Fincantieri, the renowned Italian shipbuilding firm, has been chosen to build the Italian Navy’s third U212NFS submarine. The contract has recently been greenlit by the parliament and is set to move forward through customary bureaucratic processes.
Spearheaded by the Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement (OCCAR), an international joint armament cooperation, this project encompasses the development of two other vessels contracted in 2021 and the establishment of a Training Center.
The initial two submarines are expected to be handed over to the Italian Navy in 2027 and 2029. The second vessel’s steel-cutting phase is marked to commence on June 6th.
Fincantieri is slated to undertake substantial design alterations to the U212NFS submarines independently, aligning them with the navy’s requirements.
This program is essential to ensuring robust underwater spatial monitoring and control capabilities, given the increasingly challenging future underwater operational scenarios and the approaching end of operational service for the four Sauro-class submarines currently in use.
The newly designed submarines will be versatile, fulfilling numerous roles that serve the community, protect national interests, and uphold collective defence within the context of key alliances such as NATO and the EU, which Italy is a part of.
Their functions span from purely military missions to responsibilities associated with safeguarding navigation freedom, counter-piracy, ensuring safety of energy supply routes (especially in light of the seabed resources or underwater infrastructure), adherence to international law, anti-terrorism, defending external borders, and protecting maritime infrastructure. This includes crucial offshore and underwater infrastructure and the preservation of marine ecosystems.
The U212 NFS Programme Division made a significant stride forward with the successful completion of the Critical Design Review (CDR) for the NFS program three months ago. This marks a pivotal milestone towards the realization of this new generation of submarines.