Cosmos-class submarine

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Cosmos-class submarine
Cosmos Class Submarine.jpg
Class overview

Design: Cos.Mo.S. in Livorno, Italy

Construction and Design: KESW Ltd. in Karachi, Pakistan
Operators:  Pakistan Navy
Preceded by: SX-404 class
Succeeded by: Dolgorae class (South Korea)
Built: 1993–96
Planned: 3
On order: 3
Completed: 3
Active: 3
General characteristics
Type: SDV/Midget submarine
  • Surfaced: 102 tons
  • Submerged: 110 tons
Length: 28 m (91 ft 10 in)
Beam: 2.30 m (7 ft 7 in)
Draft: 5.59 m (18 ft 4 in)
Propulsion: Diesel-electric
  • Surfaced: 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph)
  • Submerged: 6.0 knots (11.1 km/h; 6.9 mph)
Range: 2,500 miles (4,000 km)
Endurance: 20 days
Test depth: 110 m (360 ft)
Complement: 14, (6 operations, 2 SEAL Teams)
  • Torpedo Firing Tubes
  • Mine Laying Hooks

The Cosmos-class submarine, the local designation as X-Craft[1], are the class of Swimmer Delivery Vehicle (SDV) and midget submarine designed by the Italian firm, the Cosmos, in Karachi Naval Dockyard in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.[2]

The Cosmos-class submarines are currently stationed in PNS Iqbal and are used as the SDV for the SEAL Teams of the Navy Special Service Group, since 1993.[2] Despite classified as submarine by its builder in Karachi, the Cosmos, nonetheless, fall under the responsibility of the Naval Strategic Forces Command for planning development while the Commander of the Coastal Areas remains in charge for the operational deployments only.[1]

Design overview[edit]

Design was initially conceived in 1983–85 in Italy for the COMSUBIN (special forces) of the Marina Militare (Italian Navy), which was already operating a large fleet of midget class submarines in their inventory.:270-271[3] The Italian firm, Cosmos, had initially designed for the eight submarines, alongside with the designs of three Dolgorae-class submarine for the Republic of Korea Navy in 1983.:84[4]

The Cosmos-class submarines are 28 m (91 ft 10 in):270[3] (sources vary with noting the length at 27.25 m (89 ft 5 in))[2] long, and with one propellent that is powered with diesel-electric engine.:270[3] The Cosmos are more capable of conducting the operations than their predecessor design, the SX-404-class submarine in 1970s.:270[3] The submarine range is between 1,800 miles (2,897 km) at 6.0 knots (11.1 km/h; 6.9 mph) in diving capability and has an endurance of up to twenty days in sea.:86-87[5] The Cosmos can launch the Mark 5 torpedo from the standard 533 mm torpedo tubes according to the research paper published by Massimo Annati in 1996 at the United States Naval Academy in Maryland, United States.:88[5]

In 1990, the Pakistan Navy entered in discussion with the Marina Militare (Italian Navy) of procuring these submarines in a view of decommissioning the SX-404-class submarines that was bought from Italy in 1970.:270[3] The three designs of the Cosmos were originally intended for the export to the Republic of Korea Navy in 1983, which was already seeking the Dolgorae design.:84[4]

In 1990s, Pakistan bought the proprietary designs and had the engineers from the Italian firm, the Cosmos Spa, to re-design and constructed the Cosmos-class submarines in a joint venture with the KESW Ltd. at the Karachi Naval Dockyard in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.:172[6] The KESW Ltd. received the production license for the Cosmos for export from her manufacturer and the first ship of her class was commissioned in the Navy in 1993.[2] Two other submarines were entered in service in 1993 and 1996 respectively.[2] The Cosmos serves as the swimmer delivery vehicle (SDV) for the Navy Special Service Group and were initially under their control until 2005 while stationed at PNS Iqbal in Karachi.[1]

In 2005, the Cosmos control was given to the Commander Submarines (COMSUBS) for the operational deployments but later the control of the submarines were given back to the Navy Special Service Group under Command of the Coastal Areas (COMCOAST) for operational deployment while its engineering and maintenance remains under the Naval Strategic Forces Command.[1]

As of 2019, there are three Cosmos-class submarines that are active in the Navy as shown below:

 Name   Builder   Launched   Commissioned   Decommissioned   Status 
KESW Ltd 1993 Active
KESW Ltd 1993 Active
KESW Ltd 1993 1996 Active


  1. ^ a b c d "Submarine Force". Navy ISPR. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e Pike, John. "Cosmos Class MG110". global Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e Tunander, Ola (2004). The Secret War Against Sweden: US and British Submarine Deception in the 1980s. London, UK: Psychology Press. p. 333. ISBN 9780714653228. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  4. ^ a b Thornton, W. M. (1996). Submarine Insignia and Submarine Services of the World. Pen and Sword. p. 155. ISBN 9780850525366. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  5. ^ a b Massimo Annati, "Underwater special operations craft", Military technology, no. 3, 1996
  6. ^ Arnett, Eric H. (1997). Military Capacity and the Risk of War: China, India, Pakistan, and Iran. Oxford University Press. p. 346. ISBN 9780198292814. Retrieved 20 February 2019.

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