Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems has signed an agreement to build six Type 212 CD (Common Design) submarines for Germany and Norway.
After challenging negotiations, all parties agreed to the technical content and contractual terms shortly before midnight on March 22. Construction of the first Type 212 (German: U-Boot-Klasse 212 A, Italian: Todaro class) submarine could begin in 2023 if the contract is signed this summer.
Type 212 diesel-electric submarine is developed by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG (HDW). It is the first fuel cell propulsion system equipped submarine series. It features diesel propulsion and an additional air-independent propulsion (AIP) system. Submarines of this class 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 with little exhaust heat. The system is also said to be vibration-free, extremely quiet and virtually undetectable.
The design of the Type 212A submarine will be further developed with the integration of advanced technologies to expand the U212 family in Europe.
Delivery of the first submarine for the Norwegian Navy is expected from 2029, while delivery of the two boats for the German Navy is scheduled for 2031 and 2034.
In preparation for the expected order, thyssenkrupp had already initiated investments of some €250 million in 2019 for Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems at the Kiel location aimed at its further development into an international competence centre for conventional submarine construction. The building of a new shipbuilding hall has already begun and is clearly visible on the shipyard site.
With the progress now achieved in the Norwegian-German strategic cooperation project U212CD, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems will be able to consolidate its partnership with Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KDA), which has already existed since 2017, and expand industrial partnerships in both Norway and Germany.
Within the scope of the contractually agreed industrial cooperation obligations, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems also plans to collaborate specifically with small and medium-sized Norwegian companies.
In Germany, the result of the negotiations still has to be considered in the coming weeks together with the customers and partners in Norway and Germany in such a way that the parliamentary ratification procedure in Germany can be served on schedule. Contract signing on the 212CD project is expected this summer following parliamentary approval.
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