Extensive use of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) in oceanographic applications necessitates investigation into the hydrodynamic forces acting over an AUV hull form operating under deeply submerged condition. This paper presents a towing tank-based experimental study on forces and moment on AUV hull form in the vertical plane. The AUV hull form considered in the present program is a 1:2 model of the standard hull form Afterbody1. The present measurements were carried out at typical speeds of autonomous underwater vehicles (0.4-1.4 m/s) by varying pitch angles (0-15°). The hydrodynamic forces and moment are measured by an internally mounted multi-component strain gauge type balance. The measurements were used to study variation of axial, normal, drag, lift and pitching moment coefficients with Reynolds number (Re) and angle of attack. The measurements have also been used to validate results obtained from a CFD code that uses Reynolds Average Navier-Stokes equations (ANSYS™ Fluent). The axial and normal force coefficients are increased by 18% and 195%; drag, lift and pitching moment coefficients are increased by 90%, 182% and 297% on AUV hull form at α=15° and Rev=3.65×105. These results can give better idea for the efficient design of guidance and control systems for AUV. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.