C3 Class, Japanese Submarines

Photograph of C3 class submarine

Wikipedia Commons



2095 tons standard displacement
2564 tonsn surfaced
3644 tons submerged


350'9" by 30'6" by 16'10"
106.91m by 9.30m by 5.13m

Maximum speed      

17.7 knots (surfaced)
6.5 knots (submerged)
Dive to 330 feet (100 m)


2 5.5"/50 gun
1x2 25mm/60 machine gun
6 21" torpedo tubes (19 torpedoes)
2-shaft diesel (4700 hp) or electric (1200 hp)
Range 27,000 nautical miles (50,000  km) at 12 knots surfaced
21,000 nautical miles (39,000 km) at 16 knots surfaced
105 nautical miles (194 km) at 3 knots submerged
Modifications Eventually equipped with snorkels
Surviving units received Type 13 air search radar and Type 22 surface search radar in late 1944.
1945: I-53 modified to carry 4 (later 6) Kaiten by removing both 5.5" guns.

The C3s were similar to the C1s, but had fewer torpedo tubes and sacrificed maximum speed for range. They were completed at the Kure Navy Yard in 1943. Another 17 units were planned but not laid down. There were also plans for 25 units of an improved C4 class, but these were also never laid down.

Some authors list the C3s as C2s, the C2s as C1s, and the C1s as Cs.

Units in the Pacific:


Completed 1943-12-18 (Kure)      

Sunk 1944-6-24 off the Azores by aircraft from Bogue
I-53 Completed 1944-2-20 (Kure)      
I-55 Completed 1944-4-20 (Kure)       Sunk 1944-7-28 off Tinian by Reynolds and Wyman


Boyd and Yoshida (1995)

Carpenter and Polmar (1986) (accessed 2009-12-8)

Jentschura, Jung, and Mickel (1977)

Worth (2001)

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