The programme, which includes two submarines contracted in 2021 with deliveries scheduled for 2027 and 2029, as well as a third unit that has received parliamentary approval and operational support, along with the construction of a Training Center, is managed by OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation).
The U212NFS submarines will be highly innovative, with significant design modifications independently developed by Fincantieri according to the requirements of the Italian Navy. The programme is a response to the need to ensure adequate surveillance and control capabilities in underwater areas, considering the complex operational scenarios that will characterize future activities in the underwater sector, as well as the approaching end of the service life of the four units of the III and IV series of the Nazario Sauro type. It also serves to preserve and enhance the strategic and innovative industrial know-how developed by Fincantieri and the consolidation of the technological advantage achieved by the company and major industrial enterprises, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises in the sector, as the presence of domestically developed components will be reinforced.
The Italian fleet already operates four U212A submarines, built in two series by Fincantieri S.p.A. in Muggiano, near La Spezia, in cooperation with the German holding company thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, the licensor of the project. The U212NFS project is an evolution of its predecessors.
Compared to the base 212A project, the new U212NFS platform will have an extended pressure hull, a redesigned combat information center with additional consoles, the ability to operate in tropical water temperatures, electrically raised masts instead of hydraulic ones, a new system for monitoring platform devices and systems, and lithium-ion batteries for the propulsion system. Additionally, the 212NFS will be capable of launching long-range missiles and the Italian heavyweight torpedoes Leonardo Black Shark Advanced.