Submarines: The Small But Mighty S800


April 7, 2023: Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri recently revealed its new S800 submarine, built to operate in shallow waters or on the high seas. S800 is 51 meters (163 feet) long, displaces 850 tons submerged and has a crew of 16. S800 has AIP (Air Independent Propulsion) which enables the sub to travel up to a week underwater, moving slowly and quietly with its passive sonar able to detect any surface ships or other submarines. Max range is 3,600 kilometers and max endurance is 20 days. There are four torpedo tubes which can carry torpedoes or naval mines. There is room for one reload of the torpedo tubes. Maximum depth is 200 meters (640 feet), max submerged speed is 27 kilometers an hour and max surface speed is 16 kilometers an hour. S800 can be equipped with two or four torpedo tubes, each with an Italian Black Shark wire-guided torpedo. The first S800 will take about four years to build and the buyer can specify a number of options. Each S800 costs about a billion dollars, depending on options selected. There are some high-end electronic options for S800

S800 is based on the larger (1,100 tons submerged) S1000 which was a joint effort between Fincantieri and a Russian firm. Design of the S1000 began in 2005 but, before the first one could be built, the project was halted by the 2014 Russian attack on Ukraine. Sanctions imposed on Russia led to Fincantieri withdrawing from the project and Russia could not continue because the S1000 depended on a lot of Western tech that was no longer available to Russia. The Russian version of S1000 was called the Amur and the work Russia had done on the S1000/Amur was used on the Lada class subs, which used no Western tech and were being built to replace the Kilo class subs.. By 2013 Russia was considering withdrawing from the S1000/Amur project because they were unable to attract any export customers for Amur.


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