TKMS gets contract for six German-Norwegian Type 212 CD subs

After years of negotiations, Norway and Germany have reached an agreement with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) for the acquisition of new Type 212 CD (common design) submarines, the Norwegian Ministry of Defense said on 23 March.

German Navy photo of a Type 212 submarine

Norway will receive four submarines and Germany two.

As informed by the defense ministry, the total cost of the project is estimated at NOK 45 billion ($5.2 billion).

The deal is yet to be approved by the German Parliament and is expected to be signed this summer.

“This order represents the most important project for thyssenkrupp Marine Systems for the next decade and will secure employment, not only in Kiel, for years to come,” Rolf Wirtz, CEO of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, commented.

“The contract, which has yet to be signed, contains tough conditions for us. Nevertheless, for now we are happy to take this big step towards signing the contract and thank our customers for the trust they are placing in us.”

The first submarine is scheduled to be delivered to the Royal Norwegian Navy in 2029, while the first two boats for the German Navy are planned to be handed over in 2031 and 2034.

The partnership involving both countries’ industries is based on a German-Norwegian common purchase and lifetime management of identical, new submarines. It will include a purchase of identical submarines and cooperation on training, exercises, spare parts, maintenance and lifetime management of the new submarines. The submarines are based on the 212-design already in service in Germany and Italy.

Back in 2017, the two governments selected TKMS preferred bidder for the project.

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Also on 23 March 2021, the agreement has been reached on joint acquisition of missiles as well as the development of a future missile.

Type 212 CD submarines

The new Type 212 CD submarines will share the low signatures of the Type 212 boats in service with the navies of Germany and Italy but will have extended range, speed and endurance to allow worldwide operations, according to TKMS.

Germany already operates six Type 212 submarines (U-Boot Klasse 212A). The units include U-31, U-32, U-33, U-34, U-35 and U-36. The diesel-electric subs were developed by HDW for the German and Italian navies.

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.

Industry collaboration

With the progress now achieved in the Norwegian-German strategic cooperation project U212CD, TKMS will be able to consolidate its partnership with Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KDA), which has already existed since 2017, and expand value-adding industrial partnerships in both Norway and Germany.

“This is a new important milestone in the collaboration between the two nations with an industrial perspective. Together we will make next generation world class submarines and combat systems, and the agreement will lead to new innovations and value creation, not only for KDA but also for our subcontractors and other medium-sized Norwegian companies in the future,” Eirik Lie, President Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, said.

With the ORCCA product family, kta naval systems is setting new standards for submarine combat systems. The company was founded in October 2017 as a joint venture between thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, its business unit for Naval Electronic Systems (Atlas Elektronik) and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace. kta naval systems develops, produces and maintains as an exclusive supplier all combat systems for submarines from thyssenkrupp Marine Systems.

Within the scope of the contractually agreed industrial cooperation obligations, TKMS also plans to collaborate specifically with small and medium-sized Norwegian companies.