German Navy Type 209

The completion of the Type 201/205 submarine program for the Federal German Navy in the late 1960s coincided with the completion of 15 boats Type 207 (Kobben class) for Norway. The German shipyards were faced by a prospective shortage of orders, and were compelled to turn to the export market.

Treaty restrictions continued to limit (standard) displacement to 1,000 tons. The designers Ingenieurkontor Lübeck (IKL) working in conjunction with the Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft (HDW) shipyard, therefore proposed an enlarged version of the type 205 costal submarine which would incorporate all new technologies developed for the German Navy`s own submarine program. The design proved to be particularly attractive to third World countries with limited budgets and the Type 209 was ordered by no fewer than 12 navies.

Specifications, for Type 209/0, 1100 tons:
The Type 209 is a relatively conventional SSK design, based on a single hull, with two ballast tanks and forward and after trim tanks. Sensor and weapon specifications differ widely.

Displacement (srf/sub tons):
Dimensions (L*B*D feet): 183`4*20`3*17`9
Propulsion: diesel-electric 4*MTU 12V 493 AZ80 diesels 2,400hp, 4*Siemens alternators 1,7MW, 1*Siemens electric motors 4,600hp, 480 Hagen/Varta battery cells,1 shaft
Speed (srf/sub knots):
Range (srf/sub n/miles@knots): snorting 12,000@4 or 7,600@8/380@4 or 230@8
Diving depth (feet): 820
Complement: 6 officers 25 enlisted
Missile: sub-launched anti-ship missiles in part of the modernized submarines/Mc Donnell Douglas Sub Harpoon- forthe Pakistanis and Greece boats
Torpedo: 8*21" (533 mm) bow torpedo tubes, total of 14 torpedoes or missiles, swim-out discharge
Mines: none
Armament: none

The basic design was the Type 209, 1100 tons, first produced in the beginning of the 70s. Subsequently, the design has grown in length, displacement, and sophistication, the original Type 209/0, 1100 tons having a length of 54.4m and a dived displacement of 1210 tons, compared with 62m and 1594 tons for Type 209/2, 1400 tons, and 64.4m and 1850 tons for Type 209/3, 1500 tons class.

Currently operated by 12 nations, the Type 209 is amongst the most successful and numerous modern diesel-electric submarines available. Around 50 are now in service in a number of versions, with others on order. The majorities have been produced in Germany, but several countries - Brazil, India, South Korea, and Turkey - have a licensed-construction capability. In Latin America it has become almost a de facto standard, being operated by Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Venezuela.
he first customer was Greece, which took delivery of its first four units in 1971-72, a Type 209/0, 1100 tons, followed by four Type 209/1, 1200 tons in 1979-81. TwoType 209/1 were completed for Argentina in 1974, two for Colombia in 1975 and six for Peru in 1975-83. Three Type 209/1 were built, 1974-77, by HDW for Turkey, and a further three, 1979, 83, 88, under license at the Gölcük Naval Shipyard, eight more Type 209/2 were prefabricated in HDW and assembled by Gölcük 1993-94, 97-98, 2002-04. Two Type 209/2 were completed for Venezuela in 1976-77, two for Ecuador in 1977-78 and two for Indonesia in 1981. Two Type 209/3 were completed for Chile in 1984 and four Type 209/3 for Brazil-one built, 1987, by HDW and three, 1993-98, by Arsenal De Marinha in Rio De Janeiro. Three 209/3 are currently being built for South Africa to be delivered from 2005.

AIP (Air Independence Propulsion) capability
Some of the modernized submarines and new orders, South Africa, are fitted for AIP.

Back to History Index

Image Country Year Description
Antigua & Barbuda 2000 The world of submarine. German type 209 submarine,1,200 ton (souvenir sheet)
Turkey 2004 TCG Anafartalar S-356, Preveze class (type 209/2)
Turkey 2004 TCG Preveze S-353, Preveze class (type 209/2)
Turkey 2004 TCG 18 Mart S-355, Preveze class (type 209/2)
India 2006 President`s fleet review, 2 diferant stamp sizes, Visakhapatnam, 12 Feb` 2006
India 2006 President`s fleet review, Visakhapatnam (set of 4 stamps)
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