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UDT 2022: First Type 212CD submarine to hit the water in 2027

7th June 2022 - 22:13 GMT | by Harry Lye in Rotterdam

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Rendering of the German-Norwegian Type 212CD submarine. (Photo: TKMS)

The German-Norwegian programme for common submarines is just one part of a strong submarine business for TKMS, which is also developing new boats for the Israeli Navy and is offering a solution for the Netherlands' submarine needs.

The first Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) built Type 212 Common Design (CD) submarine is expected to hit the water in 2027, Shephard learned during the UDT event in Rotterdam.

The company is building six identical submarines under the €5.5 billion ($6.5 billion) programme, two for the German Navy and four for the Norwegian Navy.

Speaking to Shephard, TKMS head of submarine sales Philipp Schoen said the first boat would hit the water in 2027.

Work on the first boat is planned to begin in 2023, with a view to delivering the vessel to the Norwegian Navy in 2029.

Schoen said they expect the basic design phase of the Type 212CD programme to be finalised this year in line with planning and contracts.

After the preliminary design review (PDR), work will shift to the detailed design that carries through until the delivery of the first prototype submarine.

Based on the Type 212A X-rudder design already in service with the German and Italian Navies, the Type 212CD is billed as 73m long with a beam of 10m and a height of 13m.

Looking to the programme to build Dakar-class submarines for the Israeli Navy, Schoen said he could not divulge any specific details; however, he acknowledged it would be a 'larger' submarine.

Previous renderings released by TKMS show the vessel featuring an enlarged sail, and reports have suggested that future Israeli boats will be fitted with vertical launching systems (VLS).

Rendering of the future Dakar-class submarine for Israel. (Photo: TKMS)

An agreement for the three Dakar-class boats, worth around €3 billion ($3.40 billion), was announced in January this year and will be part-funded by a German government grant.

The build programme for the new Israeli submarines will likely overlap with that of the Type 212CD boats for Germany and Norway.

Asked about the broader market for submarines, Schoen said: 'We pride ourselves to be the leader in conventional submarines, so for us, every market is important.

'At the same time, we are governed by the laws of Germany, so if there are any export restrictions, then we will definitely follow that.'

Schoen said that Asia was a hotspot for submarine activity but added that the markets it was looking at were more NATO-related.

TKMS has bid for the Netherland's Walrus-class submarine replacement programme, offering the Type 212CD E (expeditionary).

Schoen said that TKMS would 'naturally' be interested in any future plans from the Canadian Navy to revamp its submarine fleet.

TKMS submarines for Germany are built to be non-magnetic, a quirk of having to operate in the Baltic Sea, which is populated by some 60,000 unexploded sea mines, according to figures from the Swedish Navy.

Asked if this was a benefit for the broader market, Schoen said TKMS expects the non-magnetic requirement to become more and more apparent due to the increasing capability of ASW forces.

Asked about progress on the Dutch programme, Schoen said TKMS was prepared to enter in an offer 'ASAP'.

Holger Isbrecht, the programme manager for the TKMS bid, told Shephard: 'The Netherlands need this [the new submarine] to operate worldwide. This is how they define their naval capabilities; it's an expeditionary navy.

'Mostly, this was the reason why we focused on 212CD because the starting point of 212CD is actually to do what they requested, to operate worldwide.'

The CONOPS for the German-Norwegian boats is to operate in all NATO areas from the High North to the tropics.

Isbrecht added that the Type 212CD E would further expand on these capabilities.

As the starting point for its Dutch offer is not from scratch, TKMS views it as a military-off-the-shelf option, and according to Isbrecht, boats could be delivered to the Netherlands earlier than requested.

Exact timelines will be confirmed in a future RFQ.

TKMS believes workshare is another differentiator for its bid, as it is offering industrial cooperation on ten platforms, rather than just the four required by the Netherlands.

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