August 23, 2015

Later Japanese Responses to "7 Problems With The Japanese Option"

Soryu class submarine SS-506 "Kokuryu" being built at the KHI shipyard in Kobe, Japan. SS-506 was commissioned in March 2014. 
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PETE'S COMMENT

The Japanese opinion (probably a consensus) that the submarine for Australia should not be made using extremely difficult to weld (and highly national security sensitive) NS110 Japanese submarine steel opens up a range of "not build/assemble in Japan" production possibilities. One possibility in Japan's response to the CEP is "assemble in Australia".

I'm increasingly interpreting Japan's intention as Japan manufacturing the submarine parts in Japan. These parts will involve an easier to weld (lower than NS110 value) pressure hull steel. Then the parts will be shipped to ASC-Adelaide and perhaps other Australian shipyards. Then assembled, including welded together, in Adelaide.

JAPANESE RESPONSES IN MORE DETAIL

At http://gentleseas.blogspot.com.au/2015/08/7-problems-with-japanese-option.html in Comments on August 23, 2015 at 11:42 AM a Japanese representative (possibly from the Japanese Ministry of Defence) responded to Australian Made Defence’s "7 Problems [Questions in red] With The Japanese Option" I have asked follow-up questions at 2 and 6.

Question 1 “What are the risks?”

Japanese Response:

1-1) Hull stability and operation temperature
The pressure hull is designed for [operational temperature ranges of] ca. -30C to ca. +50C. This temperature range does not depend on country. [Information from China, Russia and Australia is within that] temperature range. [Adaptation of a cold water-hull to warm water conditions is not a problem. Rather a greater concern would be hull steel brittleness if a hull designed for warm water is used in cold water].

1-2) Modification [to increase operational] range
For increasing of operation range, hull must be elongated [lengthened] for carrying extra fuel. The Soryu is the hull elongation [lengthened] version of Oyashio, but there are no problem related to hull elongation.

Question 2 ”Will Australia have to pay for the development of a new shipyard and workforce in Japan to build it submarines?”

Japanese Response:

In the case of knock-down production [of Japanese submarines in Australia?]. The Japanese responder does not think that an  additional new shipyard is required. A professional engineer team of KHI and MHI as field [superintendents-managers would visit the] Australian Submarine Corporation. [They would provide guidance for] Australian engineers on welding and assembling of steels, materials and parts from Japan.

Question 3 ”How long do Japanese submarines last?”

Japanese Response:

Design and building of submarine may be optimized for achieving given submarine life based on modern quality control concepts. If submarine user requires a longer life-time, the design and building will be optimized again. But, I do not think that it will not be a big modification, because the safety factors are considered well in the original 15 years-operation submarine.

Question 4 ”What will be Australia’s capacity to sustain submarines built in Japan?”

Japanese Response:

If new hull material is developed by a [Australian-Japanese corporation] Australia and Japan will share the related intellectual properties according to contribution.

Question 5 ” Can the hulls be built in Japan and fitted-out in Australia?”

Japanese Response:

[A] modular building system is adopted for the current Soryu submarine. Beside hull welding-connection work, involvement of Australian manufacturers in constructing and installation of each module will be important issue, too.

Question 6 “ How do we go in times of trouble?”

Japanese Response:

Trouble related to "black box" technology [highly sensitive technology, like the snorkel system] will be fixed in Japan or by Japanese experts.

Question 7 ”Will we repeat the problems of the past?”

Japanese Response:

The Japan lacks experience of arm export. But, many companies involved in Japanese submarine building are very famous and first class, they export their products and some of them have foreign branches."

Pete

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Question: What does “knock-down production” in the case of a new submarine mean?
A professional engineer team of KHI and MHI as a field superintendent visits Australian Submarine Corporation, gives guidance Australian engineers on welding and assembling of steels, materials and parts from Japan.

Question: What does “black box” mean?
Black box means cutting edge technologies of Japan such as snorkel system.

Regards

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous [at August 25, 2015 at 9:01 AM]

Thanks for your responses to my follow-up questions.

I've worked your responses into the text of the article - with an extra comment at the top.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

I find very interesting video on building of Virginia submarine [1] in which CAD and modular building system are adopted. CAD and modular building are adopted in Soryu submarine, and block building is adopted in Collins submarines. KHI illustrates difference between the two building [2].

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWB1SwOZujM “US newest class of attack Nuclear Super submarines USS Virginia (SSN 774) Engineering Feat”, you can watch modular building at around 14m26s-16m00s.
[2]http://www.khi.co.jp/rd/tech/166/nj166tr10.html Kawasaki Heavy Industry Technical Report, No. 166, Fig2 Block building and modular building
Block building and modular building. Fig2(a) conventional block building, (b) modular building.

Regards
S

Peter Coates said...

Hi S [at September 5, 2015 10:36 AM]

Thanks for the references. Modular building will certainly be important in making the larger size Australian development of the Soryu.

As you say Australia is used to modular building with the Collins.

What may be best for Australia - if Japan is chosen - is a hybrid build.

1. The new type submarine Steel could be made in Australia.

2. The first Australian "Soryu" should be built in Kobe with Australian technicians and managers watching closely.

3. Then rigourous testing of that submarine through to commissioning into the Australian Navy.

4. Then the rest of the submarines - I would say 5 subs ( 2 to 6, in a six submarine class) should be built in Australia.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

One of most serious concerns of JSMDF on submarine technology is information leakage to China. I think many Japanese companies in defense sector adopt Information Security Management System (ISMS) as follows:

1) Definition of ISMS: “An information security management system (ISMS) is a set of policies concerned with information security management or IT related risks.” by Wikipedia.
2) Implementation status of ISMS in IT or defense companies: undisclosed, but surely implemented.
3) To establish and maintain effective ISMS: combination of ISMS common requirements and sector specific (ex. JSMDF, MHI, KHI) requirements will be recommended.
4) Problem of ISMS: expensive audit fee and establish/maintenance cost especially for tiny company (ex. 1000AUS$/one man-day (=one auditor-day), four-six man days is required for several tens company audit in one year).

Regards
S

Peter Coates said...

Hi S

As China is a member of the the world submarine market and China has money it can buy submarine inventions/technology from submarine sellers and less legally from submarine customers.

Technical knowledge spreads out internationally over time.

Japan's expectations of security should not be as high if Japan wants to sell weapons to other countries.

Submarine sellers react to these security realities by sellings subs of adequate, competitive but lower specifications to customers.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Your opinion and/or criticism is constructive, I welcome it. I sometimes feel that JMSDF is overconfident of their submarine technology and that they should need to be criticized to construct better defense strategy based on a wider view. JMSDF will get many things including insights into other people’s idea or situation, even if they fail the submarine deal.

Not only JMSDF but also I sometimes need to be criticized.

Regards
S

Peter Coates said...

Hi S [September 14, 2015 at 12:59 PM]

I feel it is an honour and privilege to criticize you :)

Australia is great country of critics. That is what keeps us democratic.

We call our Prime Minister a "fascist" when he is only center-right.

He understands the political game.

Regards

Pete