The present work is the first of a two-part contribution to the development of hydrodynamic procedures for determining forces on ship forms immersed in an external potential flow. In this first part, the case of a prolate spheroid in an axisymmetric flow is considered, and exact and linearized expressions for the image system of sources and doublets, valid under certain conditions, have been obtained. By means of the Lagally theorem, these yield the values of the forces acting on the spheroid for both steady and unsteady flow. The case of an external potential flow due to a source on the axis of symmetry is considered in detail. In the second part the results for a prolate spheroid in asymmetric flows will be presented.

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