An analysis of U-36: general characteristics and service history

With a length of 56 metres and a submerged displacement of 1,830 tonnes, the German Navy’s Type 212A submarine U-36 (S186) demonstrates exceptional capabilities.

Prominent among the German Navy’s Type 212A submarines, U-36 (S186) is the sixth vessel in its class to be put into service. U-36 was built at Howaldtswerke in Kiel starting in August 2008, and it was successfully launched in February 2013 following a rigorous process. Owing to these noteworthy achievements, U-36 was formally put into service on October 10, 2016.

U-36 is sponsored by the Saxon town of Plauen, a symbolic association that underscores the submarine’s affinities with the region. Eckernförde was the site of the submarine’s commissioning ceremony, a significant milestone in its voyage. Several dignitaries graced this ceremony: Jan Christian Kaack, the commander of Einsatzflottille 1, Thomas Losse-Müller, the head of the Schleswig-Holstein State Chancellery, Stefan Studt, the State of Schleswig-Holstein’s Minister of Interior and Federal Affairs, and Vice-Admiral Rainer Brinkmann, the Deputy Inspector of the Navy and Commander of the Fleet and Support Staff.

Korvettenkapitän after U-36 was put into service, Christoph Ploß became its first commander and led the submarine into her operational duties. This vessel, which represents the quality and accuracy associated with the Type 212A submarine class, is still adding to the German Navy’s maritime might.

General Characteristics:

U-36 (S186), a Type 212 submarine built in Germany, is a very powerful undersea vehicle. Its sophisticated form is exhibited by its length of 56 metres (183.7 feet), which expands to 57.2 metres (187.66 feet) in the second batch. Its displacement is 1,450 tonnes surfaced and 1,830 tonnes submerged. Its beam and draft are 7 metres (22.96 feet and 6.68 feet, respectively).

A Siemens Permasyn electric motor Type FR6439-3900KW with a power output of 2,850 kW and a single MTU-396 16V diesel engine producing 2,150 kW make up the submarine’s power system. A single seven-bladed skewback propeller is powered by a combination of an MTU 16V 396 diesel engine and a Siemens Permasyn electric motor, enabling submerged and surface speeds of 20 knots (37 km/h) and 12 knots, respectively.

When it comes to endurance, the U-36 can go 8,000 nautical miles (14,800 km) at 8 knots (15 km/h) when surfaced. It can also operate for 12 weeks without the need for snorkelling. With a crew of five officers and twenty-two men, the submarine can tolerate an amazing test depth of over 700 metres (2,296 ft).

The CSU 90 (DBQS-40FTC), Sonar ISUS90-20, and Radar Kelvin Hughes Type 1007 I-band nav are among the sophisticated sensor and processing systems fitted on the U-36. The EADS FL 1800U package supports its decoy and electronic warfare systems.

The U-36’s armament consists of two sets of three forward-pointing 6 x 533 mm torpedo tubes. In addition to IDAS missiles and 13 DM2A4 A184 Mod. 3 Black Shark torpedoes, it is equipped with the ability to carry 24 external naval mines as an add-on. 

Operational Service:

The German submarine U-36 (S186) was part of the 1st Ubootgeschwader, based in Eckernförde, and has an impressive operational career. Der Spiegel published a study in January 2015 outlining important problems found in U-36 and U-35, the sister submarine. These issues affected several important parts, such as the radio buoy, radar, drive shaft system, and battery, suggesting operating issues that needed to be fixed.

The detected failures in U-36 and U-35 necessitated an extensive inspection and repair endeavour to address the problems. As these systems are vital, it is crucial to address these issues to guarantee the operational readiness and efficacy of the submarines in carrying out their strategic tasks.

In March 2015, U-36 began trials in the Kattegat off Kristiansand to solve the issues that had been reported. The choice to carry out trials at this particular site implies a thorough testing strategy to assess the submarine’s performance and confirm the efficacy of the applied modifications or repairs. 

The crew and technical staff of U-36 would have kept a careful eye on the submarine during its trials in the Kattegat to evaluate the success of the repairs and alterations made to the problematic parts. The accomplishment of these trials would be essential to getting U-36 back into peak operating condition and guaranteeing that it could carry out its maritime duties as required.

The U-36’s operational and service history highlights the difficulties submarines encounter in continuing to operate at maximum efficiency, with the crew’s and technical teams’ dedicated work being essential in tackling and resolving these difficulties. The results of the trials and the successful resolution of the identified concerns will determine the submarine’s future operations and deployments contributing to its continued use in the German Navy.