A Submarine has always been an important part of any naval combat. Submarines are perfect combination of stealth and attack along with providing a strong defense, when time for it comes. Submarines have been in use for a long time now. Some have outperformed the others.
Here is a list of best submarines to have existed.
1. Type VII U-Boat, Germany
It is one of the most famous submarines in the world, mainly because of the detrimental role it played during wars in the past. Constructed by the Germans, especially at a time when special efforts were being made to improve the submarine technology, this particular sub was based on the technology used in WWI.
However, it was refined, more combat friendly and deadlier than before. Several submarine designs were launched under this particular design. It had a maximum speed of 8 knots, was equipped with torpedo tubes, deck guns and anti aircraft guns. These submarines could penetrate to depths of up to 200 meter. They were the best non nuclear submarines to have existed then. All the ships made under this design were made with an intention to provide maximum security to the German forces. However, of 700 submarines launched during WWII, many were lost.
2. Seawolf Class
A breakthrough in submarine technology occurred when Seawolf Class Submarine was launched by the US navy at end of cold war. In 1989, this was one of the deadliest nuke submarines. It had a total length of over 107 m, with a 12 m beam. It could attain a maximum surface speed of about 35 knots and could hold a crew of 40 members. Powered with torpedo tubes, it was a submarine designed to defend as well as attack.
This submarine classifies its place in the submarine history as one of the best combative subs to have existed. Its best feature was that it could lurk silently in the water, adding to its artillery capacity. It was a shame that of 29 ordered subs, only three could be completed. On the flip side, all the three of those subs continue to be in service even today.
3. Gato Class
One of the most well known submarines in the history of US navy are those belonging to the Gato class, along with its successors like that Balao and Tench class subs. Provided with large inside space, deck guns and torpedo tubes, it was always ready to move into the water and serve its duty. The SONAR system of these subs is considered to be one of the best with a range of 20,000 miles.
It had a maximum submerged speed of 8 ¾ knots with a diving depth of up to 300 meter. Loaded with weapons like the deck gun, anti aircraft gun, torpedo tubes and smaller caliber guns in range of 30 to 50 caliber. This submarine could remain submerged for over 75 days without having to break the water surface. Even though its successors come with improved features, Gato Class was one of the best submarines in the US navy.
4. T Boat Submarine
Making its name in the submarine history is the T boat submarine, a sub that the British army heavily relied upon during WWII. Powered with 2500/1450 HP diesel or electric engines, this sub could reach a speed of up to 9 knots when under water. At 275 ft long, it could accommodate a total of 59 men. This submarine carried state of the art machinery and weapons that included 14” gun, ten 21” torpedo tubes and 16 torpedoes.
Besides these, several submarines with slightly varying designs made under this class were specially designed with a smaller hull that made them even better at stealth. Many of the subs from this class were lost during the span of the war but as long as they lasted, they made significant contributions to the British end of the war.
With this submarine, US navy made another significant contribution to the submarine history. It has the credit of having been the first nuclear powered submarine of the world, a technological wonder for its time. Made by a company in Connecticut, it was first launched in 1954. At a whooping 323 feet length, it had a displacing capacity of 4,092 tons. A highly refined nuclear powered engine meant this submarine could move like no other sub ever before. Its submerged speed could reach a never attained before speed of 23 knots. Besides a nuclear engine, it flaunted off six 21 inch torpedo tubes.
The biggest advantage at US navy’s disposal with Nautilis was that it did not need to emerge from the water for months for refueling. This was a breakthrough in technology. It served for several years till 1980 when it was finally decommissioned.
References: uboat, mackinnon, leetsubmarine, hnsa, americanhistory, discovery, peopleforum
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