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A submarine is a type of ship capable of traveling underwater. Experiments with submarines began in the 18th century, with the first submarine that managed to destroy a ship being the CSS Hunley during the American Civil War. Submarines would not achieve prominence as a key part of the Navy until the Great War, however.

The main advantage of a submarine is stealth, and the typical armament of modern submarines consists of torpedos and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Older submarines had deck mounted cannons as a defensive measure if they had to fight while surfaced, but these were phased out, as they caused drag.

Submarines in Science Fiction

Submarines play a role in science fiction. Occasionally spacecraft have been shown in science fiction to be able to operate underwater, despite the fact that operating underwater has a very different set of challenges from operating in space. In space there is basically no external pressure and underwater there is heavy external pressure.

In addition, some space warships are capable of fulfilling a submarine-like role by employing stealth technology, such as cloaking devices.

Examples of Historical Submarines

  • Akula-class (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics/Russian Federation)
  • Alfa-class (Russian Federation)
  • Alvin
  • Arihant-class (India)
  • Asashio-class (Japan)
  • Astute-class (United Kingdom)
  • Barbel-class (United States)
  • Barracuda-class (France)
  • Benjiman Franklin-class (United States)
  • Borei-class (Russian Federation)
  • Churchill-class (United Kingdom)
  • Collins-class (Australia)
  • Ethan Allen-class (United States)
  • Foxtrot-class (Russia)
  • George Washington-class (United States)
  • German Type VII submarine (Nazi Germany)
  • Grayback-class (United States)
  • Halibut-class (United States)
  • Harushio-class (Japan)
  • Hotel-class (Russia)
  • James Madison-class (United States)
  • Juliet-class (Russian Federation)
  • Kalvari-class (India)
  • Kilo-class (Russian Federation)
  • Lada0-class (Russian Federation)
  • Lafayette-class (United States)
  • Los Angeles-class (United States)
  • November-class (Soviet Union/Russian Federation)
  • Oberon-class (United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Brazil, Chile)
  • Ohio-class (United States of America)
  • Oscar-class (Russian Federation)
  • Oyashio-class (Japan)
  • Redoubtable-class (France)
  • Resolution-class (United Kingdom)
  • Rubis-class (France)
  • Sailfish-class (United States)
  • Scorpène-class (Brazil, Chile, India, Malaysia)
  • Seawolf-class (United States)
  • Shishumar-class (India)
  • Sierra-class (Russian Federation)
  • Sindhughosh-class (India)
  • Souryuu-class (Japan)
  • Swiftsure-class (United Kingdom)
  • Tang-class (United States)
  • Trafalgar-class (United Kingdom)
  • Triomphant-class (France)
  • Typhoon-class (USSR/Russian Federation)
  • Upholder-class (United Kingdom)
  • Uzushio-class (Japan)
  • Valiant-class (United Kingdom)
  • Vanguard-class (United Kingdom)
  • Vela-class (India)
  • Victor III-class (Russian Federation)
  • Victoria-class (Canada)
  • Virginia-class (United States)
  • Xia-class (People's Republic of China)
  • Yankee-class (Russian Federation)
  • Yasen-class (Russian Federation)
  • Yuushio-class (Japan)

Examples of Science Fiction Submarines

  • Nautilus
  • UEO seaQuest DSV 4600
  • Red October