Our thanks to Bob Fousert for alerting us to this story:
In an exclusive report we have been made aware today of a leaked Ministry of Defence (MOD) Navy document which reveals that secret trials have recently taken place involving the use of England's canal system by Royal Navy (RN) submarines.
When questioned, Royal Navy spokesperson, Lt Commander Flair Pool, confirmed that the Admiralty has been concerned for quite a while about the time and distance it takes their submarines, both nuclear and conventional, to redeploy from the North Sea/English Channel into the Irish Sea and subsequently to join the Atlantic Fleet.
When questioned further, Lt Cdr Pool said the trials, held over the winter months, when canal usage was at a minimum, had involved the movement of submarines from the English Channel via the river Thames, along the Kennet and Avon Canal to the River Avon and then on into the Bristol Channel.
It is understood that following their success, further trials are to take place utilising the Grand Union and Shropshire Union Canals, enabling the submarines to deploy rapidly with the North Atlantic Fleet via the River Mersey and the Irish Sea.
This will also enable submarines to return by the most direct route to the Royal Naval Base at Faslane for repairs and refits.
However, Lt Cdr Pool explained that these further trials would only proceed as soon as an extensive programme of lock enlargement had taken place, commencing in the late Spring.
AudlemOnline understands that this will undoubtedly involve the Audlem locks which, once enlarged, will be limited to a maximum of three in order to significantly reduce the time taken to pass through them.
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