The future of Italian Navy submarine fleet


During the Defense Leaders Combined Naval Event 2024 in Farnborough, UK, the Italian Navy unveiled its submarine fleet plan through 2050.

Commander Stefano Oliva of the Navy General Staff revealed that the fleet will expand from 8 to 10 submarines by 2036. This includes four modernized U212As, four U212 NFS (Near Future Submarine), and two U212 NFS Evo. Additionally, between 2025 and 2040, a new submarine model called NGS (Next Generation Submarine) will be developed. The last two Sauro-class submarines, which have undergone life extension work, will remain in service until at least 2031, while the first-batch U212As will undergo mid-life upgrades.

“We have begun funding R&D for the Next Generation Submarine, planned for production after 2040,” Oliva said. The Navy is enhancing U212 NFS capabilities, focusing on deep attack with cruise missiles, unmanned vehicle control, and improved sensors with AI applications.

The U212 NFS Evo will be entirely designed and built in Italy, with a 2,000-ton displacement, integrating technologies from research and industry. The first two U212 NFS are expected in 2027 and 2029, featuring new fuel cells for higher speeds, additional antennas for electronic warfare, and advanced coatings to reduce fouling and hydrodynamic resistance, increasing endurance.

The U212 NFS will also have a next-gen combat system developed by Leonardo, with significant contributions from Italian industry and academia, and will be capable of launching long-range cruise missiles.

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