Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri and the Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation en matiere d’Armement (OCCAR), the European organization for joint armament cooperation, will sign a contract today for the construction of two next-generation U212NFS submarines for the Italian Navy.
Fincantieri will act as prime contractor in submarine construction. The contract is part of the new U212NFS — Near Future Submarine — acquisition program of the Italian Navy that includes four units.
According to the shipbuilder, the total contract value for the first two vessels, including relevant logistics support, stands at EUR 1.35 billion (about $1.6 million).
The U212NFS submarines and Fincantieri’s role
As explained, the project is an evolution of the U212A program carried out in cooperation with German group thyssenkrupp Marine Systems. The program resulted in the production of four submarines for Italy – Todaro, Scirè, Venuti and Romei, delivered by Fincantieri between 2006 and 2017 – and six for Germany.
Analyses showed that the technological content of these air-independent propulsion submarines determined the shift in the balance between nuclear and conventional vessels in the postwar period.
With the first two deliveries scheduled for 2027 and 2029, the U212NFS program stems from the need to secure adequate underwater spatial surveillance and control capacity, considering the future complex scenarios of underwater operations and that the operational lifetime of the four Sauro class submarines, currently in service, is drawing near.
Italian submarines carry out many different tasks for the benefit of the community on a daily basis, responding to requests coming from the government or the nation’s main alliances, NATO and the EU.
Specifically, they range from purely military missions to operations pertaining to freedom of navigation, anti-piracy, keeping the energy supply routes safe, observance of international law, fighting terrorism, defending external borders, and safeguarding maritime infrastructure.
“We are proud that the recognition of our skills by the Italian Navy and the German partner has brought about a change in the relations, thus securing – on the one hand – our role as design authority, on the other as prime contractor,” Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri CEO, commented.
“We are going to take a real technological leap forward compared to the submarines of the previous class, starting with the design and the combat system developed along with Leonardo, which we are in charge of integrating on-board.”