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Submarine Camouflage Schemes

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During WWII, the standard camouflage scheme for British Submarines operating in the Mediterranean was light and dark green and some were even painted pink. Submarines operating in the Gulf waters have displayed a khaki colour.

Otus in dry dock
Otus in dry dock

In 1979 HMS Porpoise assumed the role of underwater weapons target. Her casing, ballast tanks and vents were strengthened so that unarmed torpedoes could be Fired at her without fatal effect. However after decommissioning in 1982, it was decided Porpoise would be used for trials of the Spearfish Torpedo and for this role she was painted red.

In April 1991, two Oberon Class, Opossum and Otus were seen returning to HMS Dolphin painted shades of Black and duck egg blue. This together with a jolly roger Flag implied they had seen action in the gulf war, however no official statement was given.

During the cold war British nuclear submarines operated mainly in the deep dark waters of the North Atlantic. Since the collapse of the Berlin wall and the fall of communism they have found themselves working in different environments such as the Arabian gulf or Mediterranean. Camouflage is more of an issue in these shallower and cleaner waters.

In the summer of 1999 Trenchant was spotted leaving Devonport sporting a blue camouflage scheme. The blue paint was applied directly to the acoustic tiles. She then underwent a series of recognition trials.



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