OCCAR Signs Development of Italy’s Fourth Near Future Submarine - M5 Dergi
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OCCAR Signs Development of Italy’s Fourth Near Future Submarine

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The Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) has exercised a 500-million-euro ($535.5-million) contract option to manufacture a fourth U212 Near Future Submarine (NFS) for the Italian Navy.

The project is part of Rome’s initiative to expand its fleet with modernized versions of the U212A or Todaro-class diesel-electric submarines in service since 2006.

For the new vessel, OCCAR selected Trieste-based shipbuilder Fincantieri to lead the production.

The company is responsible for developing the previous three NFS as well as their Todaro predecessors.

Alongside construction, Fincantieri will provide integrated logistics and in-service support for the ship.

“We are proud to announce this further step forward in Fincantieri’s growth in the defense sector and especially in relation to innovation in the underwater domain,” Fincantieri Managing Director and CEO Pierroberto Folgiero stated.

“This project contributes to expanding our presence in the underwater sphere, a strategic area where the major challenges of the geopolitical balances and technological innovation of the future will play out.”

Steel Cut of Third Submarine

OCCAR’s announcement was held simultaneously with the steel-cutting ceremony for the third submarine under the NFS program.

The government approved Fincantieri to start the production of this vessel three months after the initiative passed critical design review in March 2023.

Although no specific timelines have been released, the initial three NFS are expected to arrive in 2027, 2029, and 2032, respectively.

New Batteries

At the event, OCCAR also revealed that it is engaged with Fincantieri to equip Italy’s next-generation U212s with modern battery systems.

“In addition to the order for the building of a new next-generation submarine, we signed the agreement for the new Lithium Battery System,” Folgiero said.

“This system represents an absolute innovation in underwater propulsion systems and demonstrates the commitment of Fincantieri and the Italian Navy to the development and industrialization of state-of-the-art international underwater technologies.”

The U212 NFS Fleet

The Italian Navy’s forthcoming U212 NFS submarines will each measure 59 meters long (193 feet) and accommodate more than 20 personnel.

They will be fitted with advanced combat, command, and control systems, long-range cruise missiles, and torpedoes.

Once completed, the fleet will sail with the Todaro submarines on various missions, including local maritime defense, supply route security, and joint multinational operations.

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