Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Andrij Melnyk has expressed his desire for Germany to now provide submarines to the region to help evacuate the Russian fleet from the Black Sea.
Taking to Twitter on Saturday, Melnyk proposed using German 212A submarines for the job.
“Hi guys, I know I’m gonna get a new shit storm, but I have another creative idea. Germany (ThyssenKrupp) produces one of the world’s best submarines HDW Class 212A. The Bundeswehr has 6 such U-boats. Why not send one to Ukraine? Then we’ll kick (the) Russian fleet out of the Black Sea,” Melnyk tweeted.
However, Melnyk also indicated that his views on Twitter were not necessarily the same as the official Ukrainian position.
Considered one of the most modern diesel-electric submarines, development of the German 212A type began in 1996 as a joint project of the German and Italian Navy; the first one entered service in 2005.
It has one diesel engine and a bank of air-independent hydrogen fuel cells. Under normal conditions, the submarine uses the diesel engine on the surface or when submerged to snorkel depth, but it can switch to fuel cell operations, which are virtually noiseless, to avoid detection. In this mode, the submarine can remain submerged for up to three weeks.
It additionally has six tubes that can launch guided heavy torpedoes and, unlike other similar submarines, it can operate in shallow coastal waters to better deploy scuba commandos. The German Navy operates six of them and the Italian another four.