Italy and Fincantieri have signed a contract worth €1.35b for the construction of two next-generation submarines, as part of the U212NFS (Near Future Submarine) programme.
The project is based on the U212 project, which was completed in collaboration with Germany’s Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems and led to the production of four Todaro class air-independent propulsion (AIP) submarines for the Italian Navy: the Todaro, Sciré, Venuti and Romei.
The U212NFS programme’s first two boats will be delivered to the navy in 2027 and 2029, while the contract also includes an option for two more submarines, taking the overall cost up to €2.68b.
The NFS will operate a Leonardo-built combat management system and are set to be the first in the West to run on lithium-ion batteries (developed in Italy), which will allow them to run underwater for longer than traditional lead-acid batteries.
Defence News recently reported that the NFS will also be able to fire missiles from their torpedo tubes. If the rumours are true, and there is no reason to believe otherwise, this will significantly boost Italy’s submarine force-projection capabilities.
Eventually, the new subs are going to replace Italy’s four Sauro class submarines.