By Luca Peruzzi
On behalf of the Italian MoD, the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) agency and Fincantieri shipbuilding group, as prime contractor and platform design authority, are expected to sign the contract for the 1st Tranche of the U212 NFS (Near Future Submarine) programme within this week, according to sources near to the dossier. The U212 NFS programme includes the design, development, production, in-service support and training devices for four submarines to be built by Fincantieri for the Italian Navy. These submarines are based on an evolved U212 platform, slighter longer than the in-service U212A, with an improved propulsion plant featuring new Lithium-iron-phosphate batteries. Compared to current U212A boats they will also include a new generation combat system with Leonardo-developed command management system and weapon control, both including a significant industrial and technological content provided by Italian industry, research & development and academia. The new platform will be fitted for the deployment of long-range deep strike cruise missiles, a capability which is being considered by the Italian MoD, in addition to Leonardo national Black Shark Advanced heavyweight torpedo. The 1st Tranche of the U212NFS programme includes two boats, new technologies developments, 10-year in-service support and new training devices. The same contract is expected to include the option for the second pair of boats and in-service support together with new technologies potentially including a new Fuel Cell system.
Photo courtesy Fincantieri