fighting ships of the world



'V' submarines (1915-1916)

V4 1916

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
V1 I2A   Vickers, Barrow 11/1912 23/7/1914 5/1915 sold 11/1921
V2 I3A   Vickers, Barrow 10/1913 17/2/1915 11/1915 sold 11/1921
V3 I4A   Vickers, Barrow 1/1914 1/4/1915 1/1916 sold 10/1920
V4 I5A   Vickers, Barrow 2/1914 25/11/1915 3/1916 sold 10/1920


Displacement standard, t


Displacement normal, t

V1: 386 / 453

V2 - 4: 391 / 457

Length, m

V1: 43.9

V2 - 4: 45.0

Breadth, m

V1: 5.03

V2 - 4: 4.96

Draught, m


No of shafts



2 8-cyl Vickers diesels / 2 electric motors

Power, h. p.

V1: 900 / 450

V2 - 4: 900 / 380

Max speed, kts

14 / 8.5

Fuel, t

diesel oil

Endurance, nm(kts) 3000(9) / 50(5)


2 - 450 TT (bow, 4)



Diving depth operational, m 30

Ship project history: The February 1912 Submarine Committee recommended two new types for development, an overseas type displacing 1000t on the surface and a coastal type of 250-300t. The large type emerged as the Nautilus and the coastal type emerged as the 'S' and 'F' types, but Vickers produced their own design to meet the requirement, and in the mood of experiment current in the RN Submarine Service it was accepted. There was a close resemblance to the 'S' design for the Vickers boats also adopted a partial double hull. It extended over about 22.9m amidships, as against 13.7m in the 'S' design. The battery capacity was low: 132 Exide cells as against 166 in the 'C class. Even the 'A' class, on half the displacement, had 120 cells. The result was that the 'V' class were short of underwater endurance but in spite of that they had no difficulty in reaching their designed speed. Two types of electric motors were used: V1's were made by Laurence Scott with 300hp as designed, whereas V 2-V 4's came from the Don Works, which had provided motors for previous classes.

V 2-V 4 differed from the prototype because two lots of two 2 tin frames had been added, in the battery tank compartment and the torpedo compartment respectively. As the foremost tank compartment was then shortened by two frames, the total increase in length was 1.1m. V1 was authorised under the 1912-13 Programme and ordered in March 1913 (Vickers had already started her on 11 December 1912). Three more were ordered in August 1913 under the 1913-14 Programme.

Modernizations: None.

Naval service: No significant events.

V3 1916

Ivan Gogin, 2008-13