Italian future submarine programme takes a step forward
The U212 Near Future Submarine (NFS) programme for the Italian Navy passed a milestone on 11 January when Fincantieri began production of the first boat at the Muggiano shipyard in La Spezia.
The U212 NFS constitutes a radical evolution compared to the U-212A and marks the return of Italy to sovereign production of submarines, according to Shephard Defence Insight.
In February 2021, Fincantieri and OCCAR signed a €1.35 billion ($1.63 billion) contract to build two U212NFS diesel-electric submarines (plus two more boats on option) with deliveries scheduled for late 2027 and early 2029.
The U212 NFS will be slightly longer than the Todaro-class Type 212A boats in service with the Italian Navy, and they will feature new lithium-ion batteries instead of lead-acid batteries.
Other notable features include air independent propulsion and a Leonardo-developed combat management system.
The new submarines are designed to be integrated within the Italian Carrier Strike Group for force projection duties and to carry out intelligence, ISR and special operations.
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