The museum’s greatest attraction is probably the submarine, SPRINGEREN, which as hull number no. S.329 was commissioned into the Danish Navy in 1964. She was in active service until 30th June 1989 and was finally decommissioned on 31st March 1990. The SPRINGEREN and her sisters of the DELFINEN (DOLPHIN) class were the last submarines to be designed and built by the Royal Dockyard in Copenhagen (now closed). Originally three units of the DELFINEN class were built from 1956 to 1961. In 1959 the Danish and US Governments agreed on a cost sharing program, which would build 23 ships in five years as replacement for ships about to be decommissioned. This program made it possible to build another submarine of the DELFINEN class, SPRINGEREN. The keel was laid down on 3rd January 1961; she was launched on 26th April 1963 and commissioned on 22nd October 1964.
The DELFINEN class was coastal-submarines, designed for operations in Danish waters and in the Baltic. They have, however, participated in NATO exercises in the Atlantic. Their displacement was 575 ton surfaced and 646 ton submerged. They were 53.9 meters long, had a beam of 4.7 meters and a draught of 4.2 meters. The periscope depth was 11 meters. Max. diving depth in peacetime was 100 meters which during time of war could be extended to 200 meters. The reason for diving restrictions in peace time was that the submarine was more exposed to corrosion when diving at greater depths. Surfaced the boat was propelled by 2 B&W diesel engines and submerged by two Brown Boveri battery powered electric engines.
The speed was 16 knots, surfaced as well as submerged. She had two propellers. A snorkel, operated like a periscope, made it possible to run on diesel-engines if the boat was just below surface.
The DELFINEN-class were the first Danish submarines not to be supplied with guns and designed – literally – as submarines, meaning that they were designed to operate submerged.
The submarines operating during World Wars I and II were designed to operate surfaced, and only dived in order to escape a counter-attack.