Image description

The image shows the Romanian Delfinul submarine, viewed from side, with the front called the bow, where the sonar is found, directed to the left.

Sonar is a telecommunication device that that uses sound propagation underwater, to detect objects on or under the surface of the water. The sonar dome is at the stem of the submarine, left edge, and the small sonar dome is located towards the tail of the submarine, right.

It has an oval, elongated and flattened shape, the body being marked embossed. Due to the anatomy of the hull or the body, resembling a horizontal drop of water, it can sink quickly, but the cruising speed at the surface is much lower due to the frictional force.

To dive, the submarine is equipped with chambers or diving tanks that fill with water, and when it rises to the surface, these chambers are emptied, in order for the body to be easy enough to float on the water.

On the roof is the sail,  marked by an embossed square in the central part, where the periscope and the radar along with the radio and electronic warfare antennas are, above, and on sides are mounted the sail or diving planes similar to a wing.

The periscope is an instrument that can monitor the situation from the surface of the water, without being detected, through a telescopic tube, long and vertical.

The tail of the submarine or the stern, right end, is provided with a propeller, rendered by a cross with three embossed sides.

Next to the propeller are mounted laterally two wings wider than the ones on the sail, being called stern planes, along with a third upper wing called the rudder.

From side is shown only the left side stern plane, marked as an embossed square, located at the bottom of the stern.

The submarine dives under the water shown above it by two wavy lines, horizontal and thickened.

General information

In the history of Romania, two submarines were called “Delfinul”. The first of them was built in 1936 in Fiume, Italy] [today Rijeka in Croatia]. During World War II, the Dolphin participated in 9 missions such as naval surveillance, informing “its own forces about the enemy danger”, monitoring enemy communications and “attacking enemy convoys, only in special situations” [Bibliography 1]. After the end of the conflagration, it was taken to the Soviet Union, from where it was returned to Romania in 1957. Researchers claim that this year was a “wreck”. Rebuilt by the Romanians, it was later used as a “research ship until the 1970s when it was scrapped” [Bibliography 2]. The submarine Dolphin I, also known as His Majesty’s Ship, had the following technical characteristics: 68, 52 meters long, 6 meters wide, a surface speed of 14 knots, and an immersion speed of 9.5 knots. It used two Sulzer diesel engines. Its crew consisted of 6 officers, 26 foremen and non-commissioned officers and 8 full-time soldiers. [Bibliography 3]. In addition to Delfinul, the Romanian Army used two other submarines, Rechinul and Marsuinul, during the Second World War. [Bibliography 4].

The second of them, called Delfinul Doi, was built in Nizhny Novgorod in the USSR and secretly brought to Romania in 1985. Delfinul Doi submarine cost $ 40 million and was one of the most modern in the Black Sea [Bibliography 5] . Being part of the Kilo class, the Dolphin submarine was different from the classic ones and had the dimensions of 72.8 meters long and 10 meters wide [Bibliography 6]. Its shape allowed it to move more easily in a dive with a speed of 20 knots (the equivalent of 40 kilometers per hour) [Bibliography 6 Ibidem]. Being an attack machine, it could launch 18 torpedoes on board in 7 minutes [Bibliography 7]. Currently, the Dolphin submarine is unusable because the engine’s batteries are exhausted. The costs of replacing them would amount to up to 20 million euros [Bibliography 8].


  1. ***, Submarinele României. Partea I: Delfinul accesibil online la adresa [5 decembrie 2018].
  2. Dorin Udrea, Secretele singurului submarin romînesc, accesibil online la adresa [5 decembrie 2018].
  3. ***, Submarinele României. Partea I: Delfinul accesibil online la adresa [5 decembrie 2018].
  4. Ciprian Plăiașu, 10 lucruri de știut despre … Submarinele românești, accesibil online la adresa [5 decembrie 2018].
  5. Dan Gîju, Ion Aramă – De la marinar de frunte la soldatul ultimei șanse. Scriitori militari contemporani prezentați de Dan Gaju, București, Editura Favorit, 2017, p. 14].
  6. Delfinul, singurul submarin romanesc, disponibil online la, [05 decembrie 2018].
  7. Dorin Udrea, Secretele singurului submarin romînesc, accesibil online la adresa [5 decembrie 2018].
  8. Mariana Iancu, Submarinul-himeră al ministrului Fifor, desfiinţat de experţi: „Noi nu l-am putut repara nici măcar pe cel pe care-l avem“, disponibil online la [5 decembrie 2018].

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