Type 212 A

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After the launch of the last U-boat of Type 206 (U 30 on 04/04/1974) over 20 years passed, during which no U-boats were constructed for the German Navy, only the successful export of submarines was able to preserve the corresponding production capacities.

Only in 1987 planning for a completely new U-boat type with air independent propulsion and a significantly bigger displacement than the preceding U-boats begun. After successfully carrying out trials with the innovative hydrogene fuel cell propulsion on the reconstructed U 1 in 1988/90 the building order on U-boats of Type 212 was given. The first unit to be lauched was U 31 on 20 March 2003, almost 28 years after the last boat of Type 206 was launched.

These new boats which feature a streamlined hull design have a displacemnt of 1,800 t, a complement of 27 (since a few years also women) and a range of 8,000 nmi at 8 kn with their air independent propulsion with a power of 4,200 HP. Their speed is 12 kn surfaced and up to 20 kn submerged, they can be operated safely in a depth of 400 m and. They are able to stay submerged for up to two weeks (Type 206A only up to four days) and are equipped with 6 bow topredo tubes for newly designed fiber optic-guided torpedoes.

On 19 October 2005 the first two units (U 31 and U 32), on 13 June 2006 the third one (U 33) and on 03 May 2007 the fourth one (U 34) were commissioned. U 35 was commisioned on 23 March 2015, U 36 was launched on 06 February 2013, it is still undergoing trials and is scheduled to be commissioned in 2016.



U 31, U 32, U 33, U 34U 35 and U 36 still undergoing trials


in cooperation: HDW at Kiel and Thyssen Nordseewerke at Emden (components)


U 31=19/10/2005/ U 32=19/10/2005/ U 33=13/06/2006/ U 34=03/05/2007/ U 35= 23/03/2015/ U 36= 2016 (planned)


1,450 t/ 1,830 t submerged


56.0 m


7.0 m


6.0 m

Engine power

diesel 1,400 PS / fuel cell=2,300 PS


12 kn / 20 kn submerged


8,000 nmi at 8 kn

Diving depth

at least 400 m


6 bow torpedo tubes