Feb 19, 2015


British submarine design took a decisive turn away from Holland’s concepts with the development of the D class, which entered service in 1908. These much larger boats introduced saddle tanks for ballast and marked the British shift to long-range craft optimized for surface operation and seaworthiness. They set the pattern for subsequent British development that was broken only by the R class, built as antisubmarine platforms and optimized for underwater performance, which entered service very late in World War I.

R-1 (24 April 1918), R-2 (25 April 1918), R-3 (8 June 1918), R-4 (8 June 1918)
Builder: Chatham
R-7 (14 May 1918), R-8 (28 June 1918)
Builder: Barrow
R- 9 (12 August 1918), R- 10 (5 October 1918)
Builder: Armstrong
R-11 (16 March 1918), R-12 (9 April 1918)
Builder: Cammell Laird
Displacement: 410 tons (surfaced), 503tons (submerged)
Dimensions: 153990 x 15930 x 11960
Machinery: 1 diesel engine, 1 electric motor, 1 shaft. 240 bhp/1200 shp = 9.5/15knots
Range : 2000 nm at 8 knots surfaced; submerged characteristics unknown
Armament: 6 x 180 torpedo tubes (bow), total 12 torpedoes
Complement: 22
Notes: The Admiralty designed this class as fast boats that could overtake and sink enemy submarines. The hull cross-section duplicated that of the H class: the hull form was similar, and the whole external form was streamlined for superior underwater performance. Machinery was half an H-class installation. The bow compartment contained five powerful, sensitive hydrophones with suitable direction-finding equipment to locate and target submarines underwater. These boats met all expectations, but the end of World War I seemed to terminate their mission; they were discarded in February 1923.