HMS Opossum (S19)
HMS Opossum returning to RN submarine base HMS Dolphin, Gosport, following combat operations in the Gulf War (1990–91)
|Builder:||Cammell Laird, Birkenhead|
|Laid down:||21 December 1961|
|Launched:||23 May 1963|
|Commissioned:||5 June 1964|
|Fate:||Paid off for disposal|
|General characteristics as designed|
|Class and type:||Oberon class|
|Displacement:||1,610 tons standard
2,030 tons full load surfaced
2,410 tons full load submerged
|Length:||241 feet (73 m) between perpendiculars
295.2 feet (90.0 m) length overall
|Beam:||26.5 feet (8.1 m)|
|Draught:||18 feet (5.5 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 x Admiralty Standard Range 16 VMS diesel generators
2 x 6,000 shaft horsepower (4,500 kW) electric motors
|Speed:||17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph) submerged
12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) surfaced
|Complement:||68 (6 officers, 62 enlisted)|
|Type 186 and Type 187 sonars
I-band surface search radar
|Armament:||8 x 21-inch (530 mm) torpedo tubes (6 forward, 2 aft)
Design and construction
The Oberon class was a direct follow on of the Porpoise-class, with the same dimensions and external design, but updates to equipment and internal fittings, and a higher grade of steel used for fabrication of the pressure hull.
As designed for British service, the Oberon-class submarines were 241 feet (73 m) in length between perpendiculars and 295.2 feet (90.0 m) in length overall, with a beam of 26.5 feet (8.1 m), and a draught of 18 feet (5.5 m). Displacement was 1,610 tons standard, 2,030 tons full load when surfaced, and 2,410 tons full load when submerged. Propulsion machinery consisted of 2 Admiralty Standard Range 16 VMS diesel generators, and two 6,000 shaft horsepower (4,500 kW) electric motors, each driving a 7 feet (2.1 m) 3-bladed propeller at up to 400 rpm. Top speed was 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph) when submerged, and 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) on the surface. Eight 21-inch (530 mm) diameter torpedo tubes were fitted (six facing forward, two aft), with a total payload of 24 torpedoes. The boats were fitted with Type 186 and Type 187 sonars, and an I-band surface search radar. The standard complement was 68: 6 officers, 62 sailors.
Opossum was deployed to the Persian Gulf during the 1991 Gulf War under Operation Granby. On her return to Gosport, she was flying a Jolly Roger; the only indication that the submarine had been involved in deploying and recovering Special Air Service and Special Boat Service personnel.
On 14 July 1993, Opossum (which was travelling on the surface at the time) collided with the fishing vessel Amber Rose off the coast of Scotland.
Decommissioning and fate
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