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U-212A class

Patrol submarine

U-212A class submarine

The U-212A class submarines are notable for their AIPS and streamlined exterior lines

 
 
Country of origin Germany
Entered service 2005
Crew 27 men
Dimensions and displacement
Length 55.9 m
Beam 7 m
Draught 6 m
Surfaced displacement 1 450 tons
Submerged displacement 1 830 tons
Propulsion and speed
Surfaced speed 12 knots
Submerged speed 20 knots
Diesel engines 1 x 4 245 hp
Electric motors 1 x 3 875 hp
Armament
Torpedoes 6 x 533 mm tubes for 12 wire-guided torpedoes

 

   Since the 1980s there has been a steadily rising level of interest among the world's navies in the advantages offered by the introduction of an Air-Independent Propulsion System (AIPS) to create true submarines out of what are otherwise conventionally powered submersibles.

   Germany trialed such a system in a U-205 boat adapted with an AIPS in 1988-89, and then moved forward to the creation of a highly streamlined boat designed from the outset with an AIPS, in this case using a hybrid fuel cell/battery propulsion arrangement based on Siemens PEM fuel cell technology. In 1992, ARGE 212 (a consortium of Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft and Thyssen Nordseewerke, supported by IKL) completed the initial design of the U-212A class, and an initial four boats were authorized in July 1994. However, it was only in July 1998 that the first metal was cut as the programme had been slowed to allow the incorporation of changes (including improved habitability and a greater diving depth) to maximize commonality with two boats ordered by Italy.

   The six German boats, which were complemented, are the U-31 to U-36. These are based on forward and after sections produced by HDW at Kiel and TNSW at Emden, with the boats completed alternately at the two yards. The first boat was launched in 2002 and commissioned in 2005.

   The design in based on a partial double hull in which the larger-diameter forward section is connected to the narrower-diameter after section (carrying the two liquid oxygen tanks and the hydrogen tankage) by a tapered section accommodating the fuel cell plant. The underwater propulsion can provide a maximum speed of 20 kts declining to 8 kts on just the fuel cells.

   The four Italian boats, called the Salvatore Todaro and Scire, Pietro Venuti and Romeo Romei have been built at Muggiano by Fincantieri. These were commissioned in 2006-2007 and 2016-2017 and are essentially similar to the German boats.

   The German U-214 class is based on the features of the U-212A, however it is aimed at the export market.

 

Germany

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
U-31 (S181) 1998 (?) 2002 2005

active, in service

U-32 (S182) ? 2003 2005

active, in service

U-33 (S183) ? 2004 2006

active, in service

U-34 (S184) ? 2006 2007

active, in service

U-35 (S185) 2007 2011 2015

active, in service

U-36 (S186) 2008 2013 2016

active, in service

? ? ? ?

planned

? ? ? ?

planned

 

Italy

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
Salvatore Todaro (S526) 1999 2003 2006

active, in service

Scire (S527) 2000 2004 2007

active, in service

Pietro Venuti (S528) 2009 2014 2016

active, in service

Romeo Romei (S529) 2012 2015 2017

active, in service

? ? ? ?

planned

? ? ? ?

planned

 

 

 
U-212A class submarine

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U-212A class submarine

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