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German submarine returns from Mediterranean Sea mission

German Navy file photo of U35

The crew of German Type 212 submarine U35 is heading home after almost four months of operations in the Mediterranean Sea.

The 30 men and one woman of the Delta crew, led by frigate captain Nils Kirschall, are expected to arrive at the boat’s home base in Eckernförde on January 13.

Operating as part of the EU mission EUNAVFOR Med Irini (European Union Naval Force Mediterranean Irini), the submarine was involved in enforcing the United Nations arms embargo on Libya.

A number of ports in the Mediterranean were visited during this period. One of the highlights of the trip was the visit of German federal president Frank-Walter Steinmeier on board the Eckernförde submarine in Valetta/Malta last October. At Christmas, U35 was on its way back home, and the crew spent the turn of the year in Portugal.

This is the second time U35 has supported this mission, having spent three months with the same operation in the fall of 2021. During these missions, the German submarine serves as a long-range reconnaissance platform, employing 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 be built 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 2021.