Fincantieri is set to sign a contract to build two new-generation submarines and relevant logistics support for the Italian Navy.

The contract will be signed with the international organisation for joint armament cooperation (OCCAR) and is part of the four U212 Near Future Submarines (NFS) acquisition programme.

Fincantieri will serve as prime contractor of the contract, which is worth €1.35bn ($1.64bn).

The contract also includes an option for the construction of two additional units.

Deliveries of the first two submarines are planned to take place between 2027 and 2029.

Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono said: “We are going to take a real technological leap forward compared to the submarines of the previous class, starting with the design and the combat system developed along with Leonardo, which we are in charge of integrating on-board.

“This will allow Italy to continue being a main actor among the limited group of countries that can build such advanced units.

“Once again, a qualified supply chain, made up of small and medium-sized enterprises of the sector, will benefit from the driving effect triggered by our activities, which will in turn generate manifest economic growth in terms of GDP, employment, and research and development advancement.”

The U212NFS acquisition programme builds on the U212A programme conducted in partnership with Germany-based thyssenkrupp Marine Systems.

The Italian Navy’s existing four “Sauro” class submarines are approaching the end of their operational lifetime, noted Fincantieri.