Kobben-class submarine

The Kobben class (also known as Type 207) is a customized version of the German Type 205 submarine. Fifteen vessels of this class were built for use by the Royal Norwegian Navy in the 1960s. The class later saw service with Denmark and Poland. The boats have since been withdrawn from service in the Norwegian and Danish navies. The Polish Navy operateed two Kobben-class submarines (Bielik, Sęp) until 2021.[1][2]

Kobben-class profile
KNM Utstein Horten Norway.jpg
HNoMs Utstein, now a museum ship
Class overview
BuildersNordseewerke GmbH
Succeeded byUla class
SubclassesTumleren class
In commission1964–2021
Laid up3
Preserved5 (2 in Poland, 2 in Denmark, 1 in Norway)
General characteristics
TypeCoastal submarine
  • 435 t (428 long tons) surfaced
  • 485 t (477 long tons) submerged
Length47.2 m (154 ft 10 in)
Beam4.7 m (15 ft 5 in)
Draft3.8 m (12 ft 6 in)
  • 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph) submerged
  • 4,200 nmi (7,800 km; 4,800 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph)
  • 228 nmi (422 km) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph)
Test depth180 m (590 ft)


Along with the rest of the Royal Norwegian Navy, the submarine fleet was to be modernized according to the Fleet plan of 1960. After the war, Norway needed a navy more suited for coastal operations rather than large, seagoing vessels. This made the choice of a new type of submarines rather slim, not many NATO submarines being suited for this type of operations. A German Type 201 submarine was lent to the Royal Norwegian Navy for evaluation and adaptation. The result was the Type 207, of which 15 vessels were delivered to Norway in the period 1964 – 67. All Kobben-class submarines were built by Rheinstahl Nordseewerke GmbH in Emden. Between 1985 – 93, six boats were lengthened by 2 m (6 ft 7 in) and modernized, most notably with new sonar equipment.

On 24 November 1972, the Kobben-class submarine HNoMS Sklinna of the Royal Norwegian Navy had "contact" with what they presumed was a Whiskey-class submarine, after 14 days of "hunt" in Sognefjord. Military documents released in 2009 confirm this episode.[3]

During that period, four others were sold to the Royal Danish Navy (known there as the Tumleren class), three operational (modernized) and one for spare parts. HDMS Sælen served in the 2003 invasion of Iraq from May 2002 until June 2003.

In 2001, the Kobben class was completely phased out in Norwegian service, replaced by the newer Ula class. Five modernized vessels were given to the Polish Navy, four as operational units and one for spare parts.[4] Before they were transferred, the Polish crews were trained and the boats were overhauled.

ORP Bielik in service with the Polish Navy

During 2004, all of the operational Danish boats (Tumleren, Sælen and Springeren) were decommissioned. They were mothballed as of 2005, waiting to be scrapped or transferred to another nation.


Kobben class — significant dates
Pennant Name Commissioned Notes
S315 Kaura 1965 Transferred to Denmark in 1991 for spare parts
S316 Kinn 8 April 1964 Scuttled in Bjørnafjord in 1990
S317 Kya 15 June 1964 Transferred to Denmark in 1991 as HDMS Springeren (S324). Preserved as a museum ship in Langeland.
S318 Kobben 15 August 1964 Transferred to Poland in 2002 for spare parts and as of 17 December 2011 moved to Maritime Academy in Gdynia (Akademia Marynarki Wojennej) for crew training.[5]
S319 Kunna 29 October 1964 Transferred to Poland in 2003 as ORP Kondor. Decommissioned as of 20 December 2017.[6]
S300 Ula 1965 Renamed Kinn (S316) in 1987, scrapped in 1998. Co-operated in the Anglo Netherlands Norwegian Cooperation Program (ANNCP) program[7] regarding research on stealth properties of submarines.
S301 Utsira 1965 Scrapped in 1998
S302 Utstein 1965 Transferred to the naval museum in Horten in 1998 as a museum ship
S303 Utvær 1965 Transferred to Denmark in 1989 as HDMS Tumleren (S322)
S304 Uthaug 1965 Transferred to Denmark in 1990 as HDMS Sælen (S323), now a museum ship in Copenhagen.
S305 Sklinna 1966 Reconditioned in 1989, scrapped in 2001
S306 Skolpen 1966 Transferred to Poland in 2002 as ORP Sęp. Retired on 14 December 2021
S307 Stadt 1966 Scrapped in 1989
S308 Stord 1967 Transferred to Poland in 2002 as ORP Sokół. Decommissioned in Poland in 2018 and being sent to Naval Museum, Gdynia.[8]
S309 Svenner 1967 Transferred to Poland in 2003 as ORP Bielik. Retired on 14 December 2021[9]


  1. ^ Edwards, Jane (30 June 2016). "Poland, Germany to Form Joint Submarine Command". Retrieved 23 August 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Dura, Maksymilian (9 March 2021). "Final Voyage of the ORP "Sęp" Kobben-class Submarine". Defense24.com. Retrieved 22 November 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "Aftenposten(Norwegian Language)". Archived from the original on 2010-01-02. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  4. ^ Toppan, Andrew, ed. (24 March 2002). "World Navies Today: Poland". Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Akademia Marynarki Wojennej im. Bohaterów Westerplatte :: Aktualności". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2011-12-17.
  6. ^ "La Pologne désarme son 1er sous-marin de la classe Kobben". www.corlobe.tk (in French). Retrieved 15 December 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "Underwater Research facilities at the Roeleveense Plas, Nootdorp". museumwaalsdorp.nl. Retrieved 15 December 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Wojciechowski, Paweł (8 September 2020). "Okręt podwodny zakończył służbę i od razu trafił do muzeum. Ma być eksponatem w centrum Gdyni". Wyborcza.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 15 December 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ Muczyński, Rafał (15 December 2021). "Koniec epoki: Sęp i Bielik wycofane ze służby". milmag.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 15 December 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)


  • (in Norwegian) Marinemuseet, the Norwegian naval museum [1] [2]

External linksEdit