HMS Alliance as a museum vessel, soon to rejoin the Royal Navy submarine flotilla.
Admiral Tubworthy-Pollock has announced today that Museum submarine HMS Alliance is to be recommissioned back into active service with the Royal Navy.“With our submarine fleet rather below optimum size for the sustained tempo of operations currently undertaken, we saw what superb restoration work those fine chaps down in Gosport had done and the opportunity to operate this valuable asset was too good to miss” HMS Alliance was built in 1947 but with a recent £7 million refit, mostly funded by the national lottery, has made her look “good as new”. The idea was inspired by the Indian navy which is still operating the ex-HMS Hermes, laid down in 1944. If they can keep such an old vessel running so can we!
The RN also faces a chronic shortage of trained submariners but the admiral says there are lots of veterans who are really keen to go back to sea. “Alliance will be manned by volunteer former submariners. We may have to restrict operations to weekends but I’m sure they will give any Russian vessels straying into UK waters something to think about. Some of the less sprightly crew will really appreciate the handy wheelchair access added when she was a museum”.
Museum vessels HMS Warrior (1860), HMS Caroline (1914), HMS Belfast (1939), HMS Cavalier (1944) and HMS Ocelot (1964) will also be re-activated. No new vessels are due to join the Royal Navy at all in 2014 or 2015 so it was felt time to “think outside of the box”. With the RN down to just 19 frigates and destroyers, re-activating these four fine veterans will increase the strength of our escort fleet by a whopping 21% at minimal cost to the taxpayer.
“As BAE Systems is not involved in any way whatsoever, this project is guaranteed to save us money” says Captain Ian Rodgerard, leader of the Surface Platforms Leveraging of Assets Team (SPLAT). There are concerns that some of these vessels may be a little obsolete or not strictly seaworthy. “Many obsolete vessels have been sent off to war it times past and still come through. With a lick of paint and a plenty of British fighting spirit these vessels will be fine additions to the Royal Navy”
There is some dismay that the loss of these museum ships to active service will be a blow to the UK tourist and heritage industry. “Don’t worry, the taxpayer will keep funding the RAF Red Arrows to keep looping the loop and trailing red, white and blue smoke all over the country. They’re great for tourism, they help remind foreigners just how great we are” says Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Bruntingsuch, Chief of the Defence Staff.
“We also looked long and hard at re-activating HMS Victory but it was felt our new French allies would be too upset by this” said an MoD spokesperson.