September 14, 2017

Australia (with US cooperation) Active in LIBs Research for Submarines

Thermal runaway in Lithium-ion Batteries (LIBs) in submarines 
 has been a serious problem as US testing in November 2008 (see below) revealed. The above artwork concerns destructive phases through heat buildup in LIBs in hearing aids. (Courtesy Hearing Health & Technology Matters)
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Many countries (from Europe to Northeast Asia and the US) are carrying out Lithium-ion Battery (LIB) research for submarines.

Australia is also active in research on LIBs for submarines. Australia’s Department of Defence’s multi-faceted research organisation, the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group is active in LIB safety research. 

In one of the activities DST's Defence researcher, Kane Ivory, is establishing DST’s LIB Safety Research Facility - on DST's website see an article Powering the Future of Submarine Fleets of 

The US Navy and Special Operations Command (SOCOM) had bad experiences with LIBs way back in November 2008 under the now cancelled Advanced SEAL Delivery Vehicle (ASDS) program. The prototype (ASDS-1) "was having its lithium-ion batteries charged Nov. 9 when an explosion started a battery fire that burned for about six hours. No one was aboard the 60-ton craft, which was on shore at its base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii...The incident came at a key time for the [ASDS] mini-sub program. The ASDS was to have deployed in November [on top of] the guided-missile submarine [USS Michigan (SSGN-727)] — the first SSGN deployment for the [ASDS mini-sub]." 

As well as LIBs for mini-subs and UUVs the US Navy may want to eventually use LIBs as backup batteries in nuclear submarines. 

US-Australian cooperation in defence research is revealed by a US Navy document regarding Ken Ivory’s secondment, in 2016 to the US, under the Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program (ESEP). The US document indicates:


"Kane is here working with us on understanding how that safety program works and the types of tests and approaches to testing we have to see what is applicable to Australia," Fuentevilla said. "One common area of interest for Australia and the United States is early fault detection for lithium battery failures. Normal battery management systems will detect a fault or failure as it's happening, but not necessarily with sufficient time to prevent system-level hazards. We're looking at technologies that would provide additional early warning so that you can effectively implement hazard mitigation solutions to prevent a small problem from becoming a bigger problem."

Pete

September 13, 2017

September 2017 Report to Donors - Disruptions to Australian Shipbuilding Plans

Hi Donors

I've just emailed out Submarine Matters September 2017 Donor Report: 



Titled - Disruptions to Australian Shipbuilding Plans

Please check your spam bin if you don't see it in your IN box.

Leadin to report:

Timeline illustrates the Coalition Government’s best laid plans of an unprecedented peacetime boost to naval shipbuilding. The strategy is clearly Osborne, Adelaide, South Australia centric. See short Factsheet. But like all things political it is subject to change. (Timeline artwork courtesy Australian Government's Naval Shipbuilding Plan May 2017, page 15) 


Regards

Pete
Director
Submarine Matters International

September 6, 2017

Updated Table of Japan's Soryu & Oyashio Submarine Program: Admiral Kobayashi

On September 4, 2017 Anonymous provided new information here and here updating Submarine Matter's Amended Improvements & Higher Costs of Soryu Mark IIs Over Mark Is of August 21, 2017

 TABLE - SORYU & Oyashio Program as at September 6, 2017 

SS
No.
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
SS-590/ TS3608
¥52.2B FY1993
LABs only
 Jan 1994
Oct 1996
Mar 1998
 KHI
6SS-15SS
Oyashios
10 subs
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
Soryu Mk 1
8116
Sōryū
SS-501
¥60B FY2004
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
No
21SS
No 21SS built
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
Mar? 2018
MHI
26SS
8125
SS-510
LABs + AIP
2014
?
Mar 2019?
KHI
27SS First
Soryu Mk 2
8126
SS-511
LIBs only
2015
2017?
Mar
2020
MHI
28SS  Second
Soryu Mark 2
8127
SS-512
¥63.6B FY2016
LIBs only
2016?
2018?
Mar 2021?
KHI
29SS First Soryu Mk 3
(1) (3)
8128
?
¥76B FY2017
LIBs only
?
?
2023?
MHI?
30SS Second Soryu Mk 3 (2)
8029?
?
¥71.5B FY2018
LIBs only
?
?
2024?
KHI?
Table from information exclusively provided to Submarine MattersLABs = lead-acid batteries, AIP = air independent propulsion, LIBs = lithium-ion batteries. ¥***B = Billion Yen. MHI = Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, KHI Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation of Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
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Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) announced the Financial Year FY 2018 budget on August 31, 2017. Based on the FY 2017 and FY 2018 budgets, the SORYU & Oyashio Program Table (above) can be revised (in red) as follows.

(1) Correction of 29SS; i) “Build No” is 8128; “[the Japanese Ministry of Finance (MoF)] approved amount Yen Billions & FY” is JPY 76 (7.6*)B FY2017.

(2) Addition of 30SS; i) “Build No” is 8029?; MoF approved amount Yen Billions & FY” is JPY 71.5 (2.3*)B FY2018 (submitted).

* Figure in bracket is the first year cost, such as new equipment, and is excluded from the FY budget number. In other words, the real budgets for 29SS and 30SS are 83.6 (=76 + 7.6) and 73.8 (=71.5 + 2.3) JPY B (Billion Japanese Yen), respectively. The first year cost for both 29SS and 30SS recognises that the builders of the two submarines are different.

According to the MOD, first year costs include i) design, ii) test, iii) technical collaboration, and iv) acquisition costs. These costs exclude jigs/tools, machines and equipment. These costs are related to the first year procurement and are specially required for production. 


The first year cost of 29SS (ie. 7.6 B JPY) is much higher than 30SS (2.3 B JPY). One major cost component may be design. The design cost of 29SS is obviously higher than 30SS.

(3) For application in future 29SS-type submarine, a budget for the study of a new silent driving system has been submitted.

Research on the quiet propulsion (or silent driving?) system and hull shape are considered budgeting. The results of previous research will be applied to 29SS-type submarine. An issue remains whether 29SS type submarines can be called Soryu Mark 3 or Soryu Mark 4. A submarine class that follows the Soryus will likely be based on additional research.

Reported in the Japanese language publication SHIPS OF THE WORLD, October 2017 - the ex-commander of the submarine fleet Admiral (retired) Masao Kobayashi (photo and bio details below from Submarine Matters' records) has revealed that 29SS is an upgraded version of the Soryu, with improved LIBs, improved sonars and other performance improvements. So 29SS and 30SS can be considered Soryu Mark 3s.



 Vice Admiral Masao KOBAYASHI, JMSDF (Retired)  

Masao KOBAYASHI has performed as an adviser to Japan's National Security Council. He graduated from the Japanese Defense Academy in 1973 and commenced a career in the JMSDF submarine service. He held many posts in the submarine force.

Shore billets included Submarine Branch Head in the Ship Systems Section in the Maritime Staff Office and Operations Officer in the Fleet Submarine Force.

He has commanded TAKASHIO SS-571 (Uzushio class submarine), and was Commander of Submarine Division Two. In 2001/2 he was the Commander of Submarine Flotilla One, and was Coordinator of Exercise at sea for Pacific Reach 2002.

Masao’s last post was as Commander of the Fleet Submarine Force (2007 - 2009). He retired from the JMSDF in 2009. Vice Admiral KOBAYASHI served with distinction in the JMSDF and is well regarded as an authority in the international submariner community. 


Anonymous and Pete

September 5, 2017

Saab Kockums Concept Proposal of Three A26 SSK Variants

Kockums, since it returned to Swedish ownership (bought by Saab) in July 2014, has been trying to find foreign buyers for the A26 and variants. In 2014 a variant concept was the 4,000 ton Type 612, which Kockums attempted to market to Australia in the future submarine (SEA 1000) competition. France's DCNS (now Naval Group) won the Australian competition. 

So Saab Kockums is still searching for foreign customers, but, the market has many competing submarine suppliers. Kockum's is now attempting to sell the A26 in three sizes.

Navyrecognition provided details on August 31, 2017 concerning Saab Kockums concept proposal of three A26 SSK variants (illustrated at Artwork A. below).

Artwork A. Saab Kockums August 31, 2017 concept proposal of three A26 SSK variants.  Artwork courtesy Saab Kockums via navyrecognition
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Pete Comment/Background

Using the Saab via navyrecognition details the three A26 variants in Artwork A consist of:

The "Pelagic" (Open Sea) variant can perhaps relate to Baltic, Mediterranean, Arabian and Caribbian Sea use. This variant is small – 50m long, about 1,000 tons (surfaced), 4,000nm range at 10 knots. Endurance at patrol speed is over 20 days assisted by the AIP module. Standard complement is 17 to 25. Saab Kockums may have the best chance of selling these small submarines to smaller navy customers including those who use subs for non-state threats, eg. Canada and Latin American countries in alliance with the US countering drug smuggling.

The Oceanic variant is the "baseline" A26 with two being built for the Swedish Navy. A26 Oceanic is 65m long, around 1,900 tons to 2,000 tons (surfaced), range over 6,500nm at 10 knots. Endurance at patrol speed is over 30 day assisted by the AIP module. Standard complement is 17 to 35. [Presumably around 10 Special Forces can be accomodated?]. I assume four A26 Oceanic variants of approximately 2,300 tons (surfaced) are being offered to the Dutch Navy as Walrus replacements.

The Oceanic (Extended Range) variant is a stretched version A26. It is longer than 80m, over 3,000 tons (surfaced). Range is over 10,000nm at 10 knots. Endurance at patrol speed is over 50 days assisted by the AIP module. Standard complement is 20 to 50. [Presumably around 10 Special Forces can be accomodated?]. 

Saab Kockums will have a battle selling the Oceanic and Oceanic (Extended Range) variants given TKMS is already established selling larger than the usual (1,800 ton submarines) to Israel, Singapore and designs to South Korea. India may be the best remaining slightly large  submarine customer under Project 75I.

Artwork B. Saab Kockums concept proposal of the Vertical Launch System (VLS) or Vertical Multi-Purpose Lock (VMPL) module(s) option that can be fitted to A26 SSK variants. Artwork courtesy Saab Kockums via navyrecognition.
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Pete

September 4, 2017

Sniffer Aircraft May Have Pointed to North Korea Nuclear Device Being Thermonuclear

Intelligence agencies are using not yet public sniffer test results to conclude the September 3, 2017 North Korean nuclear test was thermonuclear. Further confirmation is based arount the power of the 6.3 magnitude nuclear earthquake leading to a thermonuclear range estimated yield of 100 kilotons or higher (various estimates).

Three or more Japanese Air Force T-4 intermediate jet trainers have already been used as “sniffer” aircraft to collect radioactive dust (eg. tritiumdeuterium and lithium-6 deuteride) and noble gases. The T-4s probably use external flow-through devices to collect particulates on filter paper. This is an advance over using a much larger, labor intensive, US Boeing WC-135 Constant Phoenix aircraft.

Some authorities limit the definition of thermonuclear weapon to a two stage weapon where the detonation of a primary fission stage sets off a secondary nuclear fusion stage. But a broader definition also encompasses a boosted fission weapon - typically a bomb using a small amount of fusion fuel to increase the explosive rate, and thus yield, of a fission reaction.


Photo of North Korean leader inspecting a device which looks like a thermonuclear weapon The photo was released a few hours before the test. See very useful BBC commentatry on physical aspects of the Kim-Bomb photo.

Pete