Kobben-class submarine

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KNM Utstein Horten Norway.jpg
HNoMs Utstein, now a museum ship
Class overview
Builders: Nordseewerke GmbH
Succeeded by: Ula class
Subclasses: Tumleren class
Built: 1963–1966
In commission: 1964–Present
Completed: 15
General characteristics
Type: Submarine
  • 435 t (428 long tons; 480 short tons) surfaced
  • 485 t (477 long tons; 535 short tons) submerged
Length: 47.2 m (155 ft)
Beam: 4.7 m (15 ft)
Draft: 3.8 m (12 ft)
  • 10 kn (19 km/h) surfaced
  • 17 kn (31 km/h) submerged
  • 4,200 nmi (7,800 km) at 8 kn (15 km/h)
  • 228 nmi (422 km) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h)
Test depth: 180 m (590 ft)
Complement: 24

The Kobben class (also known as Type 207) is a customized version of the German Type 205 submarine. Fifteen vessels of this class were built for use by the Royal Norwegian Navy in the 1960s. The class later saw service with Denmark and Poland. The boats have since been withdrawn from service in the Norwegian and Danish Navy. The Polish Navy still operates four Kobben-class submarines, as of 2016.[1]


Along with the rest of the Royal Norwegian Navy, the submarine fleet was to be modernized according to the Fleet plan of 1960. After the war, Norway needed a navy more suited for coastal operations rather than large, seagoing vessels. This made the choice of a new type of submarines rather slim, not many NATO submarines being suited for this type of operations. A German Type 201 submarine was lent to the Royal Norwegian Navy for evaluation and adaptation. The result was the Type 207, of which 15 vessels were delivered to Norway in the period 1964 – 67. All Kobben-class submarines were built by Rheinstahl Nordseewerke GmbH in Emden. Between 1985 – 93, six boats were lengthened by 2 m (6 ft 7 in) and modernized, most notably with new sonar equipment.

During that period, four others were sold to the Royal Danish Navy (known there as the Tumleren class), three operational (modernized) and one for spare parts. HDMS Sælen served in the 2003 invasion of Iraq from May 2002 until June 2003.

In 2001, the Kobben class was completely phased out in Norwegian service, replaced by the newer Ula class. Five modernized vessels were given to the Polish Navy, four as operational units and one for spare parts.[2] Before they were transferred, the Polish crews were trained and the boats were overhauled.

During 2004, all of the operational Danish boats (Tumleren, Sælen and Springeren) were decommissioned. They were mothballed as of 2005, waiting to be scrapped or transferred to another nation.

In popular culture[edit]

The Kobben is mentioned in Tom Clancy's 1986 techno-thriller Red Storm Rising.


ORP Bielik in service with the Polish Navy (source: Polish MoD).
Kobben class — significant dates
Pennant Name Commissioned Notes
S-315 Kaura 1965 Transferred to Denmark in 1991 for spare parts
S-316 Kinn 8 April 1964 Scuttled in Bjørnafjord in 1990
S-317 Kya 15 June 1964 Transferred to Denmark in 1991 as the HDMS Springeren
S-318 Kobben 15 August 1964 Transferred to Poland in 2002 for spare parts and as of 17 December 2011 moved to Maritime Academy in Gdynia (Akademia Marynarki Wojennej) for crew training.[3]
S-319 Kunna 29 October 1964 Transferred to Poland in 2003 as ORP Kondor. Decommissioned as of 20 December 2017.[4]
S-300 Ula 1965 Renamed Kinn (S-316) in 1987, scrapped in 1998
S-301 Utsira 1965 Scrapped in 1998
S-302 Utstein 1965 Transferred to the naval museum in Horten in 1998 as a museum ship
S-303 Utvær 1965 Transferred to Denmark in 1989 as HDMS Tumleren (S322)
S-304 Uthaug 1965 Transferred to Denmark in 1990 as HDMS Sælen (S323), now a museum ship
S-305 Sklinna 1966 Reconditioned in 1989, scrapped in 2001
S-306 Skolpen 1966 Transferred to Poland in 2002 as ORP Sęp
S-307 Stadt 1966 Scrapped in 1989
S-308 Stord 1967 Transferred to Poland in 2002 as ORP Sokół
S-309 Svenner 1967 Transferred to Poland in 2003 as ORP Bielik


  1. ^ Jane Edwards (30 June 2016). "Poland, Germany to Form Joint Submarine Command". Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  2. ^ Andrew Toppan, ed. (24 March 2002). "World Navies Today: Poland". Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ (in French) La Pologne désarme son 1er sous-marin de la classe Kobben


  • (in Norwegian) Marinemuseet, the Norwegian naval museum [2] [3]

External links[edit]

Sites with information about the Kobben class.