Triton Class (1938) SS
Triton or T Class Submarines were designed as long range ocean patrol
submarines. They were a replacement for the Oberon
(1929) and Rainbow
(1930) Classes. However the Triton's were deliberately smaller than
the earlier boats to allow more hulls to launched while keeping within the
tonnage limits of the London Naval Treaty.
They had a long record of service in the Royal Navy with the first laid down in 1936, and the last (much modified boat), being paid off on 29-Aug-1969.
The first group had riveted hulls which restricted their operating depth, and all their torpedoes faced forward. Later boats had the midships torpedo tubes removed and stern tubes fitted. The ten final boats in group three had all welded hulls which increased their operating depth by 50ft.
With such a long operating time they were modified greatly during their service life. Particularly after WW2 when five of the riveted hull boats were streamlined, had their conning tower shape changed to be a fin type, and updated sonar was fitted.
Later from 1949-1956 eight fully welded hull boats not only received streamlining and conning tower changes but were completely rebuilt, by having a 12 to 20 foot plug inserted to lengthen the pressure hull. In addition many other smaller changes were made to modernise them.
Four boats were sold or loaned to the Netherlands Navy, three to Israel and two to Australia.
Thorough was the first RN submarine to circumnavigate the world when she returned to Portsmouth 16-Dec-1957.
This page last edited -
22 January, 2013.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.