submarine is any type of naval vessel that is able to pull below of the water and on the surface of the water. It is a wonderful product that has been created by modern naval and mechanical science .

What is a submarine?

A submarine is a vessel that has the ability to navigate in total immersion , without having any type of physical contact with the surface of the sea or the atmosphere for a long period of time.

  • Definition
  • What is a submarine for?
  • Types
  • Characteristics
  • Story
  • Who invented it
  • Parties
  • How a submarine works
  • Advantage
  • Disadvantages
  • Examples


A submarine is a special type of ship that has the ability to navigate from below of the water and also has the ability to navigate on the surface , by a system of buoyancy variable. First used in World War I , they are now a fundamental part of all major navies , and especially the American, Russian, British, and Chinese navies .


The word submarine itself encompasses a wide range of types of ship , ranging from small two-person submarines , which are used to examine the seabed for a few hours, to nuclear ones , which can remain submerged for half a year and also carry nuclear missiles that have the ability to destroy several cities.

What is a submarine for?

It bases its functions depending on the type of submarine it is. In times of peace , a submarine can help in functions that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea assigns to the Navies. It can function as a police officer to prevent, for example, the transfer of drugs from one place to another. Some are used for recreational purposes , but the most used are for war purposes , as they are very difficult to detect, some even have weapons and war missiles that can reach great distances .


  • Civil submarines : they are for tourist or recreational purposes , in areas of maritime attractions. Its size is considerably reduced and it is designed to allow the appreciation of the passengers of the aquatic environment due to which it has numerous windows and visors towards the outside.
  • Military Submarines : They are the most widely used and are effective because they are difficult to detect since they are submerged , and they consist of the necessary weapons equipment. They may be:
  • Ballistic Submarines
  • Nuclear Submarines
  • Bathyscaphe
  • Aircraft Carrier Submarines
  • Unmanned submarines


The main characteristics of a submarine are the following:

  • Its structure is very resistant to counteract the pressures it supports under water.
  • The chambers of fuel are located between the hulls of the submarine.
  • It can float as long as its weight is less than the weight of the water .
  • When it sails immersed, its average depth is 40 meters .
  • They are capable of descending to more than 100 meters .
  • It has hydrophones that allow it to receive the vibrations produced by the propellers of other boats or engines.
  • Some can be powered by atomic energy .
  • They have reserves of food and fresh water .


The first discussion of submarines appeared in 1578 with William Bourne, a British mathematician and writer on naval subjects. Bourne proposed a completely enclosed boat that could be submerged and rowed underwater. It consisted of a wooden frame covered with waterproof leather that had to be submerged reducing its volume by contracting the sides.

Between 1620 and 1624, his vessel was successfully maneuvered to depths of 12 to 15 feet below the surface during repeated tests on the River Thames in England . Drebbel’s submarine resembled the one proposed by Bourne in that its outer hull consisted of oiled leather on a wooden frame; the paddles extended from the sides and were sealed in flaps of leather adjusted, which provided a means of propulsion in both surface and underwater.

They became a major factor in naval warfare during World War I, when Germany used them to destroy surface merchant ships. In such attacks, the submarines used their main weapon, a self-propelled submarine missile known as a torpedo. They played a similar role on a larger scale in World War II , both in the Atlantic and the Pacific . In the 1960s, the nuclear- powered submarine , capable of staying underwater for months at a time and firing nuclear missileslong-range without surfacing, it became an important platform for strategic weapons . Armed with torpedoes, as well as antiship and antisubmarine missiles, the nuclear attack submarine has also become a key element of naval warfare.

Who invented it

It was invented by the Dutchman Cornelius Drebbel, who had built one for King James I of England , a submarine ship with which he managed to travel the distance between Greenwich and Wetminster.


The parts that a submarine has are the following:

  • Propeller : they can be controllable or fixed pitch . The size of the propellers varies depending on the type of submarine.
  • Resistant helmet : it is placed on the inside of the submarine and withstands all the pressure of the water when submerged. It is a cylinder made of large, resistant steel, and in its internal part are the accommodations that are used by the crew, the rooms, the dining room, the kitchen, among others.
  • Hydrodynamic hull : located on the outside and in it is the hydrodynamic figure that is totally essential for the submarine to move quickly when submerged in water.
  • Immersion tanks : located on both sides of the hull , when they are flooded, they give the submarine the weight it needs so that it can descend again .
  • Rudder : vertical and horizontal . The vertical rudder performs the turns while the horizontal rudder allows its vertical displacement.
  • Periscope : it is a tube made up of mirrors throughout its internal part. It has the ability to extend out of the water when the submarine is fully submerged and close to the surface.

How a submarine works

A submarine can float because the weight of the water it displaces is equal to its weight. This displacement of the water creates an upward force called the buoyant force and acts opposite to gravity, causing the ship to sink. Unlike a ship, a submarine can control its buoyancy , allowing it to sink and emerge at will.

To control its buoyancy, the submarine has ballast tanks and auxiliary or compensating tanks , which can alternatively be filled with water or air. When on the surface, the ballast tanks fill with air and the overall density of the submarine is less than that of the surrounding water . While submerging , the ballast tanks are flooded with water and the air in the ballast tanks is vented from the submarine until its total density is greater than the surrounding water and the submarine begins to sink. A supply of compressed air is maintained on board the submarine in air flasks tolife support and for use with ballast tanks. In addition, the submarine has mobile sets of short ” wings ” called hydrofoils at the stern that help control the angle of the dive .

Nuclear submarines use nuclear reactors , steam turbines, and reduction gears to drive the main propeller shaft , which provides the forward and backward thrust in the water. Submarines also need electric power to operate equipment on board so they are equipped with diesel engines that burn fuels and / or nuclear reactors using nuclear fission . They also have batteriesto supply electrical power. Electrical equipment is often battery-powered and power from the diesel engine or nuclear reactor is used to charge the batteries.


The most obvious advantage of the submarine is its ability to dive below the surface, thus avoiding gunfire and nullifying most weapons . It also has the ability to get close to targets to carry out, for example, a torpedo attack. The ability to avoid damage from most weapons is certainly an advantage that could outweigh the many disadvantages of a submarine.


They are usually much slower than an average warship. Often an opponent unable to sink a submarine can simply run away . In addition, a submarine can have a large number of very powerful weapons inside it that can eliminate another  submarine with a single shot. In addition, it is a very fragile boat , and any damage could disable its ability to dive properly, also risking the lives of its crew. On the surface , they are an easy target despite being armed with important weapons.


Some examples of submarines are as follows:

  • Nereus
  • Okpo 6000
  • Remus 6000
  • Golden
  • Benthic Rover
  • Sauvim
  • Autosub 6000

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