British V-class submarine

For the First World War V class, see British V class submarine (1914).
HMS Voracious
Class overview
Name: V class
Builders: Vickers-Armstrong
Preceded by: U class
Succeeded by: Amphion class
Planned: 42
Completed: 34 named (8 more never named) of which only 22 were completed.
General characteristics
Type: Submarine
  • Surfaced – 545 tons standard, 658 tons full load
  • Submerged – 740 tons
Length: 204 ft 6 in (62.33 m)
Beam: 16 ft 1 in (4.90 m)
Draught: 15 ft 3 in (4.65 m)
Propulsion: 2 shaft diesel-electric, 2 Paxman diesel generators + electric motors, 615 hp (459 kW) / 825 hp (615 kW)
  • 11.25 knots (20.84 km/h; 12.95 mph) surfaced
  • 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) submerged
Complement: 33

The British V-class submarine (officially "U-Class Long hull 1941–42 programme"[1]) was a class of submarines built for the Royal Navy during the Second World War.


42 vessels were ordered to this design, all to be built by Vickers-Armstrong at either Barrow-in-Furness or at Walker-on-Tyne, but only 22 were completed. Note that 7 of these vessels received 'U' names (conversely, 4 of the U class had received names beginning with 'V').

The V-class submarines were very similar to the preceding U-class (short-hull) boats, of which they constituted a linear development, but had 3/4-inch pressure hull plating instead of 1/2-inch for deeper diving, also a lengthened stern and fining at the bows to reduce noise and improve underwater handling.

They were sometimes referred to as Vampire-class submarines after HMS Vampire.[2]


The vessels which were ordered are shown below in their programme order (not all completed construction):

The first eight vessels were ordered on 5 December 1941 under that year's programme.

The next eighteen vessels were ordered on 21 May 1942 under that year's programme, but six of these were cancelled in early 1944.

A further six vessels were ordered on 17 November 1942 under the same year's programme, but four of these were cancelled on 23 January 1944.

Finally, a further ten vessels were ordered under the 1943 Programme, but all of these were cancelled on 20 November 1943; eight of these were never given names.


  1. Conways All the worlds Fighting Ships 1922-46
  2. Vampire-class Submarines
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