Oberon Class (1961) SSK

The Oberon Class (1961) when built were the quietest diesel-electric submarines in the world, and were successful in export markets.
(In addition to the 13 built for the Royal Navy, 6 were built for the Royal Australian navy, 3 for the Canadian Navy, and 4 for Brazil.)

They were developed from the previous Porpoise Class (1958).
As such they retained the Porpoise hull form, and the noise-reduction improvements of the last two Porpoise boats. But were built from improved steel to achieve a reputed diving depth of 1000ft (300m).

They saw action during the Falklands war of 1982, undertaking minelaying work (HMS Osiris) as well as inserting Special Boat Service units (HMS Onyx). 

They also saw action during the Gulf War of 1991. Duties were classified but were clearly insertion and recovery of Special Forces for reconnaissance. HMS Opossum was photographed on her return to Portsmouth wearing 'Desert Camouflage'. 

They underwent a major modernisation in the 1980's with new bow sonar, Type 2051 which can be identified by it's faired sonar dome.; a new DCH combat system, and UAL electronic warfare system.

The first to be paid off was HMS Oberon in 1986, and last was HMS Orpheus in 1996.


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This page last edited - 20 January, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.