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Type 211 Submarine

By 1985 the Bundesmarine submarlne force consisted o 18 Type 206 ana 6 Type 205 units. The Type 205 submarines were about 15 years old and had a aisplacementof 450 tons (submerged). They were 145 feet in length, had eight torpedo tubes and was diesel-electric powered. This class can lay mines and was the first class of submarine designed ana built by the Federal Republic of Germany since the Second World War. This submarine was not an open ocean unit.

The Type 206 submarines were about 10 years old, had a displacement of about 500T (submerged) and were 160 feet in length. This class was fitted with eight torpeao tubes and was diesel-electric powered. The hull was made of high-tensile non-magnetic steel, a feature unique to the submarines of this navy. Mines can be carried by this submarine both internal and external to the hull. The class of submarine was scheduled for modernization between 1985-91 and again in the early 1990s to accommodate a new torpedo. Though not an open ocean platform, this was an extremely capable coastal craft.

As of 1985 the six Type 205 diesel submarines in the inventory were scheduled for replacement by the Type 211 submarine in the future. The West Germans planned to bulld a new and larger class consisting of 12 submarines - the Type 211. It was planned as a true blue water class of approximately 1200T displacement. The Type 211 was similar to the Norwegian Type 210 and would use Norwegian electronics. The Type 211 units were designed with a special shallow water capability suitable for the northern North Sea and were to be built specifically to operate outside the Baltic against surface ships and other submarines. In the meantime the German navy continued to anticipate the Type 205 being utilized in barrier employment in the area of 55 to 60 degrees, with secondary mining missions.

In 1980 Kongsberg began to develop software modules for command system applications. Using these modules, the company then began to develop them into a modular command system and in 1982 received a full-scale development contract for a multipurpose console, the prototype of which appeared in mid-1983. Also in 1982, Kongsberg conducted a basic command and weapons control study in response to a concept and definition phase program for the German and Norwegian navies. This study was selected as the basis for the combat system for the submarines of both countries. An agreement with Norway was signed 6 September 1983 to jointly design and build new submarines for both navies. In Germany this project was called the type 210 class (which is why this designation is still attached to the Norweigan Ula class). Germany was to design and construct the submarines, and Norway was to deliver the newly designed electronics suite.

The joint Type 210 program was cancelled because Germany wanted a larger submarine than the Norwegian Navy. Norway also wanted their submarines to go deeper than the Germans needed. The Ula class is said to be able to go down to around 500 meters, even if the official number is 250 meters in peacetime. The electronics part of the co-operation was then transferred to the Type 211, since it was much more feasible to buy this new electronics suite from Norway than to develop it nationally.

The Type 211 would replace the six Type 205 and the six older Type 206 units. The first six Type 211's were to be in service 1991-93 to relieve Type 205 class submarines. Second six were to be commissioned in 1994-96. The German Navy wanted both to contribute to NATO maritime strategy and to secure the survival of the German U-boat industry. Early in 1986 the TR 1600 design from the Emden based Nordseewerke was short-listed as preferred design.

In May 1985, Kockums and the team of Ingenieur Kontor Lubeck (IKL) and builder Howaltswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) were selected as the two contractors for the $26 million funded development study phase for a new Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) submarine. The German team proposed the Type 2000 design. The diesel-electric propulsion system in this design was an example of proven capabilities in modern nonnuclear submarines. The submarine was designed to snorkel using four 1,400 RPM high-speed diesel-driven generators simultaneously. When configured as an attack boat, it will snorkel less than 90 minutes out of 24 hours (assuming it snorkels with a 6-knot speed of advance and patrols on batteries at 5 knots). In April 1987 the West German Government offered to share the Type 211 technology with the Australian government. But on 18 May 1987 the competing Kockums Type 471 submarine design, with a combat system from a consortium headed by Rockwell International, was announcedas the winner of the evaluation for the RAN's new submarine.

By 1987 the German navy planned to acquire a total of 21 Type 211 submarines, with the first to enter service in the early 1990s. But in the spring of 1987, the Type 211 project was terminated due to financial difficulties. It was impossible to procure both the Type 211 submarine and the F123 frigate projects at the same time. The developed elements of the design went into the next U-boat project, the Type 212 class.

In 1986, Kongsberg produced a prototype command system as the MSI-90U. It was originally intended to re-equip the Kobben class and to equip the new Ula-class submarines, but when production began in 1988 it was only used in the Ula class, becoming operational when the KNM Ula was commissioned in April 1989. The improved MSI-90U was selected for the Type 212 class. Concept definition of this system, which uses different sensors, was conducted by the ARGE 212 consortium (Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft and Thyssen Nordseewerke) on behalf of the Bundesamt fr Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung (BWB). A NKr250 million contract to upgrade MSI-90U was awarded to NFT in mid-1994 and the 'Follow-on Development Contract' of the system was completed in early 1997. Deliveries to the Norwegian Navy of the enhanced system (which retained the designation MSI 90U) began in May 1998 and were concluded in August 1999 for installation in the Ula class. This system was also later installed in the German and Italian Type 212A.

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Page last modified: 02-05-2019 13:55:08 ZULU