Fincantieri has announced the start of production activities for the Italian Navy’s first of two U212 Near Future Submarines (NFS).

Work is being carried out at the company’s Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard in Italy.

Last year, Fincantieri signed a contract to build two new-generation submarines and relevant logistics support for the Italian Navy.

The company is serving as prime contractor for this deal, which is worth €1.35bn ($1.64bn).

The U212NFS programme also includes associated in-service support, an option for two additional units, and the establishment of a training centre.

Led by the international organisation for joint armament cooperation (OCCAR), the U212NFS acquisition programme builds on the U212A programme.

The U212A programme resulted in the production of four submarines for Italy, namely Todaro, Scirè, Venuti and Romei, and six submarines for Germany.

Under the U212NFS programme, first two deliveries of the submarines are expected in 2027 and 2029, respectively.

All the new submarines’ design modifications will be developed independently by Fincantieri.

The U212NFS programme addresses the navy’s requirement for adequate capacity to maintain underwater spatial surveillance and control.

It will also provide the required capability for the service to conduct military missions in future when the Italian Navy’s four Sauro-class submarines are retired from operational service.

The new boats will be designed to support operations such as freedom of navigation, anti-piracy, observance of international law, fighting terrorism, defending external borders, as well as safeguarding maritime infrastructure and preserve national interests in defence.