Porpoise Class


Porpoise Class

Country: United Kingdom

At the end of the Second World War the victorious Allies made great efforts to obtain the latest information and technology from the German forces and industry. The development of submarines and in particular the Type XXI U-boat was a great influence on many navies, not least the Royal Navy. The Porpoise Class were the first British submarines built after the war to benefit from the German advances. This Class of eight-diesel-electric boats changed the actual operating techniques used by the Royal Navy. They were designed from the beginning to actually operate while submerged rather than as before when they had been used more like a surface ship that could temporarily operate underwater.

The rather large Porpoise Class were considerably quieter than their American contemporaries and had very effective long-range sensor equipment.

This class was the first to not have a gun on the deck. These diesel-electric boats were far more capable than previous submarine classes and could operate for prolonged periods underwater thanks to much improved breathing systems. The class also performed well in clandestine operations, such as surveillance and inserting special forces.

Although the first Porpoise Class boat was launched in 1958 the weaponry was upgraded in 1970 to operate the Mk 24 Tigerfish torpedo. These submarines were effective against the ever increasing threat of the Soviet Union’s submarine fleet but they were all removed from service during the 1980s.

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