Today I bring you a claustrophobic exploration video, from the same group –Exploring the Unbeaten Path– that published in April a video of the hangar of two Buran shuttles in Baikonur.
This time the protagonists of the video sneak into a submarine (if I’m not mistaken, they speak in Dutch, I recommend activating the subtitles of the video in English). They do not reveal the city they are in (they only say they are in Europe), nor do they say what submarine they are, but in the video they find what appears to be the ship’s log, and it is written in Portuguese. That track helped me locate the ship: it is the submarine NRP Delfim (S-166), which served in the Portuguese Navy between 1969 and 2005.
These ships belonged to the Daphné class (Spain had four submarines of this class, and one of them called “Delfín”, by the way), although in Portugal it was known as the Albacora class, formed by four submarines. The others were the NRP Albacora (S-163, retired in 2000), the NRP Barracuda (S-164, retired in 2010) and the NRP Sperm Whale (S-165), sold to Pakistan in 1975, renamed PNS Ghazi and retired there of the service in 2000.
Constructed in the French shipyards of Dubigeòn-Normándie, in Nantes, these submarines had 57.8 meters of length, were moved by two diesel-electric motors of 800 CV, reached a maximum speed in surface of 13,5 knots with a maximum autonomy of 9,430 miles, and had a displacement of 869 tons in surface. They were capable of submerging to a maximum depth of 300 meters, and were equipped with 12 torpedo tubes of 550 mm (8 bow and 4 stern). They were framed in the 4th Submarines Squadron, operating from the Naval Base of Lisbon, and at the time of their retirement they were already very outdated.
The Dolphin was retired in the Portuguese Navy in December 2005, six months after participating in its last naval exercise, the “Shark Hunt”. In 2006 the City Council of Viana do Castelo, in the north of Portugal, unanimously approved an agreement with the Portuguese Navy to move the submarine to that municipality and turn it into a museum. On August 24, 2011, the Ministry of Defense of Portugal approved the delivery of the submarine to that municipality. At that time, the ship’s weapons systems had already been dismantled to become a museum. However, today is still moored on the docks of the old Naval Staleiros of Lisbon (Lisnave), located in Cacilhas, in the municipality of Almada, just next to Lisbon. There, by the way, shared dock with her sister NRP Albacora, until she sank down in January 2011, being scrapped that year in the shipyards Batistas de Alhos Vedros, also near Lisbon. In theory, it is an area guarded by the Portuguese Navy, because those docks are right next to the Naval Base of Lisbon.
Another of the submarines of the Albacora class is still nearby. The NRP Barracuda has been converted into a museum and is kept in a dry dock in Cacilhas, next to the frigate Dom Fernando II e Glória, a three-masted ship of the 19th century.
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