A1 Class, Japanese Submarines

Photograph of A1-class submarine I-10
Wikipedia Commons



2434 tons standard displacement
2919 tons surfaced
4149 tons submerged


367'5" by 31'4" by 17'7"
111.99m by 9.55m by 5.36m

Maximum speed      

23.5 knots (surfaced)
8 knots (submerged)
Dive to 330 feet
to 100 meters


Aircraft 1 seaplane


1 5.5"/50 gun
2x2 25mm/60 machine gun
6 21" torpedo tubes (18 torpedoes)
2 Kampon diesels (12,400 shp)
electric motors (2400 shp)
220 tons
Range 16,000 nautical miles (26,000 km) at 16 knots surfaced
90 nautical miles (100 km) at 3 knots submerged

The A1s were based on the J3s and were fitted to serve as flagships. They were among the most modern submarines in the Imperial Navy, incorporating all the lessons of prewar submarine design and operation.

These boats had a pressure cylinder faired to the front of their conning tower that could hold a single seaplane. Just forward of this hangar was a bow catapult for launching the seaplane. These very large boats had accomodations for the squadron commander and extensive radio equipment.

The A1s were part of a balanced fleet of submarines to be completed by October 1941. The A1s were intended to direct scouting operations by B1 and C1 class submarines, the former specialized to locate targets and the latter to carry out attacks. Two A1s were initially ordered and completed on schedule. Later, an additional three A1s were  ordered, but two of these were canceled in 1942.

Units in the Pacific:


Approximately 80 miles north of Oahu      

Sunk 1944-6-13 off Kiska by Frazier
I-10 Off Christmas Island       Sunk 1944-7-4 off Saipan by Riddle and David W. Taylor
I-11 Completed 1942-5-16 (Kawasaki-Kobe)       Missing from 1944-1-11 off Funafuti

References (accessed 2007-12-19)

Boyd and Yoshida (1995)

Carpenter and Polmar (1986)

Gogin (2010; accessed 2012-11-30)

Jentschura, Jung, and Mickel (1977)

Worth (2001)

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