The first of two German-designed Type 212A submarines on order for the Italian Navy, the Salvatore Todaro was rolled out at Fincantieri's Muggiano yard on 6 November 2003. Sister Scire' is to follow this April, and the pair are planned to enter service in June 2005 and May 2006, respectively. The Italian Navy hopes to procure two more of the fuel cell, air independent propulsion-equipped, 1,840-ton (submerged displacement) submarines later to complete replacement of its current diesel-powered boats, of which six remain in service. The second of four nearly identical Type 212As on order in Germany for the German Navy, the U-32, was rolled out at Nordseewerke, Emden, on 3 November, and class prototype U-31 was running deep diving trials off the coast of Norway during December in preparation for her commissioning next month. The 187.5-foot-long Type 212A has six 21-inch torpedo tubes and can carry a dozen wire-guided torpedoes; neither navy has immediate plans to equip its boats with land-attack or antiship missiles. The nine-one a spare-34 kw Siemens polymer electrolytic membrane fuel cells can provide electric power for full submerged operations for up to 30 days; one 1,040-kw diesel engine is installed to charge the battery set that will allow the Siemens Permasyn electric motor to provide up to 2,400 shaft horsepower to the seven-bladed propeller. Despite a fairly large number of construction programs now under way, the number of operational combatant submarines in the world's navies fell to around 390 by the end of 2003-less than half the total of a decade ago.
Shown here at her official launching at the Damen Royal Schelde yard at Vlissingen on 13 September 2003, the 1,875-ton multipurpose Royal Netherlands Navy auxiliary Snellius first took to the water on 30 April 2003 at the Damen-owned yard at Galatz, Romania, where the hull and superstructure were fabricated. The Snellius was commissioned on 11 December and replaced the survey ship Buyskes. A second new ship, the Luymes, is to be completed this April to replace the Tydemans. In addition to survey duties, the new pair are configured to perform disaster relief, search and rescue, fisheries inspection, pollution control, and training in home waters and in the Netherlands Antilles region. The 267.5-foot-long pair carry a crew of 12, plus 6 hydrographers, but have accommodations for up to 42 personnel. Their Sonardyne Fusion Ultra-Short Base-Line positioning systems track a towed combination side-scan sonar- and magnetometer-equipped "fish" that can operate in waters as shallow as 5.5 fathoms.
The Brazilian Navy small frigate Barroso was laid down at the Arsenal de Marina do Rio de Janeiro (AMRJ) on 21 December 1994 and launched almost exactly eight years later on 20 December 2002. As this November 2003 photo shows, virtually no fitting out work has ensued, and the official completion date is now projected to be June 2008. Nonetheless, in spite of Brazil's continuing economic woes, the Brazilian Navy still plans to complete another six units of the class by 2018. The design of the 2,350-ton (full load displacement), 330-foot Barroso is an expansion of that of the four Inhauma-class frigates completed at AMRJ between 1989 and 1994. The diesel-powered Barroso is intended to be armed with four MM40 Exocet antiship missiles, a 114-mm British-made dual-purpose gun, one 40-mm antiaircraft gun, and two sets of antisubmarine torpedo tubes; the hangar will accommodate a Super Lynx helicopter. The only other significant construction program under way for the Brazilian Navy is the completion of a fifth, modified, submarine of the German-designed Type 209/1400 series; begun at AMRJ in December 1998, the Tikuna is now projected to complete during 2007.