|Builder:||Vickers, Sons & Maxim Ltd. Barrow-in-Furness, England|
|Laid down:||6 November 1902|
|Launched:||9 March 1903|
|Commissioned:||13 July 1904|
|Fate:||Sunk, 12 May 1912|
|Class and type:||A-class submarine|
|Length:||105 ft (32.0 m)|
|Beam:||12 ft 9 in (3.9 m)|
|Draught:||10 ft 8 in (3.3 m)|
|Range:||320 nautical miles (590 km; 370 mi) at 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced|
|Complement:||2 officers and 9 ratings|
|Armament:||2 × 18-inch (45 cm) torpedo tubes|
Design and description
A3 was a member of the first British class of submarines, although slightly larger, faster and more heavily armed than the lead ship, HMS A1. The submarine had a length of 105 feet 1 inch (32.0 m) overall, a beam of 12 feet 9 inches (3.9 m) and a mean draft of 10 feet 8 inches (3.3 m). They displaced 190 long tons (190 t) on the surface and 206 long tons (209 t) submerged. The A-class submarines had a crew of 2 officers and 11 ratings.
For surface running, the boats were powered by a single 16-cylinder 450-brake-horsepower (336 kW) Wolseley petrol engine that drove one propeller shaft. When submerged the propeller was driven by a 150-horsepower (112 kW) electric motor. They could reach 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) on the surface and 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph) underwater. On the surface, A3 had a range of 320 nautical miles (590 km; 370 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph); submerged the boat had a range of 30 nautical miles (56 km; 35 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph).
The boats were armed with two 18-inch (45 cm) torpedo tubes in the bow. They could carry a pair of reload torpedoes, but generally did not as doing so that they had to compensate for their weight by an equivalent weight of fuel.
Construction and career
A3 was built at Vickers, Barrow-in-Furness and was commissioned on 13 July 1904. She was accidentally rammed while surfacing by the submarine tender Hazard in the English Channel off the Isle of Wight on 2 February 1912 and sank with the loss of all on board. The wreck was salvaged and subsequently sunk as a gunnery target in the English Channel near Portland Bill on 12 May 1912, where she remains today. In July 2016 the wreck of A3 was officially designated as a protected site.
- Gardiner & Gray, p. 86
- Akermann, p. 120
- Harrison, Chapter 27
- Innes McCartney (2002). Lost Patrols: Submarine Wrecks of the English Channel.
- Gray, Edwyn (2003). Disasters of the Deep A Comprehensive Survey of Submarine Accidents & Disasters. Leo Cooper. pp. 69–70. ISBN 0-85052-987-5.
- "British A3 submarine sunk off Jurassic Coast in 1912 gets protected status". Dorset Echo. Newsquest Media. 22 July 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
- Akermann, Paul (2002). Encyclopaedia of British Submarines 1901–1955 (reprint of the 1989 ed.). Penzance, Cornwall: Periscope Publishing. ISBN 1-904381-05-7.
- Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8.
- Gardiner, Robert & Gray, Randal, eds. (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906–1921. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.
- Harrison, A. N. (January 1979). "The Development of HM Submarines From Holland No. 1 (1901) to Porpoise (1930) (BR3043)". Submariners Association: Barrow in Furness Branch. Archived from the original on 19 May 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2015.