Experimental Submarines

Nautilus Class

Experimental Nautilus Class Submarine

Nautilus resulted from Keyes' desire to produce an ocean going submarine with greatly improved se keeping qulities for extended operations in all conditions of weather. The design produced by Vickers was for a submarine twice the size of the standard E class overseas submarines. Keyes'expected the results of the trials to decide the future of the big submarine in the British Navy.

The specifications for Nautilus were far outside of what could be attained at the time. This situation at least prevailed with respect to the propulsive machinery, there simply existed no diesel engine with the required power. It remains a mystery to this day how it was possible to order the construction of a vessel of which it was known that the production of the required power plant was simply out of the question.

Nautilus was attached to 6th Flotilla at Portsmouth from 1917, she never became operation and remained moored in a dockyard basin serving as a battery charging vessel.

1 Built

Later (N1)

Vickers, Barrow-in-Furness


Technical Information

1,441 sf
2,026 sm

Length (Metric):

Breadth (Metric):

Draught/Height (Metric):

Vickers 12 cylinder diesels 3,700hp
2 Electric Motor 1,000hp.
Twin Screws (3 bladed)

Speed (kts):
17 kts sf
10 kts sm

Oil Supply (tons):

8 x 18 inch tubes (2 bow), (4 beam), (2 stern).
1 x 3 inch AA gun.

5,300 nm at 11 knots sf
72 nm max.

42 Officers and Ratings