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HMS Otus (S18)

HMS Otus
HMS Otus
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: HMS Otus
Operator:  Royal Navy
Builder: Scotts Yard in Greenock, Scotland
Yard number: 688
Laid down: 31 May 1961
Launched: 17 October 1962
Commissioned: 5 October 1963
Decommissioned: 1990s
In service: 1960s-1990s
Identification: Pennant number: S18
Fate: To Sassnitz on the island of Rügen in Germany to act as a floating naval museum
General characteristics
Class & type: Oberon-class submarine
Displacement: Surfaced: 2,030 t (2,000 long tons)
Submerged: 2,410 t (2,370 long tons)
Length: 295.2 ft (90.0 m)
Beam: 26.5 ft (8.1 m)
Draught: 18 ft (5.5 m)
  • 2 × 3,680 hp Admiralty Standard Range V16 diesels
  • 2 × 3,000 hp electric motors, diesel-electric
  • 2 shafts
Speed: Surfaced: 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)[1]
Submerged: 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)[1]
Range: 10,350 nautical miles (19,170 km; 11,910 mi) at surface cruising speed
Test depth: 650 ft (200 m)
Complement: 7 officers
62 sailors
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Type 1002 surface search and navigation radar
  • Type 187 active-passive attack sonar
  • Type 2007 long range passive sonar
  • 6 × 21 in (533.4 mm) bow tubes, 20 torpedoes
  • 2 × 21 in (533.4 mm) short stern tubes, 2 torpedoes
  • Forward torpedo payload could be replaced with 50 × mines

HMS Otus was a Royal Navy Oberon-class submarine launched in 1962. She was decommissioned in the early 1990s and is now a naval museum in Germany.


  • Construction 1
  • Royal Navy service 2
  • Decommissioning and museum 3
  • References 4
  • Publications 5


Built in 1962 at Scotts Yard in Greenock, Scotland, the sub's trials were conducted in Scottish waters, mainly Loch Long and Loch Fyne. Her pennant number (S18) was carried in white paint on the ship's conning tower fin, however this was removed in 1964 as a discontinued practice.

Royal Navy service

The first commission of Otus included large-scale missile trial exercises in the Atlantic Ocean and visits to the United States and Halifax, Canada.

Otus attended the 1977 Silver Jubilee Fleet Review off Spithead when she was part of the Submarine Flotilla.[2]

In July 1987, a team of British, Commonwealth and international submariners took part in trials in Bjornafjorden, near Bergen, Norway, aboard Otus. They ran a series of progressively deeper escapes, starting at 30 metres (98 ft). At 90 metres (300 ft), individuals started to drop out. At the end of the trials two submariners reached a depth of 183 metres (600 ft). This set a new world record which to date has not been broken. Of the two record breakers, the first (the commander of the Submarine Escape Training Tower at HMS Dolphin) was a regular ascent under control. The second, a petty officer instructor from the Submarine Escape Training Tower suffered an emergency release having given the alarm signal whilst flooding up the chamber. It was considered safer and quicker to escape him rather than depressurise and drain down. Both escapees suffered no lasting effects and returned to normal service. Both received military honours of the British Empire in the following years for this act.

Otus was deployed to the Persian Gulf during the 1991 Gulf War under Operation Granby. On her return to Gosport, she was flying a Jolly Roger; the only indication that the submarine had been involved in deploying and recovering Special Air Service and Special Boat Service personnel.[3][4]

Decommissioning and museum

Otus was decommissioned in the early 1990s and resided at Pound's scrapyard in Portsmouth for several years. She was later purchased by a German entrepreneur, who moored her in the harbour of the town of Sassnitz on the island of Rügen in Germany to act as a floating naval museum.[5]


  1. ^ a b Sharpe (ed.), Jane's Fighting Ships, 1996-97, pgs. 23, 54, 86, 104
  2. ^ Official Souvenir Programme, 1977. Silver Jubilee Fleet Review, HMSO
  3. ^ Richards, Bill; Smith, Peter (December 2006). "Onslow's Jolly Roger". Signals (Australian National Maritime Museum) (77): 11.  
  4. ^ Oliver, Sarah (2 April 2011). "Return of the Triumph: With the skull and crossbones flying defiantly at its mast, submarine that launched attack on Gaddafi comes home". Daily Mail Online. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  5. ^ - Oberon class, home page"Otus"HMS . Retrieved 2012-01-29. 



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