Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 10/28/2004 4:18:28 PM EST
THE GRAY WOLF: Deutsche Unterseeboot U212

It weighs over 3.6 million lbs., but can still effortlessly sneak up on you. Say "Güten tag" to the newest non-nuclear submarine currently in production - Germany's U212.


A Tall Tale of a Vessel? The Deutsche Unterseeboot U212.

The U212 : The Skinny


Name:
Deutche Unterseeboot U212

Type of Equipment:
Submarine

Killer Features:
Submerged operation capability far superior to that of older diesel-electric submarines.
Capable of remaining submerged for 3 weeks.
Anti-ship torpedoes have a range of more than 50km.
Newest non-nuclear submarine currently in production.
First submarine to field a functional and effective AIP system

It can lay silently submerged for weeks (to better watch you); it uses an integrated DBQS-40 sonar system (to better hear you); and, it is equipped with a heavyweight torpedo weapon system (to better hurt you). As the newest non-nuclear submarine currently in production, the Deutche Unterseeboot U212 is one "wolf" Little Red Riding Hood would never confuse with her grandmother.

Like any tall tale, the capabilities of the U212 seem far-fetched. For starters, it is capable of being underwater for up to three consecutive weeks -- THREE WEEKS! You try holding your breathe that long!

The secret behind the U212's underwater endurance lies in its air-independent propulsion (AIP) system. Developed by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW), the U212's AIP system uses a silently operating fuel cell plant. The plant, running on nine 34-kilowatt Siemens polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) hydrogen fuel cells , allows the submarine to remain submerged for weeks at a time without surfacing, ideal for extended underwater/ low speed operations. Without a need to snorkel, the AIP system also allows the U212 to operate silently without emitting exhaust heat, reducing detection.

The U212 also uses a state-of-the-art sensory system (As good ol' granny would say, "To better hear you with."). An integrated DBQS-40 sonar system aboard incorporates the following: a cylindrical array for passive medium-frequency detection; a TAS-3 low-frequency towed array sonar; a FAS-3 flank array sonar for low/medium frequency detection; a passive ranging sonar; a hostile sonar intercept system; and, an active high-frequency mine detection sonar - the STN Atlas Elektronik MOA 3070.

So, it can pounce like a wolf and hear like a wolf, but how strong is its bite?

Much like a wild animal, you wouldn't want to anger a U212. Besides carrying up to 24 sea mines externally, the submarine is armed with the DM2A4 torpedo from STN Atlas Elektronik. The DM2A4 -- aka Seahake Mod 4 -- is an electrically-driven torpedo that has a range of more than 27 nautical miles (50km) and a speed of approximately 50 kts. The DM2A4 uses new, conformal acquisition sonar, featuring 38 staves (152 transducers), which produce pre-formed, wide-angle beams. In addition, the Seahake utilizes a 250kg hexagon/RDT/aluminum high-explosive warhead (equivalent to 460kg of TNT) with magnetic influence and contact fuzes, as well as a wake sensor to improve torpedo counter-countermeasures capabilities.

Additionally, the U212's torpedo launchers have something most other submarines do not have -- a water ram expulsion system. Don't you wish you had one? Whereas the 688 Los Angeles class launches torpedoes using "noisy" compressed air, the Type 212's water ram expulsion system ejects the torpedo from the tube without the launch "transient" associated with using compressed air. In other words, the 212 can fire torpedoes stealthily, reducing the possibility for a counter attack. (Can you hear the high praises of its 27-man crew, including the U212's 5 officers?)

To further protect itself, the U212 employs the TAU 2000 torpedo system. Used as a countermeasure, the TAU 2000 has four launch containers, each with up to ten discharge tubes equipped with effectors. Effectors are small underwater vehicles similar in appearance to a torpedo that act as decoys or jammers. When deployed in multiple numbers, effectors use hydrophones and acoustic emitters to counter torpedoes in re-attack mode. (The crew is on its feet!)

A successful endeavor: the U212.

CONCLUSION

Initially, an order of four Type 212 submarines was placed by the German government in 1998: two to be built by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG (HDW) in Kiel and two by Thyssen Nordseewerke GmbH (TNSW) in Emden. Now, two submarines of the same design are being built by Fincantieri for the Italian Navy.

Overall, the U212 represents a leap in technology. From its air-independent propulsion system to its DM2A4 torpedoes, in the U212 the German Navy possesses the most advanced conventional submarine in the world. As the first submarines built for the Deutsche Marine since 1974, the U212 can be classified as a successful endeavor - an endeavor that once may have seemed far-fetched.

http://www.military.com/soldiertech/0,14632,Soldiertech_U212,,00.html
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 4:21:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/28/2004 4:23:17 PM EST by Leisure_Shoot]
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 4:41:19 PM EST
Sure, we shall see.... I don't think they would like a encounter with Virginia or Conneticut very much...
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 4:49:23 PM EST
Our SSNs make so much noise with their Nuclear powered steam turbines, the U212 would likely hear them miles before they were in range of active sonar.

This Fuel cell stuff may be the wave of the future. and just think, no meltdown if things go horribly worng.
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 4:50:25 PM EST
Um, are you people aware that Germany used to be ruled by Nazis 70 years ago?
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 4:54:27 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/28/2004 4:56:17 PM EST by _DR]

Originally Posted By raven:
Um, are you people aware that Germany used to be ruled by Nazis 70 years ago?



What's you point. Britain was ruled by Tyrannical rulers over the years. So was France, Italy, Japan, China, you name it. Things change, so do alliances, cultures and political orientations.

There are probably more skinhead Nazis in the USA than in Germany today.


Link Posted: 10/28/2004 4:55:09 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/28/2004 4:55:58 PM EST by DOW]

Nothing to see here. Move along.
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 4:56:44 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/28/2004 5:18:36 PM EST by _DR]

Originally Posted By DOW:
www.maritime.org/online-store/scstore/graphics/520xUboat%20Offensive%201914-1945.jpg
Nothing to see here. Move along.



I have this book. And many others like it!





Link Posted: 10/28/2004 5:03:46 PM EST
Our SSNs make so much noise with their Nuclear powered steam turbines, the U212 would likely hear them miles before they were in range of active sonar.

Jigga wha!? Surely you jest? American submarines have the quietest nuclear powerplants in the world. All steam and water piping is laid out such a fashion that there are no right angles, so as to minimize the sound of steam against metal. All powerplant machinery is buffered so vibration is not transmitted to the free floating decks. And finally, free floating decks so as not to transfer sound from inside the submarine to the hull and then out to sea.

Being underwater for three weeks does not impress me. Go on a Northern Run or a Deterrent Missile Patrol where you're submerged for months at a time. As for the weapons and how they're employed; the German's method of shooting a torpedo is nothing new. There is more than one method of shooting a torpedo from an American submarine, using both compressed air, and the torp's own power.

As for things going horribly wrong like a meltdown... on an American submarine... riiiiiiight

Besides, Russian, Chinese, and Indian submarines all make more noise, hehe.
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 5:10:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By _DR:
Our SSNs make so much noise with their Nuclear powered steam turbines, the U212 would likely hear them miles before they were in range of active sonar.

This Fuel cell stuff may be the wave of the future. and just think, no meltdown if things go horribly worng.



Do tell, what are your professional qualifications to make that statement?

After you're done, I'll give you mine as I tell you that you are clueless.
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 5:11:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By Flakchak:
Our SSNs make so much noise with their Nuclear powered steam turbines, the U212 would likely hear them miles before they were in range of active sonar.

Jigga wha!? Surely you jest? American submarines have the quietest nuclear powerplants in the world. All steam and water piping is laid out such a fashion that there are no right angles, so as to minimize the sound of steam against metal. All powerplant machinery is buffered so vibration is not transmitted to the free floating decks. And finally, free floating decks so as not to transfer sound from inside the submarine to the hull and then out to sea.

Being underwater for three weeks does not impress me. Go on a Northern Run or a Deterrent Missile Patrol where you're submerged for months at a time. As for the weapons and how they're employed; the German's method of shooting a torpedo is nothing new. There is more than one method of shooting a torpedo from an American submarine, using both compressed air, and the torp's own power.

As for things going horribly wrong like a meltdown... on an American submarine... riiiiiiight

Besides, Russian, Chinese, and Indian submarines all make more noise, hehe.



OK, so it's the Russian subs that meltdown.

But seriously, in terms of pure decibels, my understanding was the Fuel cell plant was quieter. I can't remember by how many, but it was significant.
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 5:16:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By SWO_daddy:

Originally Posted By _DR:
Our SSNs make so much noise with their Nuclear powered steam turbines, the U212 would likely hear them miles before they were in range of active sonar.

This Fuel cell stuff may be the wave of the future. and just think, no meltdown if things go horribly worng.



Do tell, what are your professional qualifications to make that statement?

After you're done, I'll give you mine as I tell you that you are clueless.



Not claiming to be a professional submariner or engineer. The article I read on it said in terms of pure decibels, the Fuel cell power plant is quieter than any steam powered turbine in use today.

Not trying to start a fight, take it easy. if you can prove otherwise, I am willing to listen to your arguement. But this was measured decibels using passive sonar at a uniform distance, depth, etc. Read it on a German website. I'll see if I can find it again.
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 5:18:05 PM EST

Originally Posted By _DR:
But seriously, in terms of pure decibels, my understanding was the Fuel cell plant was quieter. I can't remember by how many, but it was significant.





You don't have any way of knowing the radiated noise levels of US submarines.

No access and no need to know.

When did you earn your dolphins and in which boat?
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 5:24:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/28/2004 5:27:44 PM EST by _DR]

Originally Posted By SWO_daddy:

Originally Posted By _DR:
But seriously, in terms of pure decibels, my understanding was the Fuel cell plant was quieter. I can't remember by how many, but it was significant.





You don't have any way of knowing the radiated noise levels of US submarines.

No access and no need to know.

When did you earn your dolphins and in which boat?



As I said, I never claimed to be a submariner, nor even a squid. I was a groundpounder.
Obviously you seem to think you know all the answers. Maybe you do. Or maybe you don't.
I simply said I read a tech article on a German website that claimed that the FC powerplant was quieter decibel per decibel than steam powered turbines. Too bad if I offended you with that statement, but I didn't realize I had to be a submarine service veteran to relate what I read in an article on an internet forum.
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 5:30:58 PM EST
What you read was some bullshit claims by a German magazine.

How would they know how much noise OUR subs produce? Those SPLs and their frequencies are some of our most closely guarded secrets.

The fact of the matter is that Germany is desperately trying to regain some semblance of engineering competence. While fuel cell technology is awesome, and something we should pursue to supplement our open ocean SSN's, THIS kraut sub ain't the death and destruction invincible machine the Germans would like you to think it is.

Link Posted: 10/28/2004 6:19:35 PM EST
From a Navy squid that hunted subs for decades in P-3s:

Russian / Chinese / whatever nukes - no problem. About as noisy as running a 60 hp Mercury outboard in your bathtub. Until Toshiba sold CNC mills overseas and then it got a little quieter. No need for active sonar, you can hear these from 20 miles away.

US / British nukes - Very quiet. You need a good sonar / sensor crew to keep up with the tricks the sub does. Still, a P-3 can hang with one about 75% of the time using passive sensors, 95% when pinging with active buoys.

The worst is a diesel/electric running on batteries. Slow, super quiet with only minimal motor and prop noise. Also D/E boats don't do blue/deep water ops anymore, they leave that to the nukes. Diesels stick to littoral environments. So now you have a super quiet boat running in noisy / polluted waters and they are a bitch to track. Lucky they (used to) need to come up for air after a day. Passive sonar becomes useless in a noisy area - like off the coast with rivers, industry, fishing boats, personal watercraft, wave action against shore etc. Active sonar is a requirement and even then there is a lot of luck involved.

Fritz

Ex-P-3 guy.
Top Top