Unterseeboot Klasse U 206 A
The small nonmagnetic Type 206 diesel submarine which the Germans built specifically for Baltic operations is ideally suited to this role. With its excellent minelaying and torpedo capability coupled with its silent operating capability on station, these units would exact a precious toll in Pact shipping.
In response to the Warsaw Pact, the Type 206 was developed during the Cold war as a hunter-killer submarine to operate in the shallow depths of the Baltic sea. This submarine is one of the smallest and most maneuverable armed submersibles in the world. The Type 206 is well known for its low acoustic and low magnetic signature, making it very difficult to detect underwater.
The submarine U-206 project has a length of 48.6 meters, a beam of 4.6 meters, and a displacement above and under water of 450 and 500 tons. The ships are equipped with an electric motor - 1320 KW diesel power for moving with speed 10 knots in floating condition and 17 nautical miles - under water. Maximum range 4500 miles away in the state on the water with speed 5 knots. The crew - 22 people. Armament - 8 torpedoes and 24 mines DM2 A3 contained in the container.
The Type 206 is one of the smallest attack submarines in the world with a displacement of about 500 tons. Due to their small size and good dive characteristics, they are particularly useful in shallow water operations at approximately 20 m. The boats are built with an amagnetic steel hull meant to protect against mines, a feature unique to the submarines of this navy. Mines can be carried by this submarine both internal and external to the hull. Type 206 submarines were primarily tasked with antisurface warfare but could also carry out antisubmarine warfare, minelaying, and reconnaissance.
During the Cold War NATO focused on the tactics of establishing an extensive defensive barrier throughout the eastern, central and western Baltic utilizing hit and run and defense-in-depth tactics. Submarine operations, to include offensive mining in the eastern Baltic, would be the first echelon in this barrier of attrition. The small non-magnetic Type 206 diesel submarine which the Germans built specifically for Baltic operations is ideally suited to this role. With its excellent minelaying and torpedo capability coupled with its silent operating capability on station, these units would exact a precious toll in Warsaw Pact shipping. German plans were to have these units remain in service through the end of the century, with twelve of the eighteen units undergoing retrofit to be delivered during 1988-91 to fill the capability gap created by the postponement of the Type 208 submarine program until after the year 2000.
The Type 206 submarine was built for the West German Navy in the early 1970s. Between 1973 and 1975, Germany commissioned 18 [not 17] U-206-class submarines. In the early 1990s, the service modernized 12 of them to the U-206A standard, including installation of new sensors, binoculars, weapon control systems, navigation equipment and perfect engine. As of the beginning of 2000, only six electric submarines - U-206A diesel were operated.
In August 1997, Indonesia was reported to be planning a memorandum of understanding with Germany for the purchase of five second-hand Type 206 submarines. Indonesia had planned to upgrade the 39 ex-East German warships obtained from Bonn in 1993 at local shipyards, but the massive program was scaled down due to financial constraints. At the time the Indonesian Navy operated two German-built Type 209 class diesel-electric submarines.
In 2005, talks about a possible sale 4 electric submarines - diesel with the Greek Ministry of Defense also occurred. Earlier in 2010, Thailand also announced the possibility of buying the old submarine U-206A.
In September 2006, the Ministry of Defense Technology of Germany signed an agreement to provide U-212A (U 35 and U 36 ) diesel-electric submarines to replace the old U206A-class submarine. The submarines were built under the project completion, and entry into operation was scheduled to take place in 2014-2015.
In June 2010 the German navy decommissioned more than half of its submarines, as part of a larger effort to cut costs. The six 500-ton U-206A-class diesel-electric submarines were retired and could be sold or scrapped. Their retirement date had been set to 2016 but in given pressure to cut the German defense budget by around $1.3 billion per year, the decommissioning was advanced. The six retired vessels were to take part in several international training and military missions, including the anti-terror Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean. Germany had four U-212A-class subs left for international missions. The decommissioning dropped Germany from second to sixth among nations that operate non-nuclear submarines. In Europe, Turkey led the pack with 14 subs, followed by Greece (eight), Italy and Norway (six each) and Sweden (five).
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