Among other topics, « the focus is on cooperation with Norway in the class 212 submarines, where two submarines are also to be procured for the German Navy, » the German Defense Ministry said following a meeting with the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) project managers.
The German Navy already operates six Type 212 submarines, while Norway intends to acquire four units to replace the Ula-class submarines that were commissioned between 1989-1992. A contract is expected in the first half of 2020. The two navies selected the new Type 212 CD (Common Design) variant, which will have extended range, speed and endurance. Germany is procuring two submarines in a similar configuration to the four on order by Norway.
The announcement comes as the Type 212 builder, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems announced that it will be investing 250 million euro in Kiel by 2023. « The objective is to develop the shipyard into an international competence centre for conventional submarine construction. Thanks to the currently good development with new orders, around 500 new employees will be hired throughout the company by the end of 2020, the majority of them in Kiel. The company is looking primarily for engineers and skilled workers, particularly in R&D, construction and manufacturing, » TKMS said.
During the first few months of this year, TKMS christened the largest conventional submarine ever built in Germany for Singapore and the third of four submarines for Egypt. « With the 212CD project for building a total of six identical submarines for Norway and Germany, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, together with its customers and partners, intends to create the European NATO standard of the future in the field of conventional submarines, » the shipyard added.
Type 212CD: a new standard for export ?
TKMS is also currently involved in a competition in the Netherlands, for the replacement of the Walrus-class. TKMS’ proposal is based on the Type 212CD. The “letter B” which is the equivalent of a down select is expected any day now. TKMS is competing against Navantia, Naval Group and Saab.
Naval News understands that the Type 212CD could also be selected by the Italian Navy to fill its need for four additional submarine. The Marina Military currently has 4 Todaro-class submarines (Type 212 design) and Sauro-class submarines. Four Type 212 (likely in its CD variant) would be replacing the ageing Sauro-class as outlined in the “strategic planning” document released earlier this year.
Another country where TKMS is activelly pitching the Type 212 is Poland for the Orka program. According to our information, the German shipbuilder and government could be proposing two second-hand ex-German Navy Type 212 in a very competitive deal. The German Navy could then place an order for two more Type 212CD to replace the submarines transferred to Poland. This would have the benefit of reducing the unit cost of the “Common Design” variant, and could have a positive impact in Norway, the Netherlands and even Italy…