State-of-the-art Stealth Capabilities

STEALTH – How to remain undetectable
ImageStealth is a key design feature of our submarines, enabling a submarine to remain undetected throughout all phases of its missions. Remaining undetected is the primary condition for the survivability of a submarine and the success-ful conduct of its operational tasks.

Today, developments in the field of magnetic anomaly detection by airborne platforms (e.g. drones), the detection of the submarines electric field properties and the introduction of active-low frequency sonars introduce new threats for submarines. Our Stealth design responds to modern challenges and enables submarines to remain undetected.
Stealth is a key enabler for ensuring the tactical advantage a submarine has: to see while remaining unseen.


Our STEALTH submarine design is based upon the so-called signatures of the submarine that may be detected by other sensor systems. The primary underwater signatures are:

1. The acoustic signature
The radiated noise of a submarine results from structure borne and hydrodynamic borne noise sources. Our submarines are known for their extreme low acoustic signature. The 212 CD family not only meets this high standard, but even pushes the noise levels back to the boundaries where they are hardly measurable.

2. The magnetic signature
The disturbance of the earth-magnetic field induced by the submarines steel construction and equipment re-sults in a magnetic signature. To ensure the required degree of protection e.g. against mines and detection by airborne assets, our submarines are built of non-magnetic steel, combined with an advanced electromagnetic design.

3. The electric signature
The electric signature is caused by the interaction of the submarines metal structure and seawater. By combining advanced propeller designs and using an external composite hull for our submarines, electric signature properties get highly favourable and protect our submarines against advanced mines and detection by airborne assets.

4. The Target Echo Strength
The reflective properties of the submarines' construction to active sonar emissions defines an underwater sig-nature also known as Target Echo Strength. The Diamond Shape of the 212 CD submarine family provides signifi-cant reduction of the probability of detection by active sonars and brings the Target Echo Strength down to a level that is far less than for traditional submarine designs.

In addition to the underwater signatures, a submarine also has above water signatures once it exposes masts when operating at periscope depth. Not only the visual signature of an exposed masthead, but also the Radar Cross Sec-tion, infrared signature and the induced wake by the mast may lead to detection by surface combatants or airborne platforms. Our Integrated Topside Design is a delicate process of optimizing and balancing all design features for the submarines' mast arrangement in order to minimize resulting signatures. This implies a careful selection of mast components and spatial arrangement of the masts by simultaneously optimizing mast functionalities in accordance to the operational scenarios.

ImageCompared to today's state of the art submarines, the 212 CD submarine design realizes a significant step in signature reduction by the introduction of the unique Diamond Shape, a next generation of Air Independent Propulsion, advanced hydrodynamic properties and innovative propeller design.

The attention for signatures is not limited to the submarines' design and construction phase. The 212 CD submarine family is prepared for the introduction of Operational Signature Management, providing dedicated command sup-port tools for controlling and adjusting the own signatures in relation to dedicated operational scenarios.

thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH © 2022