German submarine U-31 (S181)

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U-Boot U31.JPG
Name: U-31
Launched: 20 March 2002
Commissioned: 19 October 2005
Status: in service.
Class and type: Type 212A
Service record
Part of: German Navy
Commanders: Lars Ruth
Victories: None.

U-31 (S181) is the first Type 212A submarine of the German Navy.

It was built by TKMS at the shipyards of Thyssen Nordseewerke of Emden and Howaldtswerke at Kiel. The baptism took place on March 20, 2002, and the submarine was ceremonially put into service along with its sister ship U 32 by German Minister of Defence Peter Struck in Eckernförde on October 19, 2005. U 31 is powered by one diesel engine and an electric motor driven by nine fuel cells, making it virtually undetectable.

Korvettenkapitän Bert Petzold is the submarine's commanding officer.


The in cooperation with the Nordseewerke Emden ( stern → driving ) and the HDW shipyard in Kiel ( bow) built and planned U-boat of the type U-212 A cost around 500 million euros. In addition to the sister ship U-32 two more submarines of this class in Emden and Kiel were still made: U-33 and U-34 U-32 is provided since June 2006 in service since October 2005 and U-33. The commissioning of U-34 in May 2007.

With its fuel cell technology and its stealth skin, the submarine is almost undetectable and can also stay under water for up to three weeks . Since the fuel cells generate virtually no emissions except distilled water, the submarine also has fewer telltale traces in the water (noise, heat, exhaust fumes).

The submarine was on 19 October 2005 along with its sister ship U-32 by Defence Minister Peter Struck in the presence of the Commander of the Fleet, Vice- Admiral Wolfgang E. Nolting, in Eckernförde officially put into service. The new submarines are subject to the first Submarine Squadron within the Flotilla 1 and are stationed in Eckernförde.

Unlike previous German U-boats, the new class has two decks.


  • Rössler, Eberhard (2004). Die neuen deutschen U-Boote (in German). Bonn: Bernard & Graefe Verlag. ISBN 3-7637-6258-2. 
  • "Uboot Klasse 212 A" (in German). German Navy. 15 July 2010.