Information published in the 1980 Program for Chatham Navy Days
HMS SEALION is a Porpoise Class Patrol Submarine; one of sixteen in service with the Royal Navy.
Patrol Submarines are diesel-electric powered and torpedo armed attack boats. Their primary wartime role is the detection and destruction of enemy submarines and surface ships. In addition, they can be used for intelligence gathering, minelaying, and landing agents.
HMS SEALION is 295 feet long, displaces 2,400 tons dived and has a crew of 71. The second submarine to bear the name in the Royal Navy, she was built by Cammel Lairds at Birkenhead and launched on 31 December 1959.
Submarines of this class are capable of high underwater speeds, have many silent running features, and are able to maintain long submerged patrols. These abilities, together with an armament of homing torpedoes, make patrol submarines formidable opponents for surface ships and other submarines.
HMS SEALION had a World War II predecessor -a submarine of the `S' Class launched in 1934 and finally destroyed when in use as an anti-submarine exercise target in 1945. She served with distinction in the Norway and Mediterranean campaigns.
An earlier HMS SEALION, the first vessel of the Royal Navy to bear the name, was a trawler launched in 1914.
During the course of the year, HMS SEALION has completed a successful docking in Canada, closely followed by a short work-up. Since then, she has taken part in several NATO exercises and has recently conducted Flag Showing visits to Cherbourg, Amsterdam, and Hull.
Photographed at Chatham on 25 May 1980