This article does not cite any sources . (June 2008) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
HMS Explorer (S30)
|Ordered:||26 August 1947|
|Launched:||5 March 1954|
|Christened:||28 November 1956|
|Fate:||Scrapped February 1965|
|Length:||178 ft (54 m)|
|Beam:||15 ft 8 in (4.78 m)|
|Draught:||11 ft (3.4 m)|
|Speed:||25 knots (46.3 km/h) (submerged)|
HMS Explorer was an experimental British submarine based on the captured German high test peroxide (HTP) powered U-boat U-1407. U-1407 had been scuttled following the German collapse at the end of the Second World War, was salvaged and eventually commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Meteorite. Her recovery was the impetus for a British research programme which resulted in the construction of two experimental submarines, HMS Explorer and HMS Excalibur. Built for speed trials, they were unarmed. Their HTP engines were essentially steam turbines, with the steam being generated by the interaction of HTP with diesel oil and a catalyst.
Explorer suffered from so many teething troubles that her first captain never took her to sea. When these initial problems were conquered, however, she turned out to be impressively fast, achieving submerged speeds of 25 knots (46.3 km/h), aided by her streamlined hull and retractable fittings.
Both Explorer and her sister ship were fitted with the latest underwater escape technology, including a one-man escape chamber, and equipped with up to date escape breathing apparatus.
Explorer and Excalibur were popularly known as the 'blonde' submarines because of their hydrogen peroxide oxidiser and they served a useful purpose as high-speed targets for the Royal Navy's anti-submarine forces. Their main use, however, was to finally prove that HTP was impractical as an air-independent propulsion system for submarine use. The HTP was carried in special bags outside the inner pressure hull, which were prone to exploding unexpectedly. Additionally, the engine room (which was not manned while under way) would often be the scene of flames appearing on the top of the combustion chamber, and on at least one occasion the crew were forced to evacuate the pressure hull and stand on the upper casing to avoid fumes which had suddenly filled the boat. The HTP fuel proved to be so troublesome that the boats quickly became known as Exploder and Exciter.
Although part of the 3rd Submarine Squadron, the two submarines tended to operate independently, accompanied by their own depot ship HMS Kingfisher and a fuel carrier, the converted water-carrier, Royal Fleet Auxiliary RFA Spabeck.
When the US Navy succeeded in designing a nuclear reactor suitable for submarine installation, the HTP project was abandoned, and Explorer and Excalibur were scrapped.
K-141 Kursk was an Oscar II-class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine of the Russian Navy.
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation underwater. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability. It is also sometimes used historically or colloquially to refer to remotely operated vehicles and robots, as well as medium-sized or smaller vessels, such as the midget submarine and the wet sub. Submarines are referred to as "boats" rather than "ships" irrespective of their size.
A modern torpedo is an underwater ranged weapon launched above or below the water surface, self-propelled towards a target, and with an explosive warhead designed to detonate either on contact with or in proximity to the target.
Hellmuth Walter was a German engineer who pioneered research into rocket engines and gas turbines. His most noteworthy contributions were rocket motors for the Messerschmitt Me 163 and Bachem Ba 349 interceptor aircraft, so-called Starthilfe jettisonable rocket propulsion units used for a variety of Luftwaffe aircraft during World War II, and a revolutionary new propulsion system for submarines known as air-independent propulsion (AIP).
The Royal Navy's T class of diesel-electric submarines was designed in the 1930s to replace the O, P, and R classes. Fifty-three members of the class were built just before and during the Second World War, where they played a major role in the Royal Navy's submarine operations. Four boats in service with the Royal Netherlands Navy were known as the Zwaardvisch class.
An aircraft catapult is a device used to launch aircraft from ships, most commonly used on aircraft carriers, as a form of assisted take off. It consists of a track built into the flight deck, below which is a large piston or shuttle that is attached through the track to the nose gear of the aircraft, or in some cases a wire rope, called a catapult bridle, is attached to the aircraft and the catapult shuttle. Different means have been used to propel the catapult, such as weight and derrick, gunpowder, flywheel, air pressure, hydraulic, and steam power. The U.S. Navy is developing the use of Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch Systems with the construction of the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers. Catapulted aircraft land like conventional aircraft, sometimes with the help of arresting gear.
High-test peroxide (HTP) is a highly concentrated solution of hydrogen peroxide, with the remainder consisting predominantly of water. In contact with a catalyst, it decomposes into a high-temperature mixture of steam and oxygen, with no remaining liquid water. It was used as a propellant of HTP rockets and torpedoes, and has been used for high-performance vernier engines.
The two Explorer-class submarines were experimental vessels built for the Royal Navy to test a propulsion system based on the use of highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide and diesel fuel to achieve high underwater endurance and speeds.
HMS Sidon was a submarine of the Royal Navy, launched in September 1944, one of the third group of S class built by Cammell Laird & Co Limited, Birkenhead, named after the naval bombardment of Sidon in 1840. An explosion caused by a faulty torpedo sank her in Portland Harbour with the loss of 13 lives.
Air-independent propulsion (AIP) is any marine propulsion technology that allows a non-nuclear submarine to operate without access to atmospheric oxygen. AIP can augment or replace the diesel-electric propulsion system of non-nuclear vessels.
An elektroboot was a submarine designed to operate entirely submerged, rather than as submersibles that could submerge as a temporary means to escape detection or launch an attack.
Anti-submarine warfare is a branch of underwater warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft, or other submarines to find, track, and deter, damage, or destroy enemy submarines.
Beginning in ancient times, mankind sought to operate under the water. From simple submersibles to nuclear-powered underwater behemoths, humans have searched for a means to remain safely underwater to gain the advantage in warfare, resulting in the development of the submarine.
HMS Meteorite was an experimental U-boat developed in Germany, scuttled at the end of World War II, subsequently raised and commissioned into the Royal Navy. The submarine was originally commissioned into the Kriegsmarine in March 1945 as U-1407. It was built around a Walter engine fuelled by high test peroxide (HTP).
The Type XVII U-boats were small coastal submarines that used a high-test peroxide propulsion system, which offered a combination of air-independent propulsion and high submerged speeds.
HMS Excalibur was the sister ship of HMS Explorer, the two submarines being the only high-test peroxide (HTP) powered submarines to be constructed for the Royal Navy. She is the only ship to be named as such, in honour of the sword of Arthurian legend.
HMS Explorer is an Archer-class P2000-type patrol and training vessel of the British Royal Navy. The ship is primarily assigned to the Yorkshire Universities Royal Naval Unit (URNU), serving the universities of Hull, Sheffield and Leeds. The ship is based in Kingston-Upon-Hull and mainly operates on the East coast of the UK, particularly in and around the river Humber.
HMS Swordfish was an experimental submarine built for the Royal Navy before the First World War to meet the Navy's goal of an "overseas" submarine capable of 20 knots on the surface. Diesel engines of the period were unreliable and not very powerful so steam turbines were proposed instead to meet the RN's requirement. Swordfish proved to be slower than designed and unstable while surfacing, and consequently she was modified as an anti-submarine patrol vessel in 1917. She was paid off before the end of the war and sold for scrapping in 1922.
The S-99 experimental submarine was the only ship of the Soviet Project 617 submarine class that the Soviet Union built during the early Cold War and the only Soviet submarine which had a Walter engine fuelled by high test peroxide (HTP).
HMS Vulcan was a British torpedo boat depot ship launched in 1889, later converted to a submarine tender in 1908-09. As a training hulk, she was renamed HMS Defiance III in 1931 and used for training at Torpoint, Cornwall. She was scrapped in Belgium in 1955.