The fourth and
final boat

The submarine «Romeo Romei» (S529) was delivered on May 11, 2017, at Fincantieri’s shipyard of Muggiano (La Spezia). It is the last of the four U212A «Salvatore Todaro» class twin units ordered to Fincantieri by the Naval Armament Unit – NAVARM for the Italian Navy.

The «Romeo Romei» (S529) is the fourth and final boat of the second batch of Type U212A submarines built by Fincantieri for the Italian navy (Fincantieri photo)
The «Romeo Romei» (S529) is the fourth and final boat of the second batch of Type U212A submarines built by Fincantieri for the Italian navy (Fincantieri photo)

The submarine «Romeo Romei» (S529), as its twin unit «Pietro Venuti» (S528) delivered last July at the Muggiano shipyard, features highly innovative technological solutions. It is entirely built with amagnetic material, using the most modern silencing techniques to reduce its acoustic signature.

«Romeo Romei» (S529) has a surface displacement of 1,509 tonnes, an overall length of 183.4 feet/55.9 meters, a maximum diameter of 23 feet/7 meters, and can exceed 16 knots/18 mph/30 km/h underwater. It has a 27-person crew.


The «Romeo Romei» (S529) submarine

The «Romeo Romei» (S529) is the 102nd submarine built in the shipyard of Muggiano since 1907, when the Italian Royal Navy’s «Foca» submarine was launched. Since then, this shipyard has always stood out for building naval units, not only for the Italian Navy, but also for foreign navies (Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark).

The building programme of the submarines «Pietro Venuti» (S528) and «Romeo Romei» (S529) is the continuation of the project launched in 1994 in cooperation with the German Submarine Consortium, which has already led to the construction in the past years of six units for Germany and two for Italy – the «Salvatore Todaro» (S526) and the «Scirè» (S527). These latter units, delivered by Fincantieri in 2006 and 2007 respectively, are operating successfully as part of the Italian Navy’s fleet.

Like the other vessels in the series, the «Romeo Romei» (S529) is equipped with a silent propulsion system based on fuel cell technology, producing energy through an oxygen-hydrogen reaction independently from external oxygen, ensuring a considerably higher autonomy in submersion than the conventional battery-based systems. It features an electro-acoustic system which is fully integrated into the command and control system, as well as a modern automation system of the control platform.


Romeo Romei

Corvette Captain

Gold Medal of Military Valour awarded posthumously

Romeo Romei was born in Castelnuovo (Cattaro) on August 14th, 1906. Student at the Naval Academy of Livorno since December 1924, in 1928 he was appointed midshipman, passing to Sub-Lieutenant on July 1st, 1929, while he was embarked as navigating officer on the cruiser «Trieste». Promoted to Lieutenant in 1933, he requested to pass on submarines and commanded the Perla, participating in special missions during the Spanish Civil War.

He was called back home from the naval base in Tobruk on June 10th, 1940 with the declaration of War, taking the lead of the submarine Pier Capponi and standing out for audacious and successful combat missions, so much to be defined the «abysses corsair». In a war mission led on November 10th, 1940 in the Strait of Sicily (50 miles SE from Malta), he attacked a British naval formation – consisting of an aircraft carrier and two battleships convoyed by several destroyers – probably heavily hitting a battleship.

On March 31st, 1941, the unit left Messina for a mission, heading towards the central Mediterranean Sea. It was torpedoed by the British submarine Rorqual, sinking about 17 miles south of Stromboli. Among the crew there were no survivors.

Other decorations:

  • Bronze Medal for Military Valour (Western Mediterranean, 22 June 1940);
  • Bronze Medal for Military Valour (Mediterranean, 10 June 1940 – 12 April 1941).


Main Characteristics

Length overall 187.5 feet/57.15 m
Length between perpendiculars 183.4 feet/55.9 m
Maximum breadth (on P.H.) 23 feet/7 m
Height overall (masts in) 38.96 feet/11.875 m
Surface displacement (ready to dive) 1,509 tonnes
Standard displacement 1,460 tonnes
Lead cells battery banks (two sub-batteries)
1 synchronous motor with permanent magnet excitation
1 16-cylinder turbocharged diesel-generators set
Air-Independent Propulsion (A.I.P.) System with 8 + 1 Fuel Cell module
Low signature (acoustic, hydrodynamic, magnetic, radar, I/R)
Maximum surface speed 12 knots/14 mph/22 km/h
Endurance at 8 knots/9 mph/15 km/h on surface 8,000 NM/9,206 miles/14,816 km/h
Maximum submerged speed >16 knots/18 mph/30 km/h
Officers 9
P.O. & Ratings 15
Extra crew 3
Sanitary spaces masses with Officers seats – 8
P.O./crew seats – 9
Command & Control Systems based on 4 Multi-functional
Consoles with redundant databus
DBQS-40 Sonar System with: Passive Ranging System (PRS), Continuously Active Sonar (CAS), Flank Array Sonar (FAS), Towed Array Sonar (TAS), Mine Avoidance Sonar (MAS), Ice Profiler Sonar (IPS), ONA
Navigation Sensors: Log, Global Positioning System (GPS), Inertial Navigation System (INS), Attitude and Heading Reference System (AHRS), Echograph
Plotting Table
KH 1007 Navigation Radar
Search Periscope
Attack Periscope
Integrated Communication System: Very Low Frequency (VLF), High Frequency (HF), Very High Frequency (VHF), Ultra High Frequency (UHF), Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)
FL 1800 U Electronic Support Measures (ESM) System
Ultra-Wideband (UW) Telegraphy & Telephony Systems
UHF Satellite Communications (SATCOM) Demand Assigned Multiple Access (DAMA)
6 × 533-mm launchers for A184 mod. 3 or DM2A4
Mine Laying System (optional)
Torpedo Countermeasure System (optional)


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