones, too, believes North Texas’ strong military tradition makes the museum a logical step. The facility would draw national tours specializing in retirees and military veterans, he said.

“This gives Dallas a good balance of attractions. It’s a needed addition in South Dallas,” Jones said.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based research firm ConsultEcon, commissioned by the foundation to study the feasibility of the museum, did not estimate the number of visitors the facility might attract. Its executive summary concluded, however, the Dallas Maritime Museum “has the potential to be one of the strongest tourist attractions in the city and the state.”

Stevens said visitors would be able to walk through the three levels inside the submarine. Though other cities have submarines, he said, Dallas would be the only place a nuclear-powered attack submarine could be viewed entirely out of water.

The USS Dallas has been part of the American naval defense for 32 years. There has been a lack of major sea battles during that time, but the USS Dallas achieved a kind of notoriety, if only a fictional one, by being a major component of the Tom Clancy thriller The Hunt for Red October.

Its journey to the city after which it is named may be its most epic journey.

After decommissioning ceremonies in Connecticut, the submarine will be towed along the Atlantic seaboard, through the Panama Canal and up the Pacific Coast to Puget Sound, Stevens said.

There the nuclear reactor and other classified components will be removed. The stripped-down vessel will then be towed back through Panama to Houston. The vessel, which is longer than a football field, will be dismantled, and its parts hauled to Dallas on the backs of trucks.

Once here, it will be reassembled.

“It will take a lot of planning,” Shellene said. “But it can be done.”

Description: Los Angeles-class, nuclear-powered, fast attack submarine

Length: 362 feet

Beam: 33 feet

Speed: Greater than 25 knots

Dead weight: 375 long tons, which are each 2,240 pounds

Commissioned: July 18, 1981

Homeport: Groton, Conn.

History: The USS Dallas was the first U.S. Navy ship to be named for the Texas city. It was initially attached to Submarine Development Squadron 12 in New London, Conn., and was used for research and development projects. In 1988, it became a member of Submarine Squadron 2 in New London. It has had one Indian Ocean deployment, three Mediterranean deployments and seven North Atlantic deployments.

Source – Dallas News

UK – Nuclear submarines banned on two lochs following safety failures

DEFENCE watchdogs took action after Navy exercises at Loch Goil and Loch Ewe showed up inadequate plans in the event of accidents.

HMS Ambush
HMS Ambush

NUCLEAR submarines have been banned from two lochs over safety fears.

Three Royal Navy exercises to test responses to simulated submarine accidents in March and April failed assessments by Government safety regulators.

And the MoD’s internal watchdog, the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR), have responded by imposing the ban.

It prohibits nuclear subs from berthing in Loch Goil, near the Faslane naval base on the Clyde, and in Loch Ewe in Wester Ross.

Nuclear subs have been banned from Loch Goil

Loch Goil

 Loch Goil is used for testing the noise range of the Navy’s 11 nuclear subs to ensure they can navigate oceans undetected.

But the DNSR are demanding a satisfactory rerun of Exercise Strathport, which was staged last month, before the subs are allowed in the loch again.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation, who work with the DNSR, said: “Exercise Strathport was deemed an inadequate demonstration as their plan was considered inadequate.

“This needs to be revised and reissued, after which the DNSR and ONR will reinspect as a basis for providing consent to use Loch Goil on a case-by-case basis.”

Nuclear subs have been banned from Loch Ewe

Loch Ewe

Emergency exercises at Loch Ewe have been plagued with problems for years, prompting the DNSR to secretly ban submarines from the loch in 2008.

An exercise late last year failed “due to an inadequate plan, communications and facilities”, said the ONR spokesman.

The DNSR have also ordered an emergency exercise at the nuclear weapons depot at Coulport, near Faslane, to be rerun.

The specifics of the exercises are classified so it is not known what failures were recorded. But in past exercises, there have been communication breakdowns, radiation exposure risks and
failures to properly account for the number of casualties.

John Ainslie, of Scottish CND, said: “We cannot sleep easily in our beds so long as these floating Chernobyls remain in our lochs. The MoD has been given a red card by its own internal regulator. It is clearly not ready to respond to a nuclear accident at Coulport, Loch Goil or Loch Ewe.”

SNP defence spokesman Angus Robertson promised to raise questions in Parliament.

He said: “Any suggestion that there are inadequate safety plans in place will be deeply disturbing to the local communities and to Scotland as a whole.”

The MoD last night declined to say what impact the loch bans might have on their submarine operations.

A spokesman said: “The MoD takes its nuclear safety responsibilities seriously and conducts regular training to maintain high standards.

“We are taking steps to address issues raised by regulators following recent exercises but there is no risk of harm to the public or to the environment. The Royal Navy continues to operate submarines safely out of HM Naval Base Clyde.”

Source – Daily Record

U36: Another Fuel Cell Submarine for the German Navy

HDW Class 212A submarine

One of the most modern non-nuclear submarines in the world has been named during a ceremony at the shipyard of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems GmbH, a company of ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions AG. This marks another important milestone in the ongoing shipbuilding programme for the German Navy: U36 is the second boat of the second batch of HDW Class 212A submarines destined for operation in the Navy. The German town of Plauen has assumed sponsorship for U36. The ultra-modern submarine was named by Silke Elsner, companion to the Mayor.

The contract to deliver a second batch of two HDW Class 212A submarines was signed on 22nd September 2006 in Koblenz with the German Office for Military Technology and Procurement/BWB (now the German Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Employment of the Bundeswehr/BAAINBW). The submarine building activities are taking place at the shipyards of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in Kiel and Emder Werft- und Dockbetriebe in Emden.

The two additional units will be largely identical to their sister ships from the first batch. They are also equipped with the HDW air-independent fuel cell propulsion system which has already given excellent results in operations with the boats of the first batch. The German Navy submarine U32 gave renewed proof of this in April 2013. On the way to participate in naval exercises in the USA the boat produced a new record for non-nuclear submarines with 18 days in submerged transit without snorkelling.

To meet changes in operational scenarios and to take constant technological advances into account, a number of modifications have been made in the second batch:

  • Integration of a communications system for Network Centric Warfare
  • Installation of an integrated Sonar and Command and Weapon Control System
  • Installation of a superficial lateral antenna sonar
  • Replacement of one periscope by an optronics mast
  • Installation of a hoistable mast with towable antenna-bearing buoy to enable communication from the deep submerged submarine
  • Integration of a lock system for Special Operation Forces
  • Tropicalisation to enable world-wide operations.

The Italian Navy has also decided in favour of a second batch of two HDW Class 212A submarines, which are being built under licence by the Italian shipyard Fincantieri. That means that the Italian Navy will soon also have four boats of this class available for operations.

U36 – Technical Data:

General boat data:
Length over all: approx. 57 m
Height including sail: approx. 11.5 m
Maximum hull diameter: approx. 7 m
Displacement: approx. 1,500 t
Crew: 28
Pressure hull built of non-magnetic steel

Propulsion system:
Diesel generator
SIEMENS Permasyn® motor
HDW fuel cell system [SIEMENS PEM fuel cell]
Low-noise skew-back propeller

Source – Fuel Cell Today

Mystery of French submarine disasters can never be unveiled


Mystery of French submarine disasters can never be unveiled. 50107.jpeg


The death, or rather, sudden disappearance of Eridis submarine of the French fleet stirred heated debate in the world. The tragedy occurred early in the morning on March 4, 1970. Despite the fact that the site of the tragedy was found almost immediately, it took specialists almost two months to find the submarine itself. This is not the only mysterious detail about the disaster.

Generally, there is very little information about French submarine Eridis. In contrast, dozens of books have been written and several documentaries have been made about the death of Russia’s Kursk submarine. A well-known documentary on the Kursk disaster was filmed by famous French journalist Jean-Michel Carre. The reason and basis for the film, as the author of the film admits, was the article published on the Pravda.Ru website three years after the death of the Kursk.

During the International Film Festival of marine and adventure films “The Sea is Calling,” which takes place in St. Petersburg, the author of this article had a chance to talk to the former commander of France’s third nuclear submarine, Rear Admiral Jean-Marie Mate. The admiral did not reveal any special secrets about the Eridis other than those that can be found in the open press, albeit in limited quantities. Jean-Marie Mate pointed out that submariners, whatever their nationality might be, always remain heroes. Figuratively speaking, they have only one nationality that is directly connected with their profession that is equally difficult and dangerous in all navies of the world.

But still, why did the death of Eridis submarine receive so little attention in the press, books and movies? The disappearance and death of this submarine in the Mediterranean Sea used to be a worldwide sensation … The secret of secrets. However, we managed to find some information on the subject. We had to resort to the help of translators from French and dig into into the archives of the Russian, or more precisely, Soviet Navy (the Russian military also investigated the disaster). Here’s what we found out.

The Eridis submarine belonged to the Daphne class of diesel-electric submarines. There were eleven submarines of this type built for the French Navy, and all of them were named after mythical goddesses, nymphs and dryads. Submarines of this class were built for the navies as Spain, Portugal, South Africa and Pakistan. The full water displacement of the submarine made up a little more than a thousand tons. It was about 58 meters long and was outfitted with 12 torpedo tubes (which was a bit more than any Russian submarine of the class had).

According to historical information that can be found in Russian sources, the construction of submarine S-644 Eurydice began in July 1958 at Direction des Constructions et Armes Navales shipyard in Cherbourg. The sub was launched on June 19, 1960, and on September 26, 1964 the submarine was passed into service. Its service was common for French submarines: combat training of the crew, patrolling the southern coast of France and North Africa and escorting civilian vessels with important goods. The Eridis has never traveled outside the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Early in the morning of March 4, 1970, the Eridis left the base of Saint-Tropez. There were 57 people on board. At sea, the submarine, in cooperation with aviation, was supposed to exercise the search and conventional attack against a submarine of a potential enemy. For this purpose, the Eridis was in touch with the basic patrol plane Atlantic that took off from Nimes-Garon naval air base. The sea seemed to be calm at first. Interestingly, pilots saw the periscope breaker of the Eridis when the sub was about seven miles to the south-east off Cape Camara. Communication was normal. Suddenly, early in the morning, at 7.13 a.m. local time, messages from the Eridis ceased to arrive. The Atlantic aircraft lost the radar contact with the submarine …

In his last radio message, the submarine commander said that he was taking the course in the area of ​​the exercise and was preparing to submerge. Very quickly, almost immediately after the break of connection, naval aircraft and anti-submarine vessels began to look for the lost vessel. The French navy sent everything that was available into the sea: surface ships Surcouf, Dyuper, Picard, Vendée, Alert, Arago, Jean Charcot, six minesweepers, Daphne and Doris submarines, as well as airplanes and helicopters. The Italians and Americans also took part in the search: they sent four minesweepers and the Skylark rescue boat.

The approximate area of ​​the death of Eridis was found quickly. The place, where patrol aircraft Atlantic saw the submarine during the last session, was found as well. A large spot of diesel fuel, pieces of plywood and a punch card with the name “Eridis” were found some time later. The remains of the submarine proved that the submarine had sunk. Experts began to investigate the disappearance of the submarine. They analyzed samples of the diesel fuel that was found on the water surface. The analysis showed that the fuel had a high content of sulfur, which was characteristic of the fuel of the lost submarine.

Four days after the start of the search, the administration of the French Navy announced the Eridis and 57 members of its crew perished. Officers on rescue ships removed their caps, and all ships of the French fleet blared their horns in memory of the victims.

Some time later, after analyzing the data of seismographs of coastal surveying laboratories, it was found that there was an explosion recorded on March 4th, at 7.28 a.m.. The place, where the tragedy occurred, was found quickly. However, it took specialists quite a while to find the submarine itself.

The relatives of the dead sailors demanded the submarine be found at all costs and the cause of its death be established. The French government asked the United States to assist in the search for Eridis. American rescue ship Mizar arrived in Toulon: the vessel successfully demonstrated her abilities during the search for the Thresher submarine. It was only on April 22, more than 1.5 months after the death of the submarine, when the Americans detected and identified several large fragments of Eridis scattered at depths from 600 to 1,100 meters …

It was later found that a large fragment of the stern of the Eridis was resting in the center of a strange crater that was 30 meters in diameter. All metal fragments of the sub were strangely twisted and deformed. European newspapers started guessing. Design flaws? Crew error? The version about alien intervention was especially popular during that time. Some suggested that the Eridis collided with a merchant vessel. Indeed, Tunisian, Argentine and Greek cargo ships traveled across the area, where the accident occurred.

The results of the investigation have never been exposed to the general public. The death of the Eridis caused national shock in France. A few years before, three French submarines sank with their crews near Toulon, one after another. On December 6, 1946, U-2326 submarine tragically sank (France received the submarine after the defeat of Nazi Germany). On September 23, 1952, submarine Sibylle was lost (former British R.229 Sportsman). January 27, 1968 became the day when France lost Minerve sub (of the same type with Eridis).

The reasons of those disasters remain a mystery. Is there a Bermuda Triangle in the Mediterranean Sea?

In Toulon, at one of the main bases of the French Navy, a monument to the dead submariners was erected. The French still go there to honor the memory of the dead submariners.

Source – English Pravda

Singapore and Australia sign submarine rescue arrangement

RAN's Chief of Navy Vice-Admiral Ray Griggs (left) and RSN's Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Ng Chee Peng (right) at the signing the Submarine Rescue Arrangement on board the RSN’s submarine rescue and support vessel, MV Swift Rescue.

RAN’s Chief of Navy Vice-Admiral Ray Griggs (left) and RSN’s Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Ng Chee Peng (right) at the signing the Submarine Rescue Arrangement on board the RSN’s submarine rescue and support vessel, MV Swift Rescue.

SINGAPORE – The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)’s Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Ng Chee Peng signed the Submarine Rescue Arrangement with Royal Australian Navy (RAN)’s Chief of Navy Vice-Admiral Ray Griggs earlier today.

The agreement was signed on board the RSN’s submarine rescue and support vessel, MV Swift Rescue.

The Submarine Rescue Arrangement establishes a framework between the RSN and RAN in the area of submarine rescue support and cooperation. Under the arrangement, the RSN will make available to the RAN MV Swift Rescue and other resources to render support and assistance in the event of an RAN submarine incident.

The Ministry of Defence said that the Submarine Rescue Arrangement reaffirms the close and long-standing bilateral defence relationship between Singapore and Australia, where both armed forces interact frequently through exercises, visits, professional exchanges and military courses.

Source – Asia One

Japan – Military to respond to submarines entering territorial waters, PM Abe warns

Military to respond to submarines entering territorial waters, PM Abe warns

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has once again issued a warning against any intrusion into Japan’s territorial waters, this time referring to foreign submarines that will attempt to pass through underwater. This is in response to the Defense Ministry’s report that a foreign submarine was spotted just outside the contiguous zone, south of Kumejima Island in Okinawa Prefecture on Tuesday.

The contiguous zone is a 12 nautical mile strip outside territorial waters so the submarine still did not violate any international laws. Rules state that vessels can pass freely through the waters given that their intentions are peaceful. Submarines are required to surface and display their national flags if they are already navigating in territorial waters. There is still no indication from what country the spotted vessel was but Ministry officials have said that they probably belong to the Chinese Navy.

Abe told the parliament that submarines entering territorial waters is a “serious issue” and would require maritime security action. This indicates that the Ministry could direct Japan’s Self Defense Forces to move if there would be any confirmed intrusion. This incident, while not violating any laws, is too close to reports of three Chinese government ships that were near the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands last Monday. The Japanese Coast Guard says that this is the 43rd incident of Chinese ships entering Japanese waters since September 2012.

While observers do not believe that China would mount any actual attack or military move on the waters, it is just further proof of them boasting their naval and military capabilities. They have been criticized for showing off an aggressive stance against countries that have a territorial dispute with them, particularly Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan.

Foreign submarine  spotted near Japanese territorial waters

Foreign submarine spotted near Japanese territorial watersA foreign submarine was detected in a contiguous zone just outside Japanese territorial waters south of Kumejima Island in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan’s Defense Ministry revealed on Tuesday. Ministry officials did not elaborate on the submarine vessel’s country of origin, but a government source revealed that the sub likely belonged to the Chinese Navy.

“I was prepared to order ‘maritime security operations’ immediately upon getting approval from the Prime Minister (Shinzo Abe), if the submarine entered Japan’s territorial waters,” Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters on May 13. Under the current Self-Defense Forces Law, Onodera has the authority to order Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) units to conduct whatever was necessary to protect Japanese lives and property at risk, and to maintain the nation’s security at sea. These circumstances, often termed as “maritime security operations,” allow the SDF to use weapons in lawful self-defense and emergency evacuation of citizens. The last time such an order was made was in November 2004, when a Chinese submarine entered Japan’s territorial waters – the area around the Sakishima island chain in Okinawa Prefecture. The latest case did not involve any incursion into Japanese territorial waters, but Onodera is believed to have mentioned such information as a stern warning to any country that may have been involved.

It is known that international law does not prohibit submarines from entering contiguous zones such as in this incident. It is a calculated tact by Japan’s Defense Ministry to make the latest incident public because of the fact that the passage through the contiguous zone was over a prolonged period of time, which made it very unusual. Tense maritime situations have been par for the course with China and Japan as the territorial dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu island chain continues to drag on. On Monday, three Chinese maritime surface ships broke the 12-nautical-mile rule and approached one of the islands, which according to the Japanese Coast Guard was the 43rd incident where Chinese ships in the area entered Japanese territorial waters since September 2012. This incident, including the submarine issue, is causing further tension in an already escalating situation.

Source – JDP

UK – Periscopes Are Returned To WW2 Submarine In Gosport


The periscopes of the historic HMS Alliance were returned by a giant crane today as part of a £7m conservation project to restore the only surviving WW2 era A-class submarine sited at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport, Hampshire.  The periscopes have been conserved by the Babcock International Group at the submarine base Faslane in Scotland.

HMS Alliance was equipped with two 40ft periscopes, one for general use and one for attack. The Attack scope is made of bronze and dates from the submarine’s construction in 1945. Both periscopes were removed last year for restoration. The returned periscopes will be fully functional and allow visitors to HMS Alliance, the opportunity to view Portsmouth Harbour where the historic submarine is based.

Bob Mealings, Curator at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum said, “Before the restoration visitors on-board HMS Alliance could not use either periscope. Now they will for be able to look through the scopes for the first time in thirty years. The views will be amazing.”

The Museum’s restoration contractor ML UK Ltd, based in Portsmouth, will be using two large cranes to re position the historic periscopes. The periscopes will then be set for the best view in elevation and power.

The conservation project to restore HMS Alliance will be completed in Spring 2014, meanwhile the Submarine Museum is open to visitors, however HMS Alliance will be temporarily closed while the periscopes are refitted.  HMS Alliance will reopen Tuesday 21 May.

For more information on the Saving HMS Alliance Project, visit

Source – About My Area

Crew of first Vietnamese submarine to make five 10-days sea voyages

The sea part of the training of the crew of the first Project 636 submarine built for the Vietnamese Navy has begun in the village of Svetly near Kaliningrad, a source in the Russian shipbuilding industry told Interfax-AVN.

“The theoretical, coastal part was followed by the sea part of the training, which includes five 10-days sea voyages,” the source said.

“Since the beginning of the factory trials, which included tests by the customer’s representatives, the first export series submarine has successfully conducted 23 dives,” he said.

In 2013, the shipbuilding enterprise Admiralteiskiye Verfi will provide to the Vietnamese Navy the first two diesel electric Project 6363 Varshanyanka submarines  of the six submarines envisioned by the contract, a source in the Russian defense industry told Interfax earlier.

The contract for the supply of six diesel electric Project 6363 submarines was signed in 2009 during a visit to Moscow by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

Besides, submarine construction, the contract envisions the training of Vietnamese crews and the supply of the needed equipment and technical property.

Project 6363 diesel electric submarines are third-generation submarines. These submarines have a good modernization potential that makes it possible to integrate new weapons, including the anti-ship missile system Club, which considerably expands the target area.

A training center is created to train the crews of the Vietnamese submarines in Kamran with assistance from  the ST. Petersburg OAO Concern NPO Avrora.

The enterprise developed and created five systems for these submarines, specifically, the computerized information system Lama and the submarine management system Palladiy.

Source – Russia Beyond the Headlines