The U212 submarine is capable of long-distance submerged passage to the area of operation. The German Navy has ordered four of the submarines.
The Type 212 is being constructed by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW) of Kiel and Thyssen Nordseewerke GmbH (TNSW) of Emden. HDW is responsible for the bow sections and TNSW for the stern section. HDW is assembling the first and third vessels, TNSW the second and fourth. U31, the first of the class, was launched in March 2002 and commissioned in October 2005.
The second, U32, was launched in December 2003 and was also commissioned in October 2005. The third, U33, was launched in September 2004 and commissioned in June 2006. U34 was launched in July 2005 and commissioned in May 2007.
Type 214 has an increased diving depth of more than 400m, due to improvements in the pressure hull materials. Hull length is 65m and displacement 1,700t. Four of the eight torpedo tubes are capable of firing missiles.
Type 214 submarines for the Hellenic Navy are armed with the WASS (Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei) Black Shark heavyweight torpedo. The Black Shark is a dual-purpose, wire-guided torpedo which is fitted with Astra active / passive acoustic head and a multitarget guidance and control unit incorporating a counter-countermeasures system. It has an electrical propulsion system based on a silver oxide and aluminium battery.
Performance of the AIP system has been increased with two Siemens PEM fuel cells which produce 120kW per module and give the submarine an underwater endurance of two weeks. A hull shape, which has been further optimised for hydrodynamic and stealth characteristics, and a low-noise propeller combine to decrease the submarine’s acoustic signature.