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German Type 212 sub U33 forced to dry dock for torpedo tube repairs

German Type 212 submarine U33
Photo: Bundeswehr

German Navy Type 212 submarine U33 on April 28 sailed to the thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) yard in Kiel where it will be dry docked after the crew discovered a leak on the boat.

The submariners found the leak on a torpedo tube, but could not determine its exact location while the boat was in the water. This is why the damage will now be rectified at the boat builder’s yard, according to the German Navy.

The navy said the leakage had been identified last week, while the crew was at sea. Immediately after the discovery, the boat returned to port to offload torpedoes at the Laboe ammunition depot before heading for the dry dock.

Germany operates six Type 212 boats with two more expected to come, once the Type 212CD (Common Design) submarine program the country is negotiating with Norway officially kicks off.

The navy noted that in addition to the U33, two other submarines from the 1st Submarine Squadron were at sea last week.

The number of boats the German Navy has ready for operational tasking varies constantly. In 2017, the service was left with no submarines at sea after U35 damaged its rudder off the coast of Norway. In 2019, TKMS had four units dry docked for maintenance simultaneously.