Unable to be detected from the air until surfaced, it was perfect for ambushing seaborne convoys or defense of islands or coastal regions. However, it had to surface in order to use its weapons, and while surfaced was vulnerable to air attack.
The missiles could only target sea or land targets, but the laser cannon could target air units. Having no shields, the U-boat mainly relied on its hull armor for protection, but a determined strafing run by aircraft could still destroy the U-boat in one pass. When an attack was detected, the U-boat usually attempted a crash dive, as laser or blaster bolts could not harm it underwater.