Foca-class submarine

Foca-class submarine
Foca in 1937
Class overview
Name: Foca class
Operators:  Regia Marina
Preceded by: Micca class
Succeeded by: None
Built: 1936–38
In service: 1936–47
Completed: 3
Lost: 1
Scrapped: 2
General characteristics
Type: Minelaying submarine
  • 1,305 tonnes (1,284 long tons) surfaced
  • 1,625 tonnes (1,599 long tons) submerged
Length: 82.85 m (271 ft 10 in)
Beam: 7.17 m (23 ft 6 in)
Draft: 5.20 m (17 ft 1 in)
Installed power:
  • 2,880 bhp (2,150 kW) (diesels)
  • 1,250 hp (930 kW) (electric motors)
  • 15.2 knots (28.2 km/h; 17.5 mph) surfaced
  • 7.4 knots (13.7 km/h; 8.5 mph) submerged
  • 7,800 nmi (14,400 km; 9,000 mi) at 7.8 knots (14.4 km/h; 9.0 mph) surfaced
  • 120 nmi (220 km; 140 mi) at 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph) submerged
Test depth: 100 m (330 ft)
Complement: 60

The Foca class were a group of three minelaying submarines built for the Royal Italian Navy (Regia Marina) during the 1930s.

Design and description

The Foca-class submarines were improved versions of the preceding Micca class. They displaced 1,305 metric tons (1,284 long tons) surfaced and 1,625 metric tons (1,599 long tons) submerged. The submarines were 82.85 meters (271 ft 10 in) long, had a beam of 7.17 meters (23 ft 6 in) and a draft of 5.2 meters (17 ft 1 in).[1]

For surface running, the boats were powered by two 1,440-brake-horsepower (1,074 kW) diesel engines, each driving one propeller shaft. When submerged each propeller was driven by a 625-horsepower (466 kW) electric motor. They could reach 15.2 knots (28.2 km/h; 17.5 mph) on the surface and 7.4 knots (13.7 km/h; 8.5 mph) underwater. On the surface, the Brin class had a range of 7,800 nautical miles (14,400 km; 9,000 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph), submerged, they had a range of 120 nmi (220 km; 140 mi) at 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph).[2]

The boats were armed with six internal 53.3 cm (21.0 in) torpedo tubes, four in the bow and two in the stern. They did not carry and reload torpedoes. They were also armed with one 100 mm (3.9 in) deck gun for combat on the surface. The gun was initially mounted in the rear of the conning tower, but this was re-sited on the forward deck later in the war in the surviving boats and the large conning tower was re-built to a smaller design. The light anti-aircraft armament consisted of two pairs of 13.2 millimeters (0.52 in) machine guns.[1] The Foca class carried a total of 36 mines. Twenty mines were stored in a central chamber, while the remaining 16 mines were kept in two aft chutes through which the mines were ejected.[2]


Ship Namesake Launched Fate
Foca (Italian for "seal") 26 June 1937 Lost in 1940 off Haifa, British Palestine
Atropo (The Moira Atropos) 20 November 1938 Used to supply British forces in the Dodecanese after the 1943 armistice, she survived the war, but was scrapped in 1947
Zoea (A crustacean in his larval state) 3 February 1936 Used to supply British forces in the Dodecanese after the 1943 armistice, she survived the war, but was scrapped in 1947


The lead boat, Foca, was lost on 13 October 1940 while laying mines off Haifa to unknown causes.[3] Atropo and Zoea, the second and third vessels of the class, were used after Italy's 1943 surrender by the Allies for anti-submarine training.[4] Both were scrapped in 1947.[1]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Chesneau, p. 305
  2. 1 2 Bagnasco, p. 156
  3. Rohwer, p. 45
  4. Bagnasco, p. 157


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