And that is a big problem.
On October 15, the submarine U-35 was performing a diving maneuver off the Norwegian coast when one of the four fins on its X-shaped rudder struck a rock. The damage was severe enough it needed to be escorted back to Kiel by the testing ship Helmsand. The fifty-six-meter-long submarine would have to miss an international exercise in the Skagerrak Strait, scheduled for December.
Underwater collisions are a hazard of submarine operations. Both U.S. and Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarines have run aground in recent years. Repairs are often expensive and time-consuming. But spokesman Capt. Johannes Dumrese told a German publication in October that U-35’s accident had an extraordinary consequence.
On paper, the Deutsche Marine has six Type 212A submarines equipped with advanced air-independent propulsion, allowing ultraquiet operations submerged for over two weeks at a time.
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In reality, the Deutsche Marine does not currently have a single submarine in operational condition.
Missing Spare Parts