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Ordnance QF 4 inch gun Mk XXIII
HMS andrew 4 inch deck gun.jpg
Mk XXIII gun from HMS Andrew at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Gosport.
Type Submarine deck gun
Place of origin United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1945-1974
Used by United Kingdom
Wars Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation
Cold War
Production history
Produced 1945-46
Number built 31
Weight 1,568 pounds (711 kg) barrel & breech
Length 137.6 inches (3.495 m)
Barrel length 132.2 inches (3.358 m) bore (33 calibres)

Shell Fixed QF 35 pounds (15.88 kg)
38.5 pounds (17.46 kg)
Calibre 4-inch (101.6 mm)
Breech horizontal sliding-block
Carriage Submarine SII mounting
Elevation -5 to +30 degrees
Traverse 360 degrees[1]
Rate of fire about 15 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity 35 lb: 1,791 feet per second (546 m/s)
38.5 lb: 1,745 feet per second (532 m/s)
Maximum range 35 lb @ 30 degrees: 12,080 yards (11,050 m)

The QF 4-inch gun Mark XXIII was introduced in late 1945 as a deck gun for Royal Navy submarines. It was the last type of gun to be fitted to British submarines, finally being retired in 1974.

Development and service

Development of the Mark XXIII began in 1942, as a lighter replacement for the QF 4-inch gun Mark XXII, which was based on a gun introduced in 1911. It was too late to see service in World War II, but was fitted to Amphion-class submarines that completed after October 1945.[2] It was also fitted to some T-class submarines.[1]

Between 1955 and the early 1960s, the Amphion-class boats were modernised with new streamlined conning towers and casings. This work included the removal of the deck gun, although the underlying supports for the gun mountings were retained in case they were required. This facility was put to use during the British involvement in the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation from 1962 to 1966, when the flotilla of Amphion-class submarines which were deployed in the conflict were again fitted with Mark XXIII guns. These were used to counter blockade-running Indonesian junks and other small vessels.[3] HMS Andrew retained her gun into the 1970s; the last firing was on 2 December 1974.[1]

Surviving examples

HMS Andrew's Mark XXIII gun is preserved at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Gosport.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Britain - 4"/33 (10.2 cm) QF Mark XXIII". Tony DiGiulian. 22 October 2008. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  2. Lambert, John. "Naval Weapons, Equipment, Fittings & Boats.". John Lambert Plans. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  3. Akermann, Paul (2002), Encyclopedia of British Submarines 1901-1955, Periscope Publishing Limited, ISBN 1-904381-05-7 (pp. 426-427)
  4. Whitman, Edward C (Summer 2003). "Royal Navy Submarine Museum". Undersea Warfare - The Official Magazine of the U.S. Submarine Force. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 

External links

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