Italian Navy submarine at sea.

The Italian Navy’s second of the Todaro-class (U212) submarines, Scire (S527), has successfully test fired Whitehead Sistemi Subacquei (WASS)-built new Black Shark Advanced (BSA), for the first time, in the La Spezia gulf.

Commissioned in February 2007, the hybrid submarine can accommodate a crew of 27 and is armed with six torpedo tubes.

During the testing, the torpedo was equipped in the new Lithium-Polymer Battery and has been launched in Push Out mode, a water ram expulsion system which uses high water pressure to eject the torpedo.

The launch, dubbed ‘Short-Fire,’ is intended to demonstrate the WASS progresses in support of the New Heavyweight Torpedo project, being developed in cooperation with the Italian Navy.

WASS chief executive officer Alessandro Franzoni said that the Black Shark weapon is the result of cutting-edge technology and Italian research.

It is "an example of national excellence in the field of underwater defence equipment through the use of innovative technical solutions for the propulsion systems, power generation and electro-acoustics," Franzoni said.

"The Black Shark weapon is the result of cutting-edge technology and Italian research."

The Black Shark is a new generation powerful, long-range, wire guided and self- homing heavyweight torpedo.

Designed to be launched from submarines or surface vessels, the stealth dual purpose wire-guided heavyweight torpedo can counter the threat posed by any type of surface or underwater target for the next 20 years.

The Black Shark Advanced will replace the old A-184 heavyweight torpedo, currently in service aboard the Italian Navy’s submarines, over the next few years while significantly enhancing the navy’s ability to defend the waters.

Armed with six torpedo tubes for DM2A4 heavyweight torpedoes, the two Fincantieri-built U212 submarines are equipped with a highly-integrated command and weapons control system which interfaces with sensors, weapons and navigation systems.

Image: the Italian Navy’s Todaro-class submarine Scire at sea. Photo: courtesy of Diego Quevedo Carmona.

Defence Technology