At the end of the 50s many nations both in Western Europe and beyond the Iron Curtain were conducting studies on nuclear energy aimed at expanding their war arsenals, the Government of Rome was concerned by the dynamism shown by Bucharest and Belgrade by constantly monitoring the ‘research institute of Vinca. In addition to this, the Minister of Defense Andreotti strongly supported the need to equip the Navy with nuclear-powered submarines to contrast with the latest models that the Soviets were putting in line or completing.

Furthermore, Andreotti always considered the development of a nuclear attack submarine (SSN) an obligatory step in order to be able to subsequently get to the construction of real attack submarines armed with ballistic missiles (SSBN).

It was decided to develop a boat strongly inspired by the studies on the experimental boat Albacore and similar to the class Skipjack (opening photo) characterized by the elongated teardrop design, rudders placed on the sail and of small dimensions, solutions that allowed it a good degree of agility as well as being able to reach a speed of 30 knots thanks to the thrust of the Westinghouse S5W reactor.