Client work took me to North Germany to the shipyards of Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) in Kiel and Thyssen Nordseewerke (TNSW) in Emden. Both are key members of the German Submarine Consortium (GSC). Others are the Ingenieurkontor Lubek (IKL) design bureau and the giant Ferrostaal trading company. Over the past 30 years, members of GSC have delivered 122 submarines to 16 navies, with 95 built in Germany and 27 assembled in other countries from kits provided by the shipyards. The GSC today represents a total of 140 years of submarine design and construction experience.
Latest-design diesel submarines offer a surprising array of technical advancements. Probably the most important is an air-independent-propulsion (AIP) option. AIP systems supplement the electric battery for submerged operations.