TKMS submits binding offer for Norwegian, German Type 212 submarine construction

Illustration: German Navy photo of Type 212 submarine U34


Illustration: German Navy photo of Type 212 submarine U34

By: Faris Pasic

A joint German-Norwegian project to procure common-design Type 212 air-independent propulsion submarines has made another step forward as ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) – the preferred contractor on the project – submitted its binding offer in October this year.

As disclosed by the Norwegian government, the two countries’ procurement agencies, Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) and Germany’s Bundesamt für Ausrüstnung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (BAAINBw), received the binding offer from the main supplier on October 30, 2018, and have begun a joint evaluation of the offer.

The two countries will subsequently enter into joint negotiations with the shipyard with the aim of reaching an agreement and signing a contract in 2019. Should all go according to plans, the first boat will be delivered seven years after the construction contract is signed.

Norway and Germany are procuring six identical Type 212 CD (common design) submarines after TKMS was selected as the preferred bidder in February 2017. French submarine specialist Naval Group also participated in the Norwegian tender but the proposition of acquiring the submarines jointly with Germany likely tipped the decision in favor of Germany’s TKMS.

The German Navy already operates six vessels in the class. The same type of submarine is in service with the Italian Navy.

Norway is acquiring four air-independent submarines to replace the existing six Ula-class submarines that were commissioned between 1989-1992. The submarines were designed to last for 30 years and will reach the end of their life in the mid-2020s. The country has also brought in UK-based BMT Defence Services (BMT) as a consultant in the project.

In addition to the submarine cooperation, Germany and Norway have established a navy-to-navy cooperation, research and development cooperation and a missile cooperation.

The new Type 212 CD submarines will share the low signatures of the Type 212 class but will have extended range, speed and endurance to allow worldwide operations, according to TKMS.