German, Italian ministries of defense extend submarine cooperation

Defense ministries of Germany and Italy signed a Memorandum of Understanding to extend their cooperation in the field of submarine operation and construction.

With Italy looking to procure further submarines, the MoU was signed on March 10 during a visit of Italian arms procurement coordinator Rear Admiral Ruggiero Di Biase to Koblenz, Germany.

Research and development will be the focus of the MoU in addition to efforts to keep the costs of operation down.

The two countries started their submarine cooperation in 1996 when Italy and Germany signed an agreement to start the construction of eight Type 212A submarines. The goal was to build identical boats thereby allowing the navies to share logistical and life-cycle support.

U212A were designed by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in Kiel and Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri constructed the Italian boats.