The Type 212 is a class of German submarines characterized by extreme stealth and destructive power. It is considered by European naval engineers as the quietest submarine in the world. Propelled by an air independent propulsion (AIP) system, it is fitted with nine Siemens fuel cells, which combines hydrogen and oxygen stored in special tanks located between the submarine outer hull and pressure hull to propel this submersible vessel; the only byproduct of this propulsion system is water.
The Type 212 submarine uses the AIP during combat missions and can operate underwater for up to 4 weeks in cruise speed, in shallow and deep waters, and without using snorkel. But the Type 212 is also equipped with one MTU Friedrichshafen 16-V, 396 diesel engine and a 3-mgwatt electrical motor, which are both suspended in special rubber, anti-vibration skids. The body hull of the submarine is made of anti-magnetic steel to counter the threat of magnetic mines, while featuring a smooth body shape, which is designed to break up enemy sonars.
The Type 212 submarines were designed and produced by two German firms; Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft AG and Nordseewerke GmbH in Emden, in northern Germany. A total of six Type 212A were produced for the German Navy and four for the Italian Navy with the designation of Type 214. These high-tech submarines can lodge a navy special forces team to carry out raids on enemy targets on the coast. Both the German and Italian U-boats are equipped with high-tech electronic sensors to eavesdrop on enemy communication.
Type: stealth attack submarine
Length: 56 m
Beam: 7 m
Displacement: 1,830 tons (submerged)
Draft: 6 m
Crew: 27 men
Weapons: IDAS sea-to-air/land missiles; wire-guided torpedoes; mines