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HMS A3 facts for kids

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HMS A3
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: HMS A3
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
Quick facts for kids
General characteristics
Class and type: A-class submarine
Displacement:
  • 190 long tons (193 t) surfaced
  • 206 long tons (209 t) submerged
Length: 105 ft (32.0 m)
Beam: 12 ft 9 in (3.9 m)
Draught: 10 ft 8 in (3.3 m)
Installed power:
Propulsion:
  • 1 × 16-cylinder Wolseley petrol engine
  • 1 × electric motor
Speed:
  • 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph) submerged
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

HMS A3 was an A-class submarine built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She sank in 1912. The wreck is a Protected Wreck managed by Historic England.

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); the boat had a range of 30 nautical miles (56 km; 35 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) submerged.

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 primarily served as a coastal defense and training submarine in her over seven years of service. On 2 February 1912, A3, along with several other submarines dispatched from the port of Gosport, conducted training exercises on target ships in the Solent. Whilst attacking the depot ship HMS Hazard, A3 accidentally collided with its target. Its rudder and propeller were both disabled, and the submarine sank with all hands lost. The submarine was risen in March and was sunk as a gunnery target by shells from HMS St. Vincent on 15 May 1912. In July 2016 the wreck of A3 was officially designated as a protected site.

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