May 19, 2015

Japan Providing Information for Future Submarine Selection

A crewmen dangerously perched on a sail-plane of a Soryu (with is submarine number removed for security).
---

What I see as the most interesting parts of a Japan Times May 18, 2015 article are:

“The National Security Council of Japan on [May 18, 2015] approved disclosing some technical data on the nation’s submarine technology to Australia, which is conducting a feasibility study on possible joint development and production of its next-generation submarine fleet…The scope of disclosure will be decided through negotiations but it will be limited to what Canberra would need for its feasibility study, the official said. Japan plans to propose joint development and production with Australia, based on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s earlier decision to ease the nation’s self-imposed regulations on arms exports. Complicating matters, though, many aspects of the nation’s submarine know-how have likely been classified as top secret.”

MY COMMENT

Presumably development would center on achieving longer range for “SoryuAU” and perhaps more radically a vertical launch system. I assume negotiations might be through letter/email/Embassies or Minister Nakatani talking to Minister Andrews directly at the annual 2+2 talks in Canberra or Tokyo perhaps in early June 2015. (based on last years 2+2 being in early June 2014) . 

On June 1, 2015 it was confirmed that next week Minister Andrews would meet Minister Nakatani as well as visiting the MHI and KHI submarine yards at Kobe http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/breaking-news/defence-minister-to-visit-japan/story-fni0xqi3-1227378114675 . It is also likely that Andrews and Foreign Minister Bishop will meet Minister Nakatani and Foreign Minister Kishida in Tokyo at the annual 2+2 talks.

Ministers Andrews and Bishop may also be attending a 2+2 meeting in Seoul with their South Korean counterparts - maybe right now in early June.

Hours after I wrote the previous paragraph the Minister's Office or Defence advised (or confirmed to) The Australian (May 20, 12.00AM) that "Kevin Andrews will visit Japan within weeks after the country’s national security council signed off on plans to bid for the navy’s future submarine project..." This is in conjuction with the annual 2+2 talks. I'd like to think The Australian monitor Submarine Matters :-)

S has provided many useful insights and 2 internet documents - see Comments for Minister Andrews Phone Call to Minister Nakatani, May 7, 2015.

The first document was Defence Programs and Budget of Japan Overview of FY2015 Budget Request http://www.mod.go.jp/e/d_budget/pdf/261003.pdf. Very relevant parts of it are:

Page 4: "Construction of a submarine (1 ship: ¥64.4 billion)

Construct the 11th Soryu-class submarine (2,900t class) to increase the number of submarines from the current 16 to 22 ships. [Comment 11th Soryu is 27SS with AIP? and LIB? costing ¥64.4 billion? Will 28SS still be LIB no AIP?]

Improve underwater endurance [Comment – Yes Australia wants greater endurance] , etc. compared with the existing Soryu-class submarines by mounting lithium-ion batteries ○ Life extension of submarines (life extension work for 2 ships and parts procurement for 3 ships: ¥3.4 billion)

Implement life extension measures for Oyashio-class submarines in order to increase the number of submarines from the current 16 to 22 ships.[Comment – hopefully as Japan implements more life extensions Japan will be more able to build subs that can operate to the Australian goal of 30 years]

Page 18: “Increase the number of Defense Attachés, etc. (Ukraine, Poland and Australia)” [Comment – I wonder if the first Attaché in Canberra might be a senior Submarine Officer]

Page 20: “Promoting bilateral, trilateral and multilateral defense cooperation and exchanges, including those with Australia, ROK and India, as well as Japan-U.S.-Australia and Japan-U.S.-ROK defense cooperation”

I found Japanese language budget paper 2014 Fiscal Year Life Cycle Cost Management Annual Report http://www.mod.go.jp/epco/about/pdf/26lifecyclecost_houkokusyo.pdf (pages 77-80) too difficult to generate a useful picture. Even using Google Translate the document is in tables, columns with specialist language conventions used for Japanese government bureaucracy yearly budgeting. Japanese language newspaper articles are easy by comparison.

Pete

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

I am not going to interfere with Australian way to purchase and operate submarines at all. But as a third person, I think that 30 years’ operation is too long in a current situation. Batteries system of conventional submarine has not been changes for decades. We have used lead acid batteries. But now, the situation surrounding submarine batterie system is rapidly changing. German 212A and 214 have realized fuel cell system, and Japan has decided to adopt LIBs for next Soryu. Now, many researchers and organizations are interested to develop lithium sulfur batteries as next generation lithium based rechageable batteries which show much superior performance to LIBs and are close to market. In fact, GS Yuasa Corporation who is LIBs supplier for next Suryu announced last year that they were going to deliver the batteries sample by 2020. Current lithium sulfur batteries have some issues such as short life or safety, but they are very prominent for future submarine application. LIBs may become out of date within 30years.

Regards
S

Peter Coates said...

Hi S

I don't think Australia would accept subs with only a 20 year service life. However I agree advances in LIBs and Lithium Sulphur batteries (LSBs) may make it advantageous for Australia's future subs to upgrade their batteries - maybe every 10-15 years. This may perhaps be done during "deep maintenance" when the hull is cut anyway - to replace major engine components.

Also probably no-one knows how many years future LIBs and (and as you say) LSBs for submarine will last. Here's the Yuasa LIB for submarine site http://www.gsyuasa-lp.com/gylp-specialty-markets

Another site with a great diagram comparing LIB vs LSB is http://www.oxisenergy.com/technology/ which explains:

"Sulfur represents a natural cathode partner for metallic Li and, in contrast with conventional lithium-ion cells, the chemicals processes include dissolution from the anode surface during discharge and reverse lithium plating to the anode while charging. As a consequence, Lithium-Sulfur allows for a theoretical specific energy in excess of 2700Wh/kg, which is nearly 5 times higher than that of Li-ion.
OXIS’s next generation lithium technology platform offers the highest energy density among lithium chemistry:
300 Wh/kg achieved at cell level in 2014
400 Wh/kg forecast in 2016
OXIS patented chemistry provides inherent safety allowing it to meet international standards concerning shock, crush, thermal stability and short circuit...Thanks to its two key mechanisms, a ceramic lithium sulfide passivation layer and a non-flammable electrolyte, our cells can withstand extreme abuse situations such as bullet and nail penetrations with no adverse reaction."

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...


Thanks Pete. By the way, I summarized status of submarine procurement for Japan based on the report by Ministry of Defence in 2012.

1. Submarine hull
1.1 Domestically-produced: Subnarine building, Batteries, Electric motor, Diesel generator, High pressure air reservoir, Production DSRV (Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle)
1.2 Domestically-produced under Sweden licence: Stirling generator

2 Submarine equipments
2.1 Domestically-produced: Sonar system, Decoys, Torpedo tube, Torpedo fire control system, Inertial navigation system of submarine, 13m Periscope, Degausser, Underwater telephone, Information processing subsystem for submarine, Tactical situation display for submarine, Pyrotechnic projector, Echo sounder, Radiation detection, Gyro compass
2.2 Imported from USA: Harpoon missile fire control system
2.3 Domestically-produced under UK licence: Optronic masts
2.4 Domestically-produced under German licence: Radiation detector

Regards
S

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete
Radiation detector in 2.1 is miscopy. It belongs to 2.4.
Regards
S


Peter Coates said...

Hi S

Thanks so much for that country of origin info. Japan's legal ability and willingness to transfer the intellectual property of parts of the submarine is and will be a key issue in the future submarine selection.

It is possible Germany and/or France will claim that "1.1...Electric motor, Diesel generator" originally derived from German and/or French property-inventions. This is even if the Soryu diesel is listed as "Kawasaki 12V 25/25 SB-type diesel engines" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C5%8Dry%C5%AB-class_submarine )

Re "2.1 ...Information processing subsystem" and
Re "2.2 Imported from USA: Harpoon missile fire control system"
Australia, since 2009, has also expressed interest in Tomahawk cruise missiles - fired from torpedo tubes or VLS. "Tomahawk missile fire control system" might be a future inclusion for a "SoryuAU".
Information processing subsystem and Fire control sytems can be seen as subsets of the broader Combat System which will, of course, heavily draw the US into technology transfer of any Soryu to Australia ("SoryuAU").

Re "2.4...Radiation detector" could perhaps(?) include heat radiation and/or nuclear submarine radiation detection. Here is an interesting reference http://www.ultra-electronics.com/capabilities/maritime-battlespace/manned-naval-vessel-systems.aspx#Radiation-detection-and-monitoring-for-ships-and-submarines .

I'll turn parts of this thread into separate articles on Lithium Sulphur Batteries and Soryu Intellectual Property.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...


Hi Pete

I think that the radiation detector is to detect nuclear submarine, but not include heat detection. Ministry of Defence (MOD) defined that this equipment detected radiation inside and outside of ship and alarms. MOD purchased it from company X according to MOD Business Review in FY2012. X sells monitoring system for environmental radiation measurements etc. But I don’t German licenser.

Regards
S

Peter Coates said...

Thanks S

I was unaware, before you mentioned it, that radiation detectors on diesel-electrice submarines existed. I now assume seafloor sensor arrays may also include radiation sensors (and submarine induced water motion sensors) in addition to all the other sensor types.

What were you referring to regarding "German licenser"?

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...


Hi Pete

Reference [May 29, 2015 at 4:47 AM]
Final Report of “Current sttatus of the sector defence industry” Appendix 2, page12-14 by Defence Production & Basic Technology Research Commity in 2011 Jun. http://www.mod.go.jp/j/approach/agenda/meeting/seisan/houkoku/final/appdx02.pdf, (page14, line 9-10 for German licenser)

Regards
S

Peter Coates said...

Hi S [at May 30, 2015 at 7:03 PM]

Thanks for the actual document http://www.mod.go.jp/j/approach/agenda/meeting/seisan/houkoku/final/appdx02.pdf indicating "German licenser".

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi S

As predicted in this Submarine Matters article it has now been confirmed that next week Minister Andrews would meet Minister Nakatani as well as visiting the MHI and KHI submarine yards at Kobe http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/breaking-news/defence-minister-to-visit-japan/story-fni0xqi3-1227378114675 . It is also likely that Andrews and Foreign Minister Bishop will meet Minister Nakatani and Foreign Minister Kishida in Tokyo at the annual 2+2 talks.

Ministers Andrews and Bishop may also be attending a 2+2 meeting in Seoul with their South Korean counterparts - maybe right now in early June.

Regards

Pete