A German hydrogen fuel cell submarine, built by Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft, set a world record recently with a dive lasting 2 weeks. The German U32, a U212-A class H2 sub was underwater from April 11 – 25, 2006 traveling from Eckernforerde, Germany to Rota, Spain.
The U32 is a hydrogen hybrid vessel using fuel cells to power electric propulsion motors, which provide almost silent operation and movement. The hydrogen submarine also does not release any exhaust fumes while underwater.
The goal of the U32 is for anti-terrorism efforts to protect the Straits of Gilbraltar and Mediterranean. Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft is also producing a line of 213 and 214 class hydrogen fuel cell submarines as well as the U212-A.
Hydrogen vehicles are of great interest to different militaries worldwide because of their inherent stealth capabilities. The U. S. military has been working with the private sector to develop hydrogen technology for use in jeeps, tanks, drones and other types of vehicles for combat situations.