In a statement the Italian Ministry of Defense and Italian shipmaker Fincantieri said, construction of the U212NFS submarine has commenced on January 11 at the Muggiano plant.
The U212NFS is the first of two submarines which will provide Italy improved capabilities. The NFS in the name of the submarine stands for Near Future Submarine.
The new submarine has significant changes in its design and is said to be very innovative. The reason for such a change is that analysis by the Italian Ministry of Defense shows that technical content of the world’s submarines has shifted the balance between nuclear and conventional units.
As a result, the U212NFS submarines will have capabilities to carry out advanced underwater monitoring and control, participate in complex operational scenarios and operations, and replace the 4 existing Sauro class submarines, which are at the end of their life cycle.
The first U212NFS submarine is scheduled to enter service in 2027, with the second submarine in 2029.
The production of the two submarines for Italy is important and of strategic nature since it showcases the country’s industrial strength and technical know-how through its domestic shipbuilder Fincantieri. The construction of a submarine involves a complex chain of production and supply, and the construction of these two subs involve many local, small and large enterprises, which not only provides jobs but also adds to the country’s stability and its strategic autonomy.
Since the U212NFS will have the capabilities of delivering deep underwater strikes, it will be equipped with six heavy Leonardo Black Shark Advanced torpedoes, cruise missiles, and UUVs. The sub will also be able to carry out attacks autonomously with other floating platforms being developed under the Deep Strike New Generation program.
The U212NFS AIP boats will have a hydrodynamic enhanced hull design with a central body measuring 1.2 meters in length compared to in-service platforms, including a propeller optimized cap combined with pre-swirled rudders, a fluoropolymer foul release hull coating to reduce fuel consumption, all contributing to reducing the acoustic signature, alongside a new emerging blowing system.
The design of the U212NFS is radically different from existing ones and will be equipped with seabed research systems, as well as technology that seeks to make submarines “invisible”. A mast lifting system will be integrated into the U212NFS as well as an airplane pilot.
Italian defense giant Leonardo is also involved in the construction of the two subs. It will equip it with a computer control center along with hundreds of sensors, providing sailors control over the ship’s combat operations.
The U212NFS will also be equipped with advanced sonar, new masts with a new generation RESM / CESM package provided by Elettronica, and communication equipment.