Production activities for the second of two new-generation submarines, as part of the U212NFS (Near Future Submarine) acquisition programme of the Italian Navy, started yesterday (June 6) at the Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard.
The programme includes two vessels contracted in 2021 to be delivered in 2027 and 2029, a third submarine which has received parliamentary approval, as well as the creation of a Training Centre. It is led by OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement, the international organisation for joint armament cooperation).
The ceremony was attended, among others, by Joachim Sucker, OCCAR Director and Vice Admiral Giuseppe Abbamonte, Director of Naval Armaments – NAVARM, welcomed by the President and the Chief Executive Officer of Fincantieri, Gen Graziano and Pierroberto Folgiero, together with the General Manager of the Naval Vessels Division Dario Deste.
The U212NFS submarines will be highly innovative, with significant design modifications which will all be developed independently by Fincantieri in accordance with the requirements of the Navy.
The programme responds to 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.
It also aims at upholding and further developing Fincantieri’s acquired strategic and innovative industrial know-how, as well as consolidating the technological lead attained by the company and its supply chain, major industries, and small and medium-sized enterprises of the sector, enhancing the presence on board of technologically advanced component parts developed by Italian industries.
The submarines carry out many different tasks for the benefit of the community on a daily basis, preserving national interests and collective defence within the framework of the most important alliances in which the Italy participates, NATO and the EU.
They range from purely military missions to operations pertaining to freedom of navigation, anti-piracy, keeping the energy supply routes safe (due to the presence of seabed resources or underwater infrastructure), observance of international law, fighting terrorism, defending external borders, and safeguarding maritime infrastructure, including essential offshore and underwater infrastructure, not least preserving marine ecosystems. –fincantieri/adj/mhi (Pix: Fincantieri)