A Class

Large Patrol Submarine

  • A Class Submarine
  • Acheron 1960
  • Aeneas
  • Affray
  • Alaric
  • Alcide
  • Alderney
  • Alliance 1947
  • Ambush 1947
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The war in the Pacific in 1941 kick-started some rethinking of the Royal Navy submarine policy.   Up until this time none of the existing British submarines had an adequate operational range.

It was decided to design a completely new class of submarine with much greater operational range and increased surface speed.   At the same time it was decided to introduce new technical advances, the most important being the all-welded hull.

Until now the Royal Navy had not considered the 'Snorkel' worth having although it had by now been used for some time by the German submarine service, it was now decided to fit this class with the snort mast.   The result was one of the best designed of all 'traditional' (diesel), type of submarine.   They had good sea performance, good armament and a greatly reduced underwater noise level.

Another first was the skipping of the letters X, Y and Z and once again the Royal Navy submarine service was starting with the 'A' class, some improvement on the original type.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) this class were not completed in time for too many of the boats to take part in WWII as they were delivered between 1945 and 1948.   They served for many years and were effectively the backbone of the submarine service until the introduction of the Porpoise and Oberon class submarine.   They had modifications carried out as will be seen by the boat profiles.

The last of the 'A' class to be in service was the Andrew who completed her service in 1974.

16 Built

Acheron

HM Dockyard, Chatham.
1944 -1948
Alcide
Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness.
1945 - 1948
Alderney
Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness.
1945 - 1948
Alliance
Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness.
1945 - 1948
Ambush
Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness.
1945 - 1948
Anchorite
Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness.
1945 - 1948
Andrew
Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness.
1945 - 1948
Amphion
Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness.
1945 - 1948
Astute
Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness.
1945 - 1948
Auriga
Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness.
1945 - 1948
Aurochs
Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness
1945 - 1948

Aeneas
Cammell Laird, Birkenhead.
1944 - 1946
Affray
Cammell Laird, Birkenhead.
1944 - 1946
Alaric
Cammell Laird, Birkenhead.
1944 - 1946

Artemis
Scotts, Greenock.
1944 - 1948
Artful
Scotts, Greenock.
1944 - 1948

Technical Information
























Displacement:
1385 sf 1620 sm

Length (ft):
281.33 oa

Breadth (ft):
22.25

Draught/Height (ft):
17

Machinery:
Two shafts, 8 cylinder Admiralty or Vickers diesel engines 4,300 bhp
English Electric motors 1,250 shp

Speed (kts):
18.5 sf
8.0 sm

Oil Supply (tons):
159-165

Armament:
10 x 21 inch torpedo tubes, 20 reloads.
1 x 4 inch Quick firing gun.
3 x .303 Vickers machine guns.
1 x 20mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft mounting.
26 mines.

Range:
10,500 miles at 11 kts sf.
16 miles at 8 kts sm.
90 miles at 3 kts sm.

Complement:
61