In accordance with the terms of the contract, the delivery of the first two submarines with a total value of almost 1.4 billion euros is expected in 2027 and 2029.
The new submarine was created on the basis of the existing diesel-electric submarines of the Todaro class (Type 212A), which were developed by the German company Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG for the German and Italian navies in the 90s of the last century. One of their key features is the ability to work at a depth of 17 meters. These submarines can come close to the coastline and work with sabotage groups of scuba divers. And the second air-independent power plant, albeit at very low speeds, made it possible to sneak up almost silently.
Externally, the new submarine has no pronounced differences. Its length is 59 meters, which is 1.2 meters more than the boats of the Todaro class. Surface displacement increased from 1450 to 1600 tons. The crew of the new submarine is up to 29 people.
The Type 212 NFS is capable of operating in sea waters with tropical temperatures. It will be equipped with a new integrated ship control system and a combat system built on an open modular architecture. This ensures easy integration of even third-party software.
The control system is installed in a modern, more spacious combat information center. Controls include nine two-screen and fully interchangeable multifunctional consoles, as well as an augmented reality command station that is integrated with numerous sensors, including those scattered across the sea. All systems comply with the most stringent cybersecurity requirements.
Powerful electronics allow efficient control of a wide range of weapons, such as the heavy Leonardo Black Shark Advanced torpedo developed for the Italian Navy, as well as long-range cruise missiles that will appear on new submarines.
NFS will also retain the ability to work in the interests of special forces, which it inherited from its predecessor Type 212A. On it, in addition to a special “trunk” for scuba divers and a docking station for a rescue system for submarines in distress, a system for launching and controlling unmanned underwater vehicles will be installed, which will expand the combat and reconnaissance capabilities of the submarine.
The new design of the cabin made it possible to accommodate up to seven telescopic radio masts, as well as a new generation periscope supplied by L3Harris. The increase in the number of antennas is due to plans to develop the submarine into an unmanned platform. Various sensors and cameras are placed on optoelectronic masts. Leonardo's digital sonar system provides improved enemy detection and tracking.
“Stealth, long range and superiority in the underwater environment will be the most important features of the new submarine, which will ensure effective deterrence, security and protection of Italy's national interests in the Greater Mediterranean”, - said Rear Admiral Vito Lacerenza, commander of the Italian submarine forces. - In general, NFS will not be a traditional submarine. It is designed as a “system of systems” and will be able to interact with networks of acoustic sensors and underwater drones”.