Portuguese Navy Orders Two “Fuel Cell” Submarines

Monday, April 25, 2005
Siemens is fitting two new U 209mod submarines for Portugal’s navy with the latest propulsion and I&C equipment. The order is worth EUR 58 million and handover of the submarines to the Portuguese navy is scheduled for 2010. The contract also includes an option for the same equipment to be built into a third submarine. This option is worth around 23 EUR million.

The submarines will be built at the Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW) and at Nordseewerken in Emden. Both shipyards belong to ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. Siemens’ scope of supply includes provision of a Permasyn permanent-magnet electric motor with PEM (Polymer Electrolyte Membrane) fuel cells for supplying power, switchgear and the Nautos automation system. The electric propulsion units with permanent-magnet synchronous motors for supplying direct current are characterized by extremely low signatures, high availability, compact design and ease of operator control. A PEM fuel cell system supplies the energy, thus enabling air independent propulsion (AIP) when the submarines are submerged below water level. The AIP system comes from HDW, while Siemens is providing the fuel cell modules as well as the control and monitoring devices. The Nautos integrated automation system controls, monitors and coordinates all the engineering systems. Operator control and visualization are carried out from the engineering control console. This relieves the operator of all the routine tasks, facilitates operation of the submarines and increases their reliability and safety. The scope of supply also includes submarine-specific switchgear, electronic documentation, a pier monitoring system and a shore test facility.

The equipment being supplied by Siemens is the latest technology for non-nuclear submarines. After orders received from Germany, Italy, Greece and Korea in preceding years, Siemens has now been contracted to equip a total of 15 (16 counting the option) conventional submarines with this innovative technology.

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