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Italian Navy's future U212 NFS submarines to be equipped with lithium battery systems.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by OCCAR on January 25, 2024, this European intergovernmental organisation has decided that future U212 NFS submarines will be equipped with lithium battey systems.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Model of a U212 NFS Near Future Submarine at Seafuture 2023. (Picture source: Navy Recognition)

The Taranto Military Shipyard became the hub of naval innovation during the 6th Programme Committee Meeting. The event, attended by OCCAR-EA Director Mr. Joachim Sucker and Programme Committee Representative Vice Admiral Giuseppe Abbamonte (IT), served as a critical platform for discussing advancements in submarine technology and strategic naval decisions.

A key highlight of the meeting was the significant progress made in the implementation of a state-of-the-art Lithium Battery System (LBS) for submarines. The prototype of the LBS components successfully passed rigorous performance and safety tests, marking a major technical milestone.

This development represents a strategic shift towards more advanced, sustainable power storage solutions, indicating a readiness to implement these technologies in broader naval applications.

The introduction of the Lithium Battery System is expected to dramatically increase the operational efficiency of submarines. It promises enhanced propulsion and endurance capabilities, alongside reduced maintenance needs and heightened onboard safety standards.

Additionally, the meeting addressed the roadmap for activating the NFS 4 optional package. This initiative will increase the total number of operational boats to four, inclusive of their Logistic and In-Service Support.

Advantages of this kind of systems

One of the primary advantages of Li-ion batteries is their higher energy density, which allows submarines to stay submerged for longer periods and travel at greater speeds without resurfacing for recharging.

This increased submerged range and speed are crucial for stealth operations, reducing the likelihood of detection by anti-submarine warfare (ASW) threats. Additionally, Li-ion batteries improve tactical mobility by reducing the frequency of surfacing or snorkeling for battery charging, thereby enhancing the submarine's stealth capabilities.

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