On 23 March 1914 send the American Electric Boat Company (E.B.C.) specialized in building submarine her design 203-D as response on the requirements sent by the Dutch shipyard Kon. Mij. De Schelde at Vlissingen, Netherlands dated 19 February. The Dutch shipyard built submarines using designs of the E.B. C. since her first submarine the Luctor et Emergo (later Hr. Ms. O1) laid down in 1904.(1)
The 203-D was presented as a standard design which had excellent results in practice as the E.B.C. claimed. Dimensions were not supplied, the displacement is written down in a pencil note 544,1 (surfaced)-782,0 (submerged) tons.
The speed while surfaced was 11 knots with 70% horsepower against the 12 knots asked for. However with both machines full power guaranteed E.B.C. 14 knots and estimated even 14,5 knots. Wirth a speed of 11 knots was the range 3.150 (guaranteed)-3.500 (estimated) nautical miles. The speed while submerged was 8,5 knots during 3 (guaranteed)-3,25 (estimated) ours., during 1-1,5 hours 9,5 (guaranteed)-10,125 (estimated) hours and a maximum speed during one hours of 10,5 (guaranteed)-11 (designed) knots. With an economic speed of 5 knots was the estimated range 80 nautical miles. The large rudder could be turned very quickly with the available motor to make the smallest turning circle as possible.
Water ballast tankage was 88 metric tons or 18% of the submerged displacement. Reserve buoyancy while surfaced was 111 tons (included 65% of the volume of the superstructure) comparable with a displacement of 27,8% (surfaced)-23,8% (submerged). The submarine was designed for a diving depth of 61 metres/200 feet instead pf the required 40 metres. The ballast tanks used for the hull were tested with a pressure equal to a depth of 51 metres. The two main bilge pumps aft had at each a capacity of 1.288 litres/minute, the auxiliary pump placed amidships had a capacity of 227 litres/minute. So it was possible to free the tanks from water at the surface within 30 minutes. If necessary were the pumps capable to blow the main tanks empty within 45 minutes when the submarine was on a depth of 200 feet.
Personnel accommodation available for 2 officers and 14 sailors and petty officers. To make it livable when operating in tropical areas were the living quarters inside sheated with cork to eliminate the sun heat. Strangely was in this design no provision made for a refrigerator, which was an absolute must for the Royal Netherlands Navy with submarines serving in the Dutch East Indies.
The armament was to consist of 4 internal bow torpedo tubes for which 8 torpedoes were available.
Against additional costs was a wireless telegraph to be installed.
Archive Kon. Mij. De Schelde 1875-1970 (Municipality Archive of Vlissingen) inv.no. 214.802
1. On 24 July 1914 was the submarine Hr. Ms. K III ordered for account of the Department of Colonies and which was to serve in the Dutch East Indies. Probably the asked E.B.C. design was a preliminary design for this submarine regarded her displacement. The Dutch K-series submarines were for service in the Dutch East Indies and the so-called much smaller O-series for service in the European coastal waters. In the 1930s was that difference diminished.