(Trieste, December 9, 2009) -- Today at Fincantieri's shipyard in Muggiano there was the ceremony to celebrate the cutting of the first sheeting - marking the start-up of construction of the first of the second pair of class U212A "Todaro" submarines, ordered by the Central Unit for Naval Armament - NAVARM for the Italian Navy. Scheduled for delivery in 2015 and 2016 the Navy has earmarked these vessels to replace the "Prini" and the "Pelosi" submarines ("Sauro" classe- third series), built at the end of the 1980s.
Present at the ceremony were, beside Fincantieri's representative, Admiral Dino Nascetti, General Director of NAVARM.
Construction of the two submarines is the continuation of a program which started in 1994 in cooperation with the German Submarine Consortium, which led to two submarines being built for Italy - the "Todaro" and the "Scire", delivered by Fincantieri in 2006 and 2007 respectively - and four submarines for Germany.
At an overall length of 56 metres, the vessels will have a surface displacement of 1,450 tons and a maximum diameter of 7 metres and be able to reach a submerged speed of 20 knots with a crew of 24. As the other submarines in the series, this new submarine will feature highly innovative technological solutions and will be entirely built employing amagnetic materials, applying the latest silencing devices in order to reduce its acoustic signature. The vessel will be equipped with a silent propulsion system based on fuel cell technology, producing energy through an oxygen-hydrogen reaction independently from external oxygen, ensuring a submerged range three to four times higher than the conventional battery-based systems. It will also feature a fully integrated electro-acoustic and weapon-control system, and a modern platform automation system.
The first two submarines of this type delivered by Fincantieri are already successfully at work within the fleet of the Italian Navy. Indeed, on the first December the "Scire" returned to Taranto having participated in CONUS '09 - an intense naval campaign in the Atlantic with the US Navy while in the summer the "Todaro" was also engaged in a similar mission within the framework of NATO manoeuvres. This submarine is at present anchored at Fincantieri's Muggiano yard for scheduled maintenance to be carried out by Fincantieri which has recently also been tasked with managing the vessel's life support program.
Commenting, Fincantieri's Chief Executive Officer, Giuseppe Bono, said: "Continuation of this program with the Navy benefits both our national defence and our industry. These submarines constitute state-of the-art for the sector, our country cannot not afford to lose the know-how needed to work in such a high tech field."
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