German shipyard plans to enter the midget submarine market with new design

Thanks to H I Sutton

On 6th September 2018 German shipyard Nordseewerke Emden revealed plans to build a new class of midget submarine, with a proposed launch date of 2021. The design appears aimed at the export market, particularly countries with existing relationships with German shipbuilding. 

Submarines of the types U206, U209, U212, Kobben class, Ula class, TR1700 and Dolphin class were built at our Emden shipyard. The shipyard holds dedicated, secured submarine manufacturing facilities with halls, workshops, management offices and training facilities.

The N-310 design is smaller than the 395 ton Type-201 Class which were Germany’s first postwar submarines. Despite the small size the N-310 has a relatively large diameter hull allowing two decks. The design is double-hulled with ballast tanks and torpedo tubes in the outer hull. The torpedo tubes are external to the pressure hull and not provided with reloads. A diver lock-out chamber appears to be located in the bow with a forward-facing payload bay exiting on the starboard side.


N-310 can carry two swimmer delivery vehicles (SDVs) in the saddle position, similar to the arrangement on previous German (and Italian) midget submarines. The SDVs depicted in the model appear to be generic representations of the two-person ’chariot’layout. Today SDVs in this layout are built by Drass in Italy and Vogo in South Korea. 

Displacement: 310 tons surfaced
Length: 31.0 meters 
Beam: 6.5 meters 
Crew: TBC
Speed: TBC 
Range: TBC
Armament: TBC - provisionally 4 x torpedo tubes (size unclear)


Submarines are to be built again on the Emden yard area. In just three years' time, the first of the submarines designed and manufactured by the Nordseewerke Emden Shipyard (NES) could be launched. With this plan, the NES management surprised the experts at the "SMM" trade fair in Hamburg.