German Navy submarine U 35 is returning home to the Eckernförde naval base after more than three months of operations in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the EU operation Irini.
As part of the operation, the Type 212 diesel-electric submarine helped enforce a United Nations arms embargo on Libya, as well as monitor and gather information on illicit exports of petroleum, crude oil and refined petroleum products. Another aspect of the mission is to disrupt smuggling activities on refugee routes in the Mediterranean.
U 35 is set to return to its Baltic Sea homeport on October 15, under the command of 34-year-old corvette captain (lieutenant commander) Oliver Brux.
“Our main task in the unit was the image reconnaissance of suspicious ships and boats and thus also the collection of information,” said commander Brux.
The area of operations extended from the central and southern Mediterranean, south of the island of Sicily to the territorial waters of Libya and Tunisia. The crew cooperated with Italy, Greece and Portugal during their deployment.
According to the German Navy, the role of the German submarine was to serve as a long-range reconnaissance platform, with sonar systems that can monitor ship movements over a wide radius.
U35 is one of six Type 212 German Navy submarines in service, with two more to come, under the Type 212CD (Common Design) program Germany is undertaking with Norway. German shipbuilder thyssenkrupp Marine Systems received a contract worth 5.5 billion Euro (approx. $6.5B) for the construction of six identical Type 212CD submarines for the navies of Norway and Germany in July this year.