German Navy - Deutsche Marine

Type 212A class Submarine


type 212a class submarine german navy deutsche marine howaldtswerke deutsche werft hdw thyssen nordseewerke emden seehecht torpedo idas missile s 181 182 183 184 185 186 fgs u31 u32 u33 u34 u35 u36








laid down





S 181 FGS U31

July 1, 1998

March 20, 2002

October 19, 2005



S 182 FGS U32

July 11, 2000

November 2003

October 19, 2005



S 183 FGS U33

April 30, 2001

August 2004

June 13, 2006



S 184 FGS U34

December 2001

May 2005

May 3, 2007



S 185 FGS U35

August 21, 2007

November 15, 2011

March 23, 2015



S 186 FGS U36


February 6, 2013

late 2015 ?





The German Type 212 class is a highly advanced design of non-nuclear submarine (U-boat) developed by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG (HDW) for the German and Italian Navy. It features diesel propulsion and an additional air-independent propulsion (AIP) system using Siemens proton exchange membrane (PEM) hydrogen fuel cells. The submarine can operate at high speed on diesel power or switch to the AIP system for silent slow cruising, staying submerged for up to three weeks without surfacing and with no exhaust heat. The system is also said to be vibration-free, extremely quiet and virtually undetectable.

Type 212 is the first of the only two fuel cell propulsion system equipped submarines ready for series production by 2007, the other being the Project 677 Lada class submarine designed by Russian Rubin Design Bureau.


At the beginning of the 1990s the German Navy was seeking a replacement for the Type 206 submarines. Initial study started on a Type 209 improved design, with AIP capability, called Type 212.

The final programme started in 1994 as the two navies of Germany and Italy began working together to design a new conventional submarine, respectively to operate in the shallow and confined waters of the Baltic sea and in the deeper waters of the Mediterranean sea. The two different requirements were mixed into a common one and, because of significant updates to the design, the designation has been changed to Type 212A since then.

In 1996 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) gave the start to the cooperation. Its main aim was the construction of identical boats and the start of a collaboration in logistic and life-cycle support for the two navies.

The German government placed an initial order of four Type 212A submarines in 1998. The German Submarine Consortium built them at the shipyards of HDW and Thyssen Nordseewerke GmbH (TNSW) of Emden. Different sections of the submarines were constructed at both sites at the same time and then half of them were shipped to the respective other yard so that both HDW and Thyssen Nordseewerke assembled two complete submarines each.

In the same year the Italian government placed an order of two U212A submarines built by Fincantieri for the Marina Militare (Italian Navy) at Muggiano shipyard, designated as the Todaro class.

The German Navy ordered two additional, improved submarines in 2006, to be delivered from 2012 on. They will be 1.2 meters longer to give additional space for a new reconnaissance mast.

On 21 April 2008 the Italian Navy ordered a second batch of submarine in the same configuration of the original ones. Some upgrading should involve materials and components of commercial derivation, as well as the software package of the CMS. The intention is to keep the same configuration of the first series and reduce maintenance costs.

The export-oriented Type 214 submarine succeeds the Type 209 submarine and shares certain features with the Type 212A, such as the AIP fuel cell propulsion.

In April 2006, U-32 sailed from the Baltic to Rota, Spain in a journey lasting two weeks, covering 1,500nm without surfacing or snorkelling. Seven years later, while on the way to participate in naval exercises in the USA, U-32 established a new record for non-nuclear submarines with 18 days in submerged transit without snorkelling.


Partly owing to the "X" arrangement of the stern planes, the Type 212 is capable of operating in as little as 17 metres of water, allowing it to come much closer to shore than most contemporary submarines. This gives it an advantage in covert operations, as SCUBA-equipped commandos operating from the boat can surface close to the beach and execute their mission more quickly and with less effort.

A notable design feature is the prismatic hull cross-section and smoothly faired transitions from the hull to the sail, improving the boat's stealth characteristics. The ship and internal fixtures are constructed of nonmagnetic materials, significantly reducing the chances of it being detected by magnetometers or setting off magnetic naval mines.


Although hydrogen-oxygen propulsion had been considered for submarines as early as World War I, the concept was not very successful until recently due to fire and explosion concerns. In the Type 212 this has been countered by storing the fuel and oxidizer in tanks outside the crew space, between the pressure hull and outer light hull. The gases are piped through the pressure hull to the fuel cells as needed to generate electricity, but at any given time there is only a very small amount of gas present in the crew space.


Currently, the Type 212A is capable of launching the fiber optic-guided DM2A4 Seehecht ("Seahake") heavyweight torpedoes, the WASS A184 Mod.3 torpedoes, the WASS BlackShark torpedoes and short-range missiles from its six torpedo tubes, which use a water ram expulsion system. Future capability may include tube-launched cruise missiles.

The short-range missile IDAS (based on the IRIS-T missile), primarily intended for use against air threats as well as small or medium-sized sea- or near land targets, is currently being developed by Diehl BGT Defence to be fired from Type 212's torpedo tubes. IDAS is fiber-optic guided and has a range of approx. 20 km. Four missiles fit in one torpedo tube, stored in a magazine. First deliveries of IDAS for the German Navy are scheduled from 2014 on.

A 30 mm auto-cannon called Muräne (moray) to support diver operations or to give warning shots is being considered too. The cannon, probably a version of the RMK30 built by Rheinmetall, will be stored in a retractable mast and can be fired without the boat emerging. The mast will also be designed to contain three Aladin UAVs for reconnaissance missions. This mast is likely to be mounted on the 2nd batch of Type 212 submarines for the German Navy.

General characteristics:

Displacement: 1,450 tonnes surfaced, 1,830 tonnes submerged
Length: 56 m (183.7 ft), 57.2 m (187.66 ft) (2nd batch)
Beam: 7 m (22.96 ft)
Draft: 6 m (19.68 ft)

1 MTU 16V396 diesel-engine
9 HDW/Siemens PEM fuel cells, 30–40 kW each (U31)
2 HDW/Siemens PEM fuel cells 120 kW (U32, U33, U34)
1 Siemens Permasyn electric motor 1700 kW, driving a single seven-bladed skewback propeller

Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h) submerged, 12 knots surfaced
Depth: over 700 m (2,296 ft)
Range: 8,000 nautical miles (14,800 km, or 9,196 miles) at 8 knots (15 km/h)
Endurance: 3 weeks without snorkeling, 12 weeks overall

6 x 533 mm torpedo tubes (in 2 forward-pointing asymmetric groups of left 4 + right 2 ) with 13 torpedoes or 24 tube mines
IDAS missiles (planned)

Torpedo defence system Tau, 4 launchers, 40 jammers/decoys

STN Atlas DBQS40 sonar suite:
TAS-3 passive low-frequency towed array sonar (deployed from sail)
FAS-3 passive low-, and medium-frequency hull-mounted flank array sonar
MOA 3070 mine detection sonar

Carl Zeiss SERO 14, with FLIR and optical rangefinder
Carl Zeiss SERO 15, with laser rangefinder
Riva Calzoni periscope masts and snorkeling systems
Kelvin Hughes Type 1007 I band navigation radar
EADS FL 1800U ESM suite
WASS hydrophones
Avio GAUDI autopilot and hydraulic systems
Kongsberg MSI-91 combat system

Crew: 23-27 (incl. 5 officers)


source: wikipedia


all units are assigned to 1st Submarine Squadron in Eckernförde, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany







1450 tons (surfaced) / 1830 tons (submerged)



56 meters (57,2 meters U35, U36)



7 meters



6 meters (surfaced)



12 knots (22 km/h) surfaced / 20 knots (37 km/h) submerged




1 x MTU 16V396 diesel engine (1050 kW)

1 x fuel cell system (306 kW)

1 x electric motor (1700 kW)

1 shaft / 1 propeller (7 blades)



8000 NM (14800 km) at 8 knots (15 km/h) surfaced

3 weeks without snorkeling / 12 weeks overall






6 x 533mm torpedo tubes for DM2A4 Seehecht torpedoes and IDAS missiles







s 181 fgs u31 type 212a class submarine german navy deutsche marine eckernförde

S 181 FGS U31


s 181 fgs u31 type 212a class submarine german navy deutsche marine hdw kiel thyssen nordseewerke emden

S 181 FGS U31


s 181 fgs u31 type 212a class submarine german navy

S 181 FGS U31



s-182 fgs u32 type 212a submarine

S 182 FGS U32


s-182 fgs u 32 type 212a class submarine german navy

S 182 FGS U32


s182 fgs u32 type 212a class submarine german navy

S 182 FGS U32


s 182 fgs u32 type 212a class submarine german navy eckernförde

S 182 FGS U32



s-183 fgs u 33 type 212a class submarine german navy

S 183 FGS U33


s183 fgs u33 type 212a class submarine german navy

S 183 FGS U33


s 183 fgs u33 type 212a class submarine german navy deutsche marine howaldtswerke deutsche werft hdw thyssen nordseewerke emden eckernförde

S 183 FGS U33



s-184 fgs u 34 submarine type 212a class german navy

S 184 FGS U34


s 184 fgs u 34 type 212a class submarine german navy taranto italy

S 184 FGS U34 - Taranto, Italy


s-184 fgs u34

S 184 FGS U34 - Taranto, Italy


s184 fgs u34 type 212a class submarine german navy

S 184 FGS U34 - Taranto, Italy


S 184 FGS U34


s-184 fgs u34 german navy submarine

S 184 FGS U34


fgs u-34 s-184 type 212a class submarine

S 184 FGS U34


s 184 fgs u34 type 212a class submarine german navy hdw thyssen

S 184 FGS U34



s 185 fgs u35 type 212a class submarine german navy deutsche marine hdw kiel thyssen nordseewerke emden eckernförde

S 185 FGS U35 christening


s 186 fgs u36 crest insignia patch badge type 212a class submarine german navy



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