Research & Development: Shaping the future of naval technology and shipbuilding

Engineering | innovation | At thyssenkrupp Marine Systems our expertise is based on proven designs through almost 125 years of experience in naval shipbuilding. Our research and development teams (R&D) focus on finding the optimal solutions for our customers – making us a strong partner with foresight. With new, realistic designs and systems capable of facing current and future challenges, we are solving our customers issues before they occur.

Our research and development emphasizes four areas of expertise in particular:

New Designs

When it comes to the design of our submarines and naval surface vessels, modularity is key. We focus on non-nuclear submarines complementing our product portfolio in the range of <1,400 t and >3,000 t displacement units – as well as on new MEKO® layouts, which aim to improve operational availability, interoperability and flexibility of naval units. Throughout each step of development we aim to reduce ownership costs for our customers.

What happens after research and development: Based on the MEKO® Class, the Águas Azuis Consortium was chosen as the preferred bidder to build four new Tamandaré Class Corvettes of the Brazilian Navy.

Signature reduction

Marine Systems has always been a frontrunner in stealth technology of naval units. Nevertheless, we continue to investigate further possibilities of signature reduction. Research and development projects focus on acoustics, magnetics and target echo strength and have led e.g. to the beneficial substitution of metallic structures by composites on submarines or stealth shapes on all types of our naval boats and vessels.

Energy & Propulsion Systems

Thanks to model-based design and structural analysis of computational fluid and air flow dynamics, we continue to optimize the layout and performance of the energy and propulsion systems of our submarines and naval vessels. In addition, we invest in the development of the use of new energy sources (fuel cell generator sets, Li-ion batteries etc.), in hybrid-electric propulsion as well as in submerged waterjets and cycloidal rudders.

Mission Enablers

The development and integration of novel sensor/effector systems is of vital importance and day-to-day business for our experts. In a joint approach with our partner navies, we have developed flexible payload systems which undergo their necessary test phases until they reach series-production readiness. Major projects comprise a vertical multi-purpose lock (VMPL) for integrating flexible mission modules on board submarines as well as the integration of unmanned vehicles on submarines and naval surface vessels. Especially, the upcoming introduction of our interactive defense and attack system for submarines (IDAS) will revolutionize the anti-submarine warfare world. By deploying this fiber-guided missile system, the submarine’s Commanding Officer will for the first time have an effective defense against helicopter threats.

IDAS enables submarines to detect threads from above, hide and protect themselves – e.g. against helicopters.

With more than a hundred years of experience in shipbuilding and our drive to become the most modern naval company in Europe, we at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems strive to continuously develop our submarines and naval surface vessels further and enhance our technologies through research and development.

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Career at thyssenkrupp | Engineering | innovation | People at thyssenkrupp | Sustainability and climate protection | To date women are underrepresented in many areas - including in industrial companies such as thyssenkrupp. On the occasion of international women's day, we spoke to Dr. Anika Stein about her passion for special machinery. As head of Defense Systems at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems in Kiel, she heads a team of top-class engineers and technicians. Together with her colleagues, Dr. Stein builds submarines. She explains why each submarine is a unique result of technical expertise and teamwork - and why she pursues her career in a male-dominated industry.