February 27, 2020

Japanese Submarine Developments through to 2030, Soryu Table.

Japan relies on continuously building one submarine per year to keep the managers, designers and building workforce continuously employed. This also provides a construction tempo that is now aimed at having 22 submarines at any one time in the Japanese Navy. Design development is also continuous.

About 9 out of 10 years an operational submarine is produced, but about once every 10 years a test submarine (like 21SS) or extensive testing development program, occurs.

21SS

The designation “21SS” is derived from the submarine being laid-down (or at least the project commencing) on the 21st year of the reign of (now former) Japanese Emperor Akihito. Akihito acceded to the throne in 1989.

As can be seen in the SORYU TABLE below 21SS was a test submarine or test program equivalent.

Given 21SS’s 2010 timing Pete believes 21SS signified the concerted beginning of Japan’s 
Lithium-ion Batteries (LIBs) for submarine program. The actual LIBs testbed submarine used may have been Harushio class TSS-3601 (launched as SS-589 in 1995, converted to AIP testbed in 2002, converted to LIBs testbed in 2010, decommissiond in 2017).

27SS

The LIBs development program continues to this day in the shape of 27SS (Japan’s first soon-to-be operational LIBs submarine) launched in 2018 and due to be commissioned this year (see Table below). Also see the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) LIBs development activity by scrolling half way down here.

29SS

The description of Japanese submarine 29SS research/testing below draws from Anonymous's comments on Japanese submarines on February 19 and 21, 2020 

Submarine prototype and tests conducted during MoD budget financial years FY2017-2018 and FY2019-2022 concerned prototype research on submarine hull forms. This was aimed at significantly reducing hydrodynamic noise with the long term aim of permitting Japanese submarines to face ASW threats through the year 2030.

Anonymous believes optimization of hull form research was conducted to reduce noise caused by bubbles, hydrodynamic flow, vibration and by the propulsor – see [1] and [2].

Japanese researchers at ATLA built a [29SS] scale model for various tests conducted in large naval test tank (length 247m, width 12.5m, depth 7m). The findings of this research together with other research findings will influence Japan’s future (post Soryu) submarine design designated 29SS. [Pete comment: 29SS likely also exists as a complex mainframe computer simulation shared between MoD central, its ATLA agency and submarine builders MHI and KHI (see Key to Table below the Table).]

29SS may be the first submarine of a new class following the Soryus. A formal report by the MoD indicates 29SS is being used as a test submarine for various research technologies. 29SS has the same shape and dimensions as the Soryus. Further design modifications will take place in operationally deployed 30SS and 31SS (etc) as is usual in Japan’s yearly continuous build of submarines practice.

[Pete comment: There may be increased blending of the sail. There is some blending of the Soryu sail’s leading edge. Further blending may be not as extreme as depicted in Alfa and Type 212A submarines at Submarine Matters hereThere will be ongoing research for quieter diesel engines, improved LIBs and Improved Snorkel].

[1] “Terminology for underwater acoustics – Phenomena (Y0011B)” by Standard for Ministry of Defense (NDS), page 22, terminology number 1561. “Definition of hydrodynamic noise: noise caused by hydrodynamics.”

[2] ibid, page 67, “Classification Table”
Hydrodynamic noise is classified into i) bubble noise (1562, noise caused by generation, vibration or collapse of bubbles underwater), ii) flow noise (1564, noise caused by turbulence flow such as turbulence flow boundary, separating flow and wake), iii) flow induced vibration noise (1568, noise caused by vibration of structure or part of it which is induced by water flow), iv) wave-breaking noise (1569, noise caused by collapse of wave) and v) propulsor noise (1571, noise caused by propulsor*1-2).
*1 Propulsor includes propellers, water jets, etc.
*2 Causes of propulsor noise include cavitation, "wing" [rudder and sail-plane?] vibration by lift fluctuation, local vibration of [rudder] induced by tailing vortex.

Note: Pricing issues will be discussed next week using Anonymous’ comment of February 24, 2020 .This is on the issue of Australia possibly choosing a LIBs Soryu if the current Naval Group Attack class submarine program collapses.

SORYU TABLE. as at February 27, 2020. 

SS
No.
Diesel Type
Motor
Build No
Name
Pennant
No.
MoF approved amount ¥
Billions FY
LABs, LIBs, AIP
Laid Down
Laun
-ched
Commi
ssioned
Built
By
5SS Oyashio
8105 Oyashio
(mythical
SS-590/ TS3608
¥52.2B FY1993
LABs only
 Jan 1994
Oct 1996
Mar 1998
 KHI
6SS-15SS
Oyashios 
10 subs
SMC-7?
8106
-8115
various
SS-591-600
¥52.2B per sub
FY1994-FY2003
LABs only
 15SS Feb
2004
15SS
Nov
2006
15SS
Mar 2008
 MHI
&
KHI
16SS
Dragon
class  Mk I
8116
SS-501
¥60B FY2004 all Soryus with
Kawasaki 
12V25/25SB diesels, see and
SMC-8 motor
LABs + AIP
Mar 2005
Dec 2007
Mar
2009
MHI
17SS
8117
Unryū
SS-502
¥58.7B FY2005
LABs + AIP
Mar 2006
Oct 2008
Mar
2010
KHI
18SS
8118
Hakuryū
SS-503
¥56.2 FY2006
LABs + AIP
Feb 2007
Oct 2009
Mar
2011
MHI
19SS
8119
Kenryū
SS-504
¥53B FY2007
LABs + AIP
Mar 2008
Nov 2010
Mar
2012
KHI
20SS
8120
Zuiryū
SS-505
¥51B FY2008
LABs + AIP
Mar 2009
Oct 2011
Mar
2013
MHI
21SS Concept
No 21SS built
But was a concept research project on LIBs. 1st LIBs sub launched is 27SS
research
in 
2010   
research
research
22SS
8121
Kokuryū
SS-506
¥52.8B FY2010
LABs + AIP
Jan 2011
Oct 2013
Mar
2015
KHI
23SS
8122
Jinryu
SS-507
¥54.6B FY2011
LABs + AIP
Feb 2012
Oct 2014
7 Mar 2016
MHI
24SS
8123
Sekiryū
SS-508
¥54.7B FY2012
LABs + AIP
KHI
25SS
8124
SS-509
¥53.1B FY2013
LABs + AIP
22 Oct 2013
12 Oct   2016
MHI
26SS
8125
SS-510
¥51.7B FY2014
last SMC-8 motor
LABs + AIP
2014
6 Nov 2017
KHI
27SS Soryu
Mk II or
New Class?
due to 1st
with LIBs
and 1st com
missioned
under new
8126
SS-511
¥64.4B FY2015
12V25/25SB diesel
SMC-8B motor
Roblin paper US$536mil?
LIBs only
(NCA type)
2015
4 Oct
2018
Mar
2020?
MHI
28SS Soryu
Mk II
New Class ?
8127
SS-512
¥63.6B FY2016
"2,900t" surfaced
LIBs only
Jan 2017
Mar 2021?
KHI
29SS
Not operational. Research project like 21SS
New class
¥76B FY2017
Concept research
for new features eg. maybe blended fin for noise reduction & better water flow and also new propulsor. New diesels, new snorkel system.
1st all new features sub may
will be 38SS
LIBs only
2017
research

research

research
MHI
assisted
by
KHI
& JMoD
30SS New Class?
SMC-
8028?
SS-513
¥71.5B FY2018

LIBs only
2018?
2020?
2022?
MHI?
31SS New Class ?
8029?
SS-514
¥B? FY2019

LIBs only
2019?
2021?
2023?
KHI?
32SS New Class ?
8030?
SS-515
¥B? FY2020

LIBs only
2020?
2022?
2024?
MHI?
33SS New Class ?
8031?
SS-516
¥B? FY2021

LIBs only
2021?
2023?
2025?
KHI?
34SS New Class ?
8032?
SS-517
¥B? FY2022

LIBs only
2022?
2024?
2026?
MHI?
35SS New Class ?
8033?
SS-518
¥B? FY2023

LIBs only
2023?
2025?
2027?
KHI?
36SS New Class ?
8034?
SS-519
¥B? FY2024

LIBs only
2024?
2026?
2028?
MHI?
37SS New Class ?
8035?
SS-520
¥B? FY2025

LIBs only
2025?
2027?
2029?
KHI?
38SS Soryu
Mk III or
New Class ?
8036?
SS-521
¥B? FY2026 1st production sub
using all
Project 29SS features

LIBs only
2026?
2028?
2030?
MHI?
Key to Table: Table information exclusively provided to Submarine MattersLABs = lead-acid batteries, AIP = air independent propulsion, LIB= Lithium-ion Batteries. ¥***B = Billion Yen. MHI = Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, KHI = Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation of Kawasaki Heavy Industries. 
---

Anonymous and Pete

February 26, 2020

Maybe INS Arihant Image - with Interesting Comments

Oddly pixelated image of India's INS Arihant(?) with image of Indian flag at periscope cluster. ("Photo by Chanakyathegreat, Wikimedia Commons."  via  eurasiareview)
--- 

Pakistan's Sher Bano at eurasiareview news & analysis, February 25, 2020 presents some accurate and inaccurate comments:

"Present Limitations To India’s Nuclear Triad – OpEd"

Inaccurate "The INS Arihant is equipped with K-4 missiles with a range of 3500 km" and "Pakistan however has already built the Baber-3 or Hatf V-II (submarine launched cruise missile) with MIRV capability".

Accurate? "...the [K-4] missile range is still sub-optimal because it would require the submarine to operate on the north eastern fringes of the Bay of Bengal. Hence, requiring these submarines to travel round the Burmese and Bangladeshi littoral waters in order to target China’s vital economic and political hubs."

and "...Arihant was about to sink because its propulsion compartment was flooded because a hatch was left open by mistake. According to The Economic Times there exists an upsetting partition between the military authority and nation’s political leadership. Such an error, actual or speculative, is evidence enough that there are certain serious shortcomings within the Indian Nuclear Command Authority ..."

Pete 

February 21, 2020

Canada's short ranged (4,000nm!) Victoria class submarines

On February 13, 2020 I reported that the UK Royal Navy's four former Upholder class submarines gathered long term rust/corrossion problems due to being "mothballed" while sitting in seawater for several years in the 1990s. 

Canada inherited the rust/corrosion problems when they bought the submarines in a "deteriorated" condition and renamed them the Victoria class.

But, I was unaware of a whole host of additional problems (some fixed, some not) until Locum provided a long comment (below) on February 14, 2020:

"In December 1986, HMS Upholder [now HMCS Chicoutimiwas the first to be launched. The last one, HMS Unicorn, entered the water in April 1992. This entire class officially entered service between June 1990 and June '93. Because on the internet there are quite a few different data to be found.

In the [UK] Defense Review of 1992 it was proposed to lay off all Royal Navy diesel-electric submarines. This decision was ratified in June 1993.

At that time only HMS Upholder was operational, but the remaining 3 boats were allowed to be completed.

These 4 boats were mothballed in April - October 1994. In 1998 Canada decided to buy these 'second-hand', because new boats were deemed too expensive. In October 2000, the first boat was accepted and sailed by Canadians in the UK. To then undergo a 6-month Canadian Work Period modification program. However, back then there was already criticism of the state in which the Upholders came out of the mothballs.

Commissioned as of: December 2000; June '03; October '03 and the last one originally in October 2004, but due to fire it became September 2015.

From the start this class has been plagued by major rust and corrosion problems. Yes and ...

The Upholders were in many respects a leap forward compared to the old Oberon class: they had good sailing characteristics under water, were very quiet and had good fire control and sonar, but there were also a lot of things wrong.

Former commander of both British conventional and nuclear submarines, Dan Conley, was involved as a naval officer in the trial run and transfer of the yard to the British navy. Conley writes in his book "Cold War Command" about the "serious technical shortcomings" that he and his colleagues from Commodore Naval Ship Acceptance (CNSA) found:

1. the Upholders had problems with the automation on board;

2. During the test run, HMS Upholder was confronted with a power outage and loss of propulsion due
    to a design error. This was restored after months.

3. The boats were found to have a range of 4,000 nautical miles, instead of 8,000 nm!

4. The most serious safety problem was the complex torpedo launch system. The outer torpedo
    hatches could unexpectedly open while the inner door of the torpedo tube was open too. As a 
    result, a huge amount of water would come in in a short time.

5. The snorkel mast distorted because of the exhaust heat during snorting. The effect was noticed in 
    practice: tons of seawater came through the snorkel in the engine room.

6. Diesel exhaust gasses constantly crossed the bridge. This was not only bad for the health of the
    people on the bridge, the view was also limited.

7. A lot of equipment was difficult to access for repair and replacement.

8. Limited space for the crew. According to Conley, it was a generation back.

9. The 2 Paxman Valenta diesels, originally intended for trains, did not meet the heavy requirements
    on a submarine. Damn, in our LCF De Zeven Provincien AAW lass frigates there were / are also 
    Paxman diesel generator sets, which are actually intended for trains and also did not satisfy, 
    because of prematurely wear and teat and are / were replaced by Deutz 'diesel carts'.

There are problems with a new class more often, but although some were solved, other problems proved persistent. Conley described the design of the Upholder as a whole as "very disappointing".

Stephen Saunders of Jane's Fighting Ships, even said that there is something "fundamentally wrong" with these submarines.

The shortcomings were remedied as much as possible and a committee of inquiry also had confidence in the quality of the boats.

Locum."

Pete Comment

1.  Neither the UK nor Canada can fix the glaring range deficiency problem, ie. "3. The boats were found to have a range of 4,000 nautical miles". 

4,000nm may be barely sufficient for transits to/from the Victoria's bases both in southern Canada  (at Esquimalt (Pacific) and Halifax (Atlantic)

to the northern ice shelves (eg. anti-Russian submarine and ship chokepoints).

This range shortfall must be diabolical for the peace of mind of any Victoria Commanders considering putting their boats under the ice, even for 24 hours.

2.  I'd also add the Victoria's are not equipped with anti-ship missiles, like UGM-84 Harpoons - quite a deficiency compared to other navies owning modern conventional submarines.


Victoria class - inside and out.



Locum and Pete