June 27, 2015

Chinese Yuan Submarines for Thailand and Pakistan?

What may well be a Chinese Type 039A "Yuan" class submarine. An S-26T derivative may be  exported to Thailand.
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For the latest on Thailand's on-again, off-again interest in submarines see Submarine Matters Does Thailand Need Submarines At All? August 12, 2015.

To go back three months mDeletey post Thailand may eventually purchase two submarines, March 25, 2015  identified the possibility the Thai Navy may want two diesel-powered submarines with displacement of 2,400-3,000 tonnes. The source said the Chinese-made Yuan class is favoured by the committee due to its specifications. The "U-class" [do they mean U-209 class?] from South Korea and Germany also pinged the sonar screen." 

Later, on June 25, 2015. a Bangkok Post article indicated:
the navy said a committee working on a plan to buy submarines has finalised its option - it's likely to go for the Chinese-made submarines - and will submit the proposal to the cabinet for approval next month...The 36-billion-baht [US$1.07 Billion] budget covers two submarines, as well as maintenance and training of the navy's personnel. Some reports say China has offered special, undisclosed packages to win the deal. Sources in the navy said there are two short-listed countries. China is the No.1 option, followed by South Korea."

The next day (June 26, 2015) the Bangkok Post reported China is offering three submarines (“12 billion baht [US$355 million] each”) with Germany or South Korea possible second choices and Russia, Sweden and France eliminated.

COMMENT

The unusual decision making process of the Navy declaring a possible result may be a strong encouragement for the Cabinet to finally make a decision after much submarine acquisition hesitancy over the years. Lack of Navy clarity on whether it will get three or two submarines, for the US$Billion total, might indicate the Navy is hoping for three.

China is an unconfirmed choice with room that the Thailand may still be aiming for a better deal from South Korea or Germany before the Thai Cabinet (including the dominant Army representation) makes the final decision.

If China is finally chosen then a submarine with some features of the large Type 039A "Yuan" class submarines and some features of the smaller Type 035 Ming class is possible. The result of this Yuan-Ming combination may be the "S-20" with specifications including: 1,850 tons (surfaced), Range: 8,000 nm at 16 kn, crew of 38, with or without Stirling AIP. China more specifically may be offering a Yuan S-26T (T for Thailand) version .

Three new subs (with support and training) for US$1 Billion is mysteriously cheap. Despite the Yuan S-20 or S-26T drawing-board designs it is unclear whether China is offering:

-  new build submarines?

-  used and refurbished?

-  Stirling AIP included?

Chinese Submarines sold to Bangladesh and maybe Pakistan (?)

China’s submarine sales at low prices campaign is a major new political phenomenon. Economically this is in competition with European, South Korean and potential Japanese suppliers. In late 2013 China had its first submarine export success in concluding a deal to sell two obsolete Type 035 “Ming” class submarines to Bangladesh

Pakistan has long repeated claims over the years that China is “about to” export varying numbers of submarines to Pakistan. To date this has appeared wishful thinking - however a more substantial news article has come to hand that records a visit of a Chinese Yuan to Karachi around May 22-29, 2015 - it being possible the Pakistan's body politic are being provided a pre-purchase or pre-gift inspection.

In the area of possibilities North Korea is always a potential recipient of submarines as is Myanmar. The Philippines and Cambodia are other ASEAN countries without submarines so far.

Pete

56 comments:

MHalblaub said...

Thailand may need 4 Chinese submarines to equal 2 Type 209 submarines according to a availability. Australia knows this availability problem due to Collins-class

Nicky said...

HI Pete,
I am wondering why didn't Thailand go for the Amur class SSK or Improved Kilo class Submarine. I would think the Improved Kilo class Submarine is much more cheaper than the Yuan class Submarine. Also isn't the Yuan class Submarine a Souped up version of the Kilo class Submarine. I have read that the Yuan class Submarine was designed from the Improved Kilo class Submarine and that China took the design lessons from their Kilo class Submarines and put it into the Yuan Class Submarines.

That's why I think Thailand should have gone with the Improved Kilo class Submarine because of the cost and Russia would have given them the TOT as well. Though I think for Thailand, they need an SSK submarine with shallow water littoral capability with ocean going capability as well.

Even the Diplomat magazine is reporting this Thailand Submarine deal as well
http://thediplomat.com/2015/06/how-did-china-just-win-thailands-new-submarine-bid/

Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub

Yes reports of the low reliability, low availiability of Chinese subs (hence 4 better) might be of concern to Thailand.

Thailand is very brave being the first (perhaps) Chinese new build customer.

Thailand has come a long way from the Vietnam War when Thailand hosted US B-52s https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U-Tapao_Royal_Thai_Navy_Airfield#American_use_of_U-Tapao_during_the_Vietnam_War
The Thais also hosted US "Thud" fighter-bombers and Skyraiders. Thailand also hosted a large US sigint base or two.

Now Thailand's expected purchase of subs from China marks Thailand's departure from the US alliance structure.

I wonder if Thailand will host a Chinese backed communist party that can match the Army?

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi Nicky

The Amur is at present a marketing, design board concept which Russia has been unable to sell yet. Russia did launch a (theoretically domestic version) Lada in 2010 but the Lada/Amur remains at test stage and without a mature AIP option. The lack of Russian success in selling the Lada/Amur or Kalina may have made potential customers cautious.

True that Thailand rates “SSK submarine with shallow water littoral capability” highly. Thailand might have been turned off by the large size of Kilos (2,300 tonnes surfaced) for Thailand’s shallow littoral waters.

Russia’s ability to subsidize a low price (and/or soft loans) to Thailand may be impeded by Russia’s current low oil revenues – making Kilos expensive for the foreseeable oil price future. Indonesia's decision to buy South Korean Chang Bogos and not Russian Kilos several years ago may be for these same financial reasons.

The Yuan, with upgrades since 2006, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_039A_submarine would benefit from some reverse-engineered Kilo features - but also from some distinctly Chinese features. It must be remembered China is very innovative in some high tech defence industries: including H-Bombs (1960s) and, more to the point, nuclear subs since the 1980s.

So Thailand may be getting some Kilo technologies and some Chinese technologies in a Yuan package smaller and cheaper than the Kilo itself.

Also it must be remembered the Yuan has not yet been chosen by the Thai Cabinet-Government. The 209 or Chang Bogo still might be bought or the Thai Government may again hesitate to buy any sub (as it has for years).

Yes the generalist Diplomat has written a Chinese subs for Thailand article like specialist :) Submarine Matters.

Regards

Pete

Nicky said...

Hi Pete,
That's what I was thinking. How come Thailand didn't go for the Improved Kilo class SSK, even though the Improved Kilo class SSK's low price makes it very attractive. I know the Kilo's class SSK would have made an attractive offer for any country who wanted in on the Submarine game.

As far as the Yuan class Submarine, it dose look like a mix of Russian and Chinese technology. Sharing some of the lineages of the Kilo class SSK and possibly the Song class SSK as well. I think Thailand wanted a Kilo class SSK at Chinese prices. Though I wonder why South Korea, Germany, France, Russia and Sweden all lost out to China.

Here's the Question, how well can you operate an SSK submarine in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman sea. Will they have to learn from Sweden who are experts in operating submarines in shallow, littoral waters of the Baltic. I am thinking of this because I think for Thailand they want a Sub not only for ASW/ASUW warfare, but also for their special operations and their ISR ability as well. I think they wanted an SSK that has shallow water, littoral capability with Ocean going capability as well.

Peter Coates said...

Hi Nicky

Your last paragraph raises interesting questions. I would be interested in what sources and views you can locate to answer them.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Dear Nicky,

German submarines have to operate in far shallower water than even Sweden. It is a requirement for every German Navy submarine that it can operate submerged in a sea area called the Kadetrinne with water depths between 10 and 30 m. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kadetrinne

The best current submarine for this mission would have been the Type 210(mod) used by Norway. The Type 212A is not only thought to fight against the Warsaw Pact nations in the Baltic Sea. Type 212A is for long enduring intelligence gathering missions around the world.

Even Thailand has to pay its crews. Type 210 needs a crew of 15 men and Chinese Type 039 a crew of 38 men.

Regards,
MHalblaub

Anonymous said...

The shift to Chinese weapons systems started with Thailand 20 years ago when it bought the two Naresuan classs frigates from China. For sure there is a further tilt recently since the US frowned upon perceived human right violations after the military coup.

The Gulf of Thailand is shallow. The Yuan class submarine as it stands (unless Thailand is buying some smaller variants like the S20) does not seem to fit well with littoral shallow depth operations. It is almost as large as the Kilo. But then there are plenty of financial incentives that China can offer to offset perceived technical disadvantages.

It is interesting to note that for the next batch of submarines, after the first 6 Kilos are operational, Vietnam is leaning to western submarines like Scorpene. The main deficit against HDW is the lack of defense relationships between Germany and Vietnam that France does enjoy, but there is time to close that gap. The Kilo will then be used as Klub delivery platforms while the 2nd batch will function as SSK.
I think an improved type 210(mod) with a better tower to hull fairing could be an excellent choice for operations in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

the Type 210mod already is proposed with an improved hull fairing:
https://www.thyssenkrupp-marinesystems.com/en/hdw-class-210mod.html

Much more interesting is the waste of space with a large diver tube on the lower floor. For extended operations the big tube could be used for food and other supplies.

Regards,
MHalblaub

Nicky said...

HI Pete,
It dose pose and interesting question. Since Thailand's waters are shallow, littoral and some deep in the Andaman sea. I wonder how effective can you operate a submarine in the Littorals. I know Singapore operates submarines in the littorals, so I am wondering if they are learning from them or from the Germans on submarine operations in the shallow waters and littoral waters.

The other question is, how good is the Yuan class submarine in the littoral waters and shallow waters. I know Sweden and Germany have Submarines that can operate very well in the North Sea and the Baltic sea, as well as in deep open ocean. So how well can Thailand operate the Yuan class Submarine in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman sea. Knowing the max depth in the Gulf of Thailand is is 279ft (85M), while the Andaman sea maxed depth is 4,198 m (13,773 ft).

I was thinking since Thailand wants submarines, but with the waters they have. I would think the Type 210 (mod). The Ula class Submarine that the Norwegian Navy operates. Even the Type 209's would have been one option.

As with China, knowing that the Yuan class Submarine can dive to the same depth as the Kilo class Submarine, which is maxed at 300 Meters. I wonder if Thailand is getting a submarine they know can't operate in the shallow waters but can operate in the deep.

Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub [at June 29, 2015 at 7:23 PM]

Thanks for https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kadetrinne and need for German made subs in the Baltic to operate in extremely shallow water. I'm assuming:

- transits of the Kadetrinne would normally be at night

- there would be an ongoing battle to remove or disrupt Russian undersea sensors in Baltic narrows

- Russian "fishing boats" or patrol boats supporting mini-subs or UUVs (as sensor pickets) might also be a hazard to honest Western sub operations

Yes I assume that as Germany phased out 205s-206s a German 212 or two might permantly operate in the Baltic. Either that or there is very close division of operational workload with Norwegian Ulas and Polish Kobbens.

Thai pay would be relatively low for crews. But having technically experienced officers and crew with initiative might be a special concern.

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous [June 29, 2015 at 8:49 PM]

Your mention of two Chinese Type 053 derivatives https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naresuan-class_frigate in the 1990s for Thailand is very enlightening. Looks like the US's selective concern for human rights (when was Saudi Arabia last outed?) no longer compels countries to toe the US line.

Many Aussie tourists I know have seen no problems in Thailand after the latest coup.

Thanks for specifying that it is the Gulf of Thailand that is shallow. Yes Thailand would do well not not to buy 1,900 ton (surfaced) subs for pride/prestige. However perhaps Thailand is going for the cheaper cost of the mature Yuan design.

Geo-strategically it may be in China interests to sell Thailand subs that cannot easily transit the Gulf of Thailand and would then complicate China's South China Sea aspirations. Thai Yuans in the Andaman Sea may complicate the operations of China's competitor - India.

Interesting that Vietnam may buy a (post Kilo) batch of Scorpenes inline with closer Viet-French relations. HDW or South Korea building German designs cannot monopolize the business. The Kilos as Klub land attack platforms is an interesting perspective.

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub

The large diver tube on the revised (?) https://www.thyssenkrupp-marinesystems.com/en/hdw-class-210mod.html looks very interesting. Good for special forces deployment, diver delivery vehicles and LDUUVs.

Early 210s (and perhaps earlier 210mod designs) carried 8 x 533mm torpedo tubes https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/U-Boot-Klasse_210 . So the lower 4 torpedo tubes have been replaced with a diver tube.

Extra LIB capacity might be an option instead of the diver tube.

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi Nicky

Thanks for the figures - "max depth in the Gulf of Thailand is is 279ft (85M), while the Andaman sea maxed depth is 4,198 m (13,773 ft)."

Many of the questions (210 and Baltic etc) have been addressed in earler discussion in this thread over the last 20 hours.

I think the many years Singapore has been buying Swedish subs has involved a great deal of Swedish knowledge transfer on shallows-narrows operations. Also Singapore has heavily relied on Swedish Stirling AIP. The US would have also helped Singapore greatly with sea-floor and hydro condition mapping.

Sweden's sale of Kockums to Germany in 1999 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kockums_Naval_Solutions#History means that Singapore's new 218s are not from Sweden.

Countries may rarely reveal a sub's true operating depth. I imagine Russian built Kilos for the Russian Navy can dive deeper than export Kilos.

What country are you writing from - China, Korea, Japan?

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Dear Pete,

the Kadetrinne was for sure free of hydrophones or other such devices. The bottom is sandy and in international waters. Therefore fisher work with nets pulled over the ground.

In case of a conflict this part would have filled up with floating hydrophones dropped by aircrafts of both sides...

The Kadetrinne was located between Denmark and the German Democratic Republic. Part of the submarines of the German Federal Republic would have traveled around Denmark to close this gap from both sides because any enemy ship with more draught has to pass through there.

If Thailand would have wanted to learn something about how to use its submarines Thailand should have chosen a more experienced teacher. A experienced crew on an old submarine is worth more than wannabe submarines on a new submarine. Ask Argentina about the man who mixed up the cables on the torpedo gyroscopes. The islands are therefore still called Falklands...
Finally: never use a submarine in the way the Argentinean Navy did it with ARA Santa Fe.

There is another thing about the Type 210mod. The Type 210mod has no AIP but it looks like the battery space is rather huge compared to other submarines.

Regards,
MHalblaub

Anonymous said...

I'm not an expert but from what I read is China will provide technology transfer if Thai buy their subs I don't know the scope of the technology transfer. But from what I know Thai Navy have been training in Germany and South Korea and they have already built a Navy Submarine Training Center in Sattahip Naval Base but it is based on German Technology.

Regards
Yuv

Anonymous said...

Please check link but it is in Thai language http://www.thaifighterclub.org/webboard/19210/%E0%B8%88%E0%B8%B5%E0%B8%99%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%82%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%B2%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%99%E0%B8%AD%E0%B8%82%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%AD%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%99%E0%B8%AD%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%9A%E0%B8%B7%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%AD%E0%B8%87%E0%B8%95%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%99%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%B7%E0%B8%AD%E0%B8%94%E0%B8%B3%E0%B8%99%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%B3%E0%B8%8A%E0%B8%B1%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%99-Yuan--S26T--%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%8A%E0%B8%B7%E0%B9%88%E0%B8%AD%E0%B8%97%E0%B8%A3-%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%95%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%B5%E0%B8%A2%E0%B8%A1%E0%B8%AD%E0%B8%AD%E0%B8%81-RFP.html

Regards
Yuv

Nicky said...

Hi Pete,
I'm writing from America. I think for Thailand, they may have to start looking to Germany, Sweden and Singapore for experienced Submarine Teachers. They may have to learn from Sweden and Germany on how to operate SSK submarines in the shallow waters, littoral waters. Knowing that Germany and Sweden are experts in submarine shallow water, littoral water operations.

Though I think the Type 201(MOD) or the Ula class submarine that the Norwegians operate is good for Thailand. They are small and optimized for shallow water and littoral water operations. Which I think in Thailand's case, I am wondering how good are the Yuan class Submarines are in the shallow waters, littoral waters. I think they should have gone with the Type 214 or even the Amur 1650 or type 209.

I know TKMS has started to build the Type 216SG and I think Thailand and Australia should consider a group buy with Singapore as well. Their is a report from Janes that quotes

"HS Jane's was also told that the new design combines the "best features" of the Type 212A-class and the Type 214-class platforms. For example, the Type 218SG features an X-rudder stern configuration similar to the Type 212A, which offers enhanced manoeuvrability in confined littoral waters, as opposed to the Type 214's cruciform rudder arrangement."
http://www.janes.com/article/52609/tkms-starts-construction-of-singapore-s-type-218sg-submarines

Nicky said...

Their is that one article that the USNI talked about Submarine operations in the Littorals. Here's the link http://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2010-06/right-submarine-lurking-littorals

Peter Coates said...

Hi Nicky

Thanks - a US perspective is always interesting. The US doesn't build SSKs but is still very influential in the alliance and SSK market. Readers from Japan and West European SSK building countries tend to be more familiar with SSK issues.

Thailand will tend to seek advice from the country selling them the subs. If China sells to Thailand then decades of Chinese experience will ideally be transferred. China inturn was helped by the Russians and even helped by Sweden with the Stirling AIP. European countries might also give advice especially if they can get a close up look inside operating Yuans :)

Although both Thailand and Singapore are in ASEAN there is also some distrust between ASEAN countries.

"I am wondering how good are the Yuan class Submarines are in the shallow waters, littoral waters." US naval intelligence and some academics at USNI are probably best placed to know.

Singapore is already buying the two 218SGs from TKMS. On a price basis the 218SGs are thought as being around the same tonnage as the 214s. 216s thought to be a much larger much more expensive sub than 214s.

Thailand (lighter weight) and Australia (heavier weight) have totally different submarine size requirements. Different requirements is one reason why joint buying is rare in the Asia-Pacific. Joint building and buying is much more common in Western Europe for NATO-EU commonality and economies of scale.

Yes most newly designed and many older SSKs and SSNs are using X-rudders for better maneuvrability in the littorals and for tactical moves in open ocean.

Over the last 1 to 2 years Submarine Matters has discussed many of these matters in articles and reader comments.

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi Yuv

Thanks for your two June 30 posts.

Yes if China wins the Thai order China will help and also Germany and South Korea might help (as they likely already have some representatives at Thailand's Submarine Establishment Office).

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub

Thanks. I'll carry over your comments relevant to Sweden and Baltic over to my latest article. Latest article on A26s, also Sweden, Russia, shallow Baltic etc.

I'll respond more specifically tomorrow.

Regards

Pete

Nawaponrath Asavathanachart said...

Hi Pete

I found this it is Chinese news site icludes some specs of the Chinese Sub http://e.163.com/docs/10/2015062910/AT9ARTPI9001RTPJ.html#smartPage_keyword

Regards
Yuv

Peter Coates said...

Hi Yuv

Thanks for http://e.163.com/docs/10/2015062910/AT9ARTPI9001RTPJ.html#smartPage_keyword . It contains very interesting information on German, South Korea and Chinese offers for the Thai tender.

http://e.163.com/docs/10/2015062910/AT9ARTPI9001RTPJ.html#smartPage_keyword June 29, 2015 indicates:

"According to Thai media reports, the German 209/1400 type offer $ 290 million [per sub], 210 submarine price unknown; South Korea, [Chang Bogo] class cost $ 330 million [per sub]; Chinese submarine S-26T, sold for $ 355 million [per sub]. Chinese submarine highest price, but by the Thai Navy's favor. This is one of the doorways, have analyzed in these three submarines."

So Thailand seems to be buying the S-26T.

If the translation is correct http://e.163.com/docs/10/2015062910/AT9ARTPI9001RTPJ.html#smartPage_keyword further says the S-26T will be of 2,000 tons with AIP:

"As for the S-26T type provided by China, it is the displacement of more than 2000 tons of large conventional submarines, and is equipped with AIP power system, longer underwater navigation."

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

It seems the Yuan Class has capability to launch nuclear tipped land attack cruise missile http://war.163.com/15/0630/08/ATBHQFAQ00014OMD.html#p=AT932KUK4T8E0001

Regards
Yuv

Anonymous said...

Dear Pete,

so according to Chinese news Germany did also offer the Type 210. That Thailand did chose the twice as big Chinese submarines shows that Thailand has no idea about how to use submarines. The Gulf of Thailand like the Malacca Strait are quite shallow.

The S-26T is not optimized for shallow water operations. No X-ruder and far higher overall height than the Type 210.
http://www.klsreview.com/HTML/2010Jan_Jun/20100531_03.jpg
http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/6742/images/137627/large/1-ula-class.jpg

According to my knowledge admirals easily fall in love big submarines even Australian ones are not immune against this.

Regards,
MHalblaub

Nicky said...

Hi Pete,
I'm thinking the same way too. I know for Australia, the Type 218SG or Type 216 would fit Australia very well. As for Thailand, I would think the Updated ULA class Submarine, Type 214 or Type 209 would be great for them. If price was an issue, I would say the Lada class SSK or the Improved Kilo class SSK.

As far as the Yuan class Submarine, I still have issues on how well they can operate in the Gulf of Thailand vs the Andaman Sea. I know US Nukes have operated in the Gulf of Thailand and can do it very well. But for Thailand, that is the biggest IF in the world.

I would think the Type 210Mod or the Ula class SSK would be great. I wonder how come Thailand didn't ask Sweden for the Naken class SSK

Anonymous said...

Dear Nicky,

for sure an SSN can operate in the Gulf of Thailand. The problem is how close can it get to the shore? Being close to the shore makes it harder to be detected by sonar due to multiple reflections.

The Näcken-class submarines were/are in storage. One is on display. Only 3 were built. Germany sold 2 old Type 206A to Columbia with another two Type 206A for spare parts. I guess Sweden could have offered just 1 working Näcken-class submarine.

You should compare Yuan-class to Type 206 or Type 210 according to size on this picture: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fdJRFQnBURs/VUmEQnmANXI/AAAAAAAAGRo/N_R03bwTp4Y/s1120/Submarines%2Bof%2Bthe%2BWorld%2B2015%2Bfm%2BNaval%2BGraphics.jpg
Height for Yuan-class about 28 pixel and just 19 pixel for Type 210 (scaled drawings according to length).

Regards,
MHalblaub

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Latest news from The Nation http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Navy-seeks-to-buy-three-Chinese-submarines-in-Bt36-30263637.html?

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous [at July 3, 2015 at 9:34 AM]

"The Nation" report you provide is very interesting http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Navy-seeks-to-buy-three-Chinese-submarines-in-Bt36-30263637.html :

[including] "The decision to submit the proposal was made by 17 young-generation committee members from the Submarine Squadron, having arrived at the decision after examining similar products from six countries.

Fourteen of them favoured Chinese submarines, while two committee members chose submarines from Germany and one preferred submarines from Sweden.

The Chinese submarines would be sufficiently armed, Kraisorn said.

The payment, if approved, would be made over between seven to 10 years. China would train the Thai Navy personnel on how to operate the subs and provide eight years' worth of spare parts, he said.

"The purchase is a wise decision to maximise our capability under a tight budget. With the same amount of budget, we may be able to obtain only two submarines if dealing with other countries," he said.

"All three submarines will be new, taking five to six years to complete. Our officers will be assigned to observe the construction for two years. This will be quite challenging for them, as the technology to be used is rather new [for us].

"China is the only country that equips the Air-Independent Propulsion System in its submarines. The system allows the submarines to fully submerge for as long as 21 days.

"Those without this system, from South Korea and Germany, are able to submerge for only five to six days, and if the submarines resurface too often, they can be detected by satellites. ....." MORE

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi Yuv (at July 2, 2015 at 5:10 AM)

Any naval weapon is theoretically capable of being nuclear. The country with the weapon must have access to nuclear warheads.

In the Cold War the US and Soviet Union, maybe UK and France, had nuclear torpedos. Russian and Chinese “carrier killing” missiles and torpedos would include nuclear.

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub [at July 2, 2015 at 5:10 AM]

Yes the sail of the 26T would be influenced by the very high Kilo sail. The RAN indeed seems prepared to add 300-500? tons to the future sub's weight to include VMPL/VLS.

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi Nicky [at July 2, 2015 at 7:12 AM]

The Type 218SG’s weight and characteristics are unknown. Thailand is still deciding what it wants.

The Lada-Amur has no mature AIP (and possibly little advanced technology) so has been an export failure. Kilo is too large for Thailand.

US SSNs may increasingly be relying on LDUUVs and diver delivery vehicles to get closer to the coast.

It seems Sweden wants to market variations of the 1,900 ton surfaced A26 (maybe a 1,100 ton version for Thailand? an for Norway and Poland). Naken class like old cars are obsolete.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Swedish and Thai navies getting new subs, Italians to acquire an amphibious ship http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/swedish-and-thai-navies-getting-new-subs-italians-to-acquire-an-amphibious-ship?

Regards
yuv

Peter Coates said...

Hi Yuv

Yes http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/swedish-and-thai-navies-getting-new-subs-italians-to-acquire-an-amphibious-ship also appeared in my browser. The author David Pugliese covers defence issues for the Ottawa Citizen (Ottawa being interested as it is the capital).

Italy ordering an amphibious ship is unexceptional.

Possibly inspired by WWII traditions Italy builds a Todaro class version of the HDW 212. Italy's Fincantieri builds Todaros for the Marina Militare (Italian Navy) at Muggiano shipyard https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_212_submarine#Development .

Regards

Pete

Nicky said...

HI Pete
For Thailand, that would be only the Type 209, 210(mod)or the Yuan.

Anonymous said...


Hi Pete

“JMSDF proved that energy density of LIBs was 3 times” in my comment (July 6, 2015 at 3:26 PM) is wrong, correct one is “JMSDF proved that energy density of LIBs was twice”. Sorry.

Regards
S

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Thailand nears $1 billion submarine deal with China despite exclusive U.S. military training http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/7/thailand-nears-1-billion-submarine-deal-with-china/?page=1

"In a deal that has raised eyebrows around the region, Thailand’s coup-installed regime is on the verge of purchasing three attack submarines from China for $1 billion, after the country’s navy received exclusive anti-submarine warfare training from the U.S. 7th Fleet."

didn't know the US Navy gave exclusive anti-submarine warfare training to Thai Navy

Regards
Yuv

Peter Coates said...

Hi Yuv

Thanks for http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/7/thailand-nears-1-billion-submarine-deal-with-china/?page=1

The US also wouldn't be happy losing its Thai ally to China.

Also interesting is 2nd page http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/7/thailand-nears-1-billion-submarine-deal-with-china/?page=2 where:
"Beijing now plans to buy two million tons of Thai rice and construct a high-speed, north-south railroad [from China] across Thailand to Bangkok."

With all the controversy I wonder if Thailand will actually buy subs from China?

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

There will be a high speed rail link from Bangkok to Chiang Mai on the assumption that Thailand will introduce Japan’s shinkansen bullet train technology http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/28/business/japan-cooperate-bangkok-chiang-mai-high-speed-rail-link/#.VZ1NLPmqqkp

There have also been a lot of rumors about the Kra canal during the last month

Regards
Yuv

Nicky said...

HI Pete
Here's an article about the Yuan class Submarine
Essay: China’s Submarine Solution for the Taiwan Strait
By: Henry Holst
http://news.usni.org/2015/07/08/essay-chinas-submarine-solution-for-the-taiwan-strait

Peter Coates said...

Hi Yuv [at July 9, 2015 at 2:21 AM]

Thanks for http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/28/business/japan-cooperate-bangkok-chiang-mai-high-speed-rail-link/#.VZ1NLPmqqkp . Clearly there are broader Northeast Asia-Southeast Asia economic development benefits aspects to China-Thai sub deal and to China-Thai rail link. Japan has been far-seeing in getting involved to.

The Kra (Thai) canal will be huge if built https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_Canal

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi Nicky

Thanks. That is an excellent analysis of the Yuan from many angles. Holst clearly knows SSK issues.

Interesting if China's share market reduction in the last two weeks http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-09/china-share-crash-exacerbated-by-authorities/6606140 will lead to a reduction in the naval building program - including Yuan mass production.

Regards

Pete

Nicky said...

Hi Pete,
Not a problem and I think and suspect the reason why Thailand wanted the Yuan class SSK is because they want to use them primarily for Anti surface warfare and being a platform to launch anti-ship cruise missiles. With Secondary being Anti submarine warfare, ISR and supporting special operations.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

China’s Cutting-Edge Missile System Snapped on Camera http://sputniknews.com/military/20150715/1024648082.html

Regards
Yuv

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Interesting article about Thai sub

Thai navy's plan to buy Chinese subs put on hold http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2015-07/15/content_21292691.htm?

Regards
Yuv

Peter Coates said...

Hi Yuv [at July 15, 2015 at 11:05 PM]

Funny that http://sputniknews.com/military/20150715/1024648082.html says "An accidental witness managed to photograph China's new coastal missile system..a YJ-18 anti-ship missile".

The wiki report https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YJ-18 may well be accurate:
"The United States believes the YJ-18 is similar to the 3M-54 Klub, with a subsonic cruise mode and a supersonic terminal attack;[2] the missile is credited with a range of 290 nautical miles (540 km).[3]

Some Western analysts believe the YJ-18 is a copy of the 3M-54E, with a cruising range of 180 km at Mach 0.8 and a sprint range of 40 km at Mach 2.5 to 3.0.[1]

The YJ-18 may be deployed on surface warships such as the Type 052D destroyer and submarines.[3] The missile may be launched from vertical launching systems,[4] and possibly from submarine torpedo tubes."

So YJ-18s may be developed as a Chinese submarine launched anti-ship missile for Chinese Yuans, Songs and Type 093 SSNs.

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi Yuv [at July 15, 2015 at 11:12 PM]

Thanks for http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2015-07/15/content_21292691.htm? .

Looks like I was right being cautious http://gentleseas.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/chinese-yuan-submarines-for-thailand.html in saying: "China is an unconfirmed choice" and "If China is finally chosen" .

The whole process of: a committee in the Thai Navy wants > when Cabinet passes - sounded strange. Most countries only declare a winner when their Cabinets and Prime Ministers have passed a decision not when a mere Navy committee decides to talk to journalists.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Thai’s plan of buying Chinese submarines unchanged http://en.people.cn/n/2015/0720/c90000-8922598.html?

US political posturing kills Thai-US relations http://www.nationmultimedia.com/opinion/US-political-posturing-kills-Thai-US-relations-30264774.html?

Referring to your last comment I think in Thailand the military usually go about and find what they want and openly declare what they want before submitting it to Parliament for approval.

The trend of the last decades seems to be that they are diversifying their military hardware away from USA, such as Gripen fighters, OPLOT MBT and BTR armored vehicles, Manpads from China and Travor assault rifles and the increase in military training between China and Thailand since 2009. It is not only Thailand but Singapore started training with China in 2014.

Thai - Chinese Army excercise in Thailand 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm8kPiKpkwU

Thai - Chinese Marines in China 2012 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpTJ7D8-QMY

Thai DTI 1 Missile development with the help of Chinese range 180km https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDA0WkhUQp8

Regards,
Yuv

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

I found this on YT it seems to be the Yuan Class and footage of inside the sub https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_v1fETFNiA

Regards
Yuv

Peter Coates said...

Hi Yuv [July 20, 2015 at 9:38 AM]

The Youtubes you've provided certainly demonstate closer China-Thai relations.

Obama's liberal-democratic approach shouldn't be allowed to cause lasting damage with Thailand.

US concern is selective. All over the Middle East the US has close relations with undemocratic governments like Iraq, the Saudis, UAE, Egypt etc.

Difficult to know whether the Thai Government will really buy submarines at all.

Thai DTI 1 Missile development might concern the Cambodians a bit.

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi Yuv [at July 21, 2015 at 11:10 AM]

Thanks for locating Yuans-Songs at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_v1fETFNiA

You have inspired me to run an article on my blog about Chinese sub youtubes in a few days.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Glad to here you will be writing articles on Chinese subs.

The extent of Thai - Chinese military have know included the Thai and Chinese Air Force they have exchange pilot program where pilots from both countries will fly in the back seat of each other planes. My brother works for Thai Airways and as it being majority owned by the Thai government he had to get annual check up at Thai Air Force hospital and was surprised to see Chinese fighter pilots getting there medical check up at the hospital.

Glad you like the links I sent you

Regards
Yuv

Peter Coates said...

Hi Yuv [at July 22, 2015 at 12:13 PM]

It is probably a wise Thai strategy to have good political and military relations with China. Especially as China is becoming so powerful, is a neighbour and may share many beneficial economic projects with Thailand.

The US would prefer that ASEAN countries were in a new Cold War containment alliance against China but that is less likely to happen with each passing year.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Latest news on Thai sub it might still go through

Thai DPM:submarines Will Be Used To Protect National Marine Interests http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v8/wn/newsworld.php?id=1155043

Regards
Yuv

Peter Coates said...

Hi Yuv

Thanks for http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v8/wn/newsworld.php?id=1155043 .

Finding a justification for buying the submarines from China may be complicated by the possibility that China is the main conceivable naval threat to Thailand.

Thanks for the Youtube on Chinese submarine which led me to posting http://gentleseas.blogspot.com.au/2015/07/inside-chinese-submarines.html .

Regards

Pete