Italian shipbuilding firm Fincantieri has announced the start of production of the U212 next-generation submarine as part of the country’s Near Future Submarine (NFS) program.
With a budget of $1.64 billion, the U212NFS program is expected to meet the Italian Navy’s requirement to maintain its underwater surveillance and control of territorial waters.
The program will provide the required capability for the service to conduct military missions into the future when the nation’s other four Sauro-class submarines are no longer operational.
Once manufacture is complete, the Italian Navy will use the new submarines to conduct missions including freedom of navigation, anti-piracy, border defense, anti-terrorism, and safeguarding maritime infrastructure.
“The submarines carry out many different tasks for the benefit of the community on a daily basis, preserving national interests and collective defense within the framework of the most important alliances in which Italy participates, NATO and the EU,” Fincantieri stated.
The first deliveries of the U212NFS are expected in 2027 and 2029.
Taking a ‘Real Technological Leap’
Fincantieri explained that the production of Italy’s first U212 next-generation submarines would utilize and consolidate the “technological lead” that the company has acquired.
The firm is applying its know-how to develop the submarines’ enhanced capabilities, integrating advanced components developed by the Italian defense industry.
According to Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono, the company will take “a real technological leap” forward in building the Italian vessels, starting with the design and integration of advanced combat systems.
“This will allow Italy to continue being a main actor among the limited group of countries that can build such advanced units,” Bono said last year.
In addition to submarine production, the U212NFS program includes associated in-service support, an option for two additional units, and the establishment of a training center.