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.
By A.D. Baker, III, Editor, Combat Fleets of the World