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Bergen - RAF©UF - VSN - Roald Atle Furre-Christine Urquhart Furre | all galleries >> Galleries >> U-Boot-U-Boat-Ubaat -"WolfPack"-Bergen-Norwegen > What is under the Surface - Uboot -Sub on its way to Bergen
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What is under the Surface - Uboot -Sub on its way to Bergen

The U212 submarine is capable of long-distance submerged passage to the area of operation. The German Navy has ordered four of the submarines. The Type 212 is being constructed by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW) of Kiel and Thyssen Nordseewerke GmbH (TNSW) of Enden. HDW is responsible for the bow sections and TNSW for the stern section. HDW is assembling the first and third vessels, TNSW the second and fourth. U31, the first of class, was launched in March 2002 and commissioned in October 2005. The second, U32, was launched in December 2003 and was also commissioned in October 2005. The third, U33, was launched in September 2004 and will enter service in 2006. U34 was launched in July 2005.

Two U212 submarines are being built by Fincantieri for the Italian Navy. The first, S526 Salvatore Todaro, was launched in November 2003 and is due to commission by the end of 2005. The second, Scire, was launched in December 2004 and will commission in 2006.


The Type 212 is equipped with a highly integrated Command & Weapons Control System which interfaces with sensors, weapons and navigation system. The system is based on a high-performance databus and a distributed computer system, the Basic Command & Weapons Control System (Basic CWCS) supplied by Konsberg Defence & Aerospace of Norway under the trade name MSI-90U.


There are six torpedo tubes in two groups of three. Type 212 is equipped with a water ram expulsion system for torpedo launch. The submarine is equipped with the DM2A4 heavyweight torpedo weapon system from Atlas Elektronik.


EADS Systems & Defence Electronics and Thales Defence Ltd have been awarded a contract to develop the FL1800U electronic warfare system for the German and Italian navies' U212 submarines. The 1800U is a submarine version of the FL1800 S-II which is in service on the Brandenburg and Bremen class frigates.

A consortium lead by ATLAS Elektronik and ELAC are responsible for the development of the TAU 2000 torpedo countermeasures system. TAU 2000 has four launch containers, each with up to ten discharge tubes equipped with effectors. The effectors are small underwater vehicles, similar in appearance to a torpedo. The effectors are jammers and decoys with hydrophones and acoustic emitters. Multiple effectors are deployed in order to counter torpedoes in re-attack mode.


The submarine is equipped with an integrated DBQS sonar system which has: cylindrical array for passive medium-frequency detection; a TAS-3 low-frequency towed array sonar; FAS-3 flank array sonar for low/medium-frequency detection; passive ranging sonar; and hostile sonar intercept system. The active high frequency mine detection sonar is the Atlas Elektronik MOA 3070.

The search periscope is the Zeiss Optronik SERO 14 with optical rangefinder, thermal imager and global positioning system. The Zeiss SERO 15 attack periscope is equipped with laser rangefinder.


The propulsion system combines a conventional system consisting of a diesel generator with a lead acid battery, and an air-independent propulsion (AIP) system, used for silent slow cruising, with a fuel cell equipped with oxygen and hydrogen storage. The system consists of nine PEM (polymer electrolyte membrane) fuel cells, providing between 30 and 50kW each.

For higher speeds, connection is made to the high-performance lead acid battery. An MTU 16 V- 396 diesel engine powers the generator from Piller GmbH for charging the battery installed on the lower of the two decks at the forward section of the submarine. The diesel generator plant is mounted on a swinging deck platform with double elastic mounts for noise and vibration isolation. The propeller motor is directly coupled to the seven-bladed screwback propeller.

TYPE 214

HDW has developed the Type 214 submarine, which is a further improvement on the Type 212. The Greek Navy has ordered three Type 214 submarines. The first, Papanikolis (S120), was built at the HDW Kiel shipyard and was launched in April 2004. It is scheduled for delivery by the end of 2005. Hellenic Shipyards will build the second (Pipinos S121) and third (Matrozos 122) vessels at Skaramanga, for commission in 2008-09. Hellenic Shipyards was acquired by HDW in May 2002. A fourth vessel was ordered by Greece in June 2002.

South Korea has also ordered three Type 214, to enter service in 2007, 2008 and 2009. These will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries.

The Type 214 will have an increased diving depth of over 400m, due to improvements in the pressure hull materials. Hull length is 65m and displacement 1,700t. Four of the eight torpedo tubes will be capable of firing missiles.

Type 214 submarines for the Hellenic Navy will be armed with the WASS (Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subaquei) Black Shark heavyweight torpedo. The Black Shark is a dual purpose, wire-guided torpedo which is fitted with Astra active / passive acoustic head and a multi-target guidance and control unit incorporating a counter-countermeasures system. It has an electrical propulsion system based on a silver oxide and aluminium battery.

Performance of the AIP system has been increased with two Siemens PEM fuel cells which produce 120kW per module and will give the submarine an underwater endurance of two weeks. A hull shape which has been further optimised for hydrodynamic and stealth characteristics and a low noise propeller combine to decrease the submarine's acoustic signature.

The Integrated Sensor Underwater System ISUS 90, from ATLAS Elektronik integrates all sensors, command and control functions on board the submarine. BAE Systems provides the Link 11 tactical data link. The sensor suite of the U214 submarine consists of the sonar systems, an attack periscope and an optronic mast. The submarine's electronic support measures system and Global Positioning System sensors are also installed on the optronic mast.

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