February 23, 2016

How much can submarine CEP contenders, like TKMS, say?

Admiring a TKMS-HDW Type 216 (foreground), in the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) Endeavour program for Australia’s future submarine are: (left) Dieter Rottsieper, Deputy Chairman, Executive Board, TKMS; Vice Admiral Andreas Krause, Chief of the German Navy; and (right) Dr John White, Chairman, TKMS Australia. A Type 212A is behind the 216. (Photo courtesy Australian Defence Business Review).


On February 18, 2016 MHalblaub commented:

"Problems with going public?
We just need to compare in public what RAN can estimate from public available sources.
We might remember that RAN wasn't even capable to look for US weapons used on German submarines.

We can compare the Diesel engines in public because these engines are also available for private use. Hint: there are no fast running Diesel engines designed by Japanese companies. 
We can compare the basics of the air independent propulsion system according to stored energy.
We can compare the differences of weapon systems according to various public sources.
- available weapons or not
- world wide use
- price tag

What also should be on stage is the way Australia will use these submarines because this is a major democratic decision how to use a weapon. From this decision we can conclude what would be the best submarine for Australia. 

Well, why not a public vote?
- 8 Soryus/DCMS/TKMS with US combat system.
- 12 Soryus/DCMS/TKMS with inherited system
- 24 Type 210mod

All for more or less the same price.

Anybody who thinks that THE PEOPLE do not have enough insight should explain why a few people with more insight did built Collins-class.

THE Australian PEOPLE will pay it not the few who think to be smarter than the rest."


What I think is. The contenders can and have been broadly discussing overtly known advantages of their submarines, but contenders cannot be specific about their actual bids sent to the Australian CEP assessors. Commercial sensitivity is usually a consideration and actual bids are highly sensitive for Australian on national security grounds.

The Australian Government currently cannot advertise the strengths of a particular contender's submarine at least until one contender is chosen. This may be in the context of justifying the selection to the Australian public.

Put another way - public discussion on the future submarine selection process can be informed by the Australian Government in different ways at different times in the selection process. As Julie Bishop said last week the Government cannot pre-empt the CEP selection process (and Julie is diplomatic).

Maybe TKMS has the best diesel in the MTU 4000 http://www.rina.org.uk/Series_4000_to_form_basis_of_new_submarine_diesel.html. MTU can advertise that likelihood itself, not the Australian Federal Government. TKMS cannot be specific on what precise diesel model (or exact future model with future performance numbers). 

For example would we want China to know the likely sound signature of Australian future submarine diesels 10 years before our future submarine goes to sea? Also TKMS may want to market a roughly similar diesel for Chinese naval ship (and maybe Yuan?) submarine use.

Australia may want to keep its option open on whether to use AIP, so the Government won't sell the fact TKMS has the most developed known AIP. France may also be working on advanced AIP but the maturity or years until operational service is not known. Meanwhile Japan is not including AIP in its future Soryu but instead plans to use LIBs of, as yet, publically unknown performance. 

Saying Australia wants the most efficient LIBs may benefit Japan’s bid. But DCNS or TKMS may have as good as or better LIBs on the way (a very Commercial-in-Confidence issue).

(Courtesy artwork by Cathy Wilcox via SMH, February 25 2016)

Regarding holding democratic-public opinion surveys or votes on complex weapon systems. No country does that or has ever done that (to my knowledge). Did Sweden advertise to its public that it was doing "cold" testing of nuclear bombs or let its public decide? 

Also governments are paid to wade through complex issues and make a decision. Would TKMS accept votes all over the EU that no new submarines should be built in the EU? Would the Australian Government accept votes for no new subs at all?

On the TKMS Type 210mod - it does not have:

-  the unrefueled range (from Fleet Base West) for long missions like South China Sea, 
-  sufficient crew to endure a 60+ day mission,
-  weapon shots carrying capacity, and
-  ability to accommodate the (already mandated) AN/BYG-1 combat system.

Australia has difficulty mustering 5 Commanders for the 6 Collins. So 24 Commanders for 24 Type 210mods is not possible.

An example of what a contender says and can say is TKMS and Australia state government level body (Defence SA) body visiting Whyalla in February 2016. There was fairly vague talk about upgrading the South Australian defence business skills as they relate to manufacturing portions of submarines, militay vehicles, frigates and offshore patrol vessels. TKMS could have been more specific about German frigates and OPV models available but it is not the time or place. There was also mention of Whyalla's likely inability to produce submarine hull steel.

In January 2015 Japan was more forthcoming on steel - perhaps Wollongong may be capable - but Japan may not intend to make NS110 steel in Australia. 

The Federal Government is necessarily constrained by process including the commercial, political and security sensitivities behind process.

Of course the taxpayer pays, but think of all those jobs in South Australia and other states.



Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

I estimated very roughly submarine cost for the three hypothetical cases: (case I) 8 Soryu-mods with US combat system and (case II) 12 Soryu-mods with Japanese combat system for 30 years commission based on data 1 – 4.

Data 1: In the case of 23SS, (I) command system (2.5B yen), (II) weapon & sensor system (10B yen), (III) communication system (0.4B yen), and (IV) propulsion, batteries, generators and building cost (40B yen) were already revealed. Detail costs of (I), (II), (III) and some items of IV (submarine electric motor, stirling AIP generator, diesel generator) were known. Half of submarine building cost (32B yen) in IV are parts and material (16B yen).
Data 2: Budgets of 27SS and 28SS are reported as 65B yen. Cost of propulsion, batteries, generators, and parts & material in building cost is 36B yen.
Data 3: Equations for calculation of related factors are defined in “Instruction on calculation standards of predetermined price of procurement goods” by MoD.
Data 4: Life cycle cost from design to disposal become nearly twice of whole submarine building cost.

Case I: 8 Soryu-mods with US combat system compared with 28SS
(1-I) Increase in cost of command system which very different from JPS system is set +100%. Then, the cost of command system becomes 5B yen.
(1-II) Increase in cost of weapon and sensor system which is similar to JPS system is set +50%. Then, the cost of weapon and sensor system becomes 20B yen
(1-III) Cost of communication system does not change (0.4B yen).
(1-IV) Increase in submarine building cost is set +100% , because of i) higher wage, ii) larger loss of material (welding failure of NS-110), iii) design cost, etc. Then, the submarine building cost 32B yen
(1-V) Cost of parts and material in (IV) does not change (36B yen)
Cost of submarine = (1-I)+(1-II)+(1-III)+(1-IV)+(1-V)=93.4B yen
Life cycle cost of 8 submarines = 93.4B yen x 8 x 2 =1,494B yen (18.4B$)
To be continued.

Anonymous said...

Case II: 12 Soryu-mods with JPN combat system compared with 28SS
(2-I) Cost of command system is 2.5B yen.
(2-II)Cost of weapon and sensor system is 10B yen
(2-III) Cost of communication system is 0.4B yen.
(2-IV) Increase in submarine building cost is same as (1-V). Submarine building cost 32B yen
(2-V) Cost of parts and material in (IV) does not change (36B yen)
Cost of submarine = (2-I)+(2-II)+(2-III)+(2-IV)+(2-V)=80.9B yen
Life cycle cost of 12 submarines = 80.9B yen x 12 x 2 =1,942B yen (23.9B$)

Case III: 24 mini Soryu-mods with JPN combat system compared with 28SS.
Cost of command system, weapon and sensor system and communication system does not change significantly. Submarine building cost is higher than weight ratio of Soryu-mode-to-mini-Soryu-mode from view point of accounting.

As cost of Soryu progressively reduces (up to -10%), 10 submarines with US combat system can be 20B$.


Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Diesel generator of current Soryu is Kawasaki 12V/25/25 SB (2B yen). In the evolved Soryu, new diesel generators and snorkel system will be integrated as a new snorkel generation system (4.5B yen). As price of snorkel part of this new generation system is 1.5B yen, price of the new diesel generators is expected 3B yen, i.e., 50% higher than 12V/25/25 SB. This price hike sugests significant improvement of diesel generators. Discussion on based 12V/25/25 SB is not suitable for the evolved Soryu.


Anonymous said...

Correction of comment (23/2/16 9:14 PM)

Before correction
(1-II) Increase in cost of weapon and sensor system which is similar to JPS system is set +50%. Then, the cost of weapon and sensor system becomes 20B yen

After correction
(1-II) Increase in cost of weapon and sensor system is set +100%. Then, the cost of weapon and sensor system becomes 20B yen.

MHalblaub said...

Dear S,
according to my knowledge the Kawasaki Diesel engines for Soryu-class are a license build of MAN. Kawasaki only designs slow running Diesel for freighters.


MHalblaub said...

Dear Pete,

The whole decision about submarines' size was linked to a public discussion about their use. So within a different scenario with more bases a Type 210mod would make sense. Well, out of Guam they have sufficient range. Did a real Australian alley has a base there?

A public discussion is possible with scaled numbers e.g. range.


MHalblaub said...

The noise of the decades old commercial available MTU 4000 should be known by many navies.

So RAN alreadyhas spare parts for this engine.

What about a French submarine, with German Diesel and AIP, Japanese or Chinese LIBs and an US combat system to satisfy the cronies?

Do you really think China does not have the offers?


Anonymous said...

Hi Pete & MHalblaub (24/2/16 7:24 AM)

According to Wikipedia Japan, KAWASAKI/MAN V8V24/30 series were adopted for Oshio-class (1965-1981), Asashio-class (1966-1986), Uzushio-class (1971-1996) and Yushio-class(1980-2008) submarines.

KAWASAKI 12V25/25 diesel engines originally developed by KHI are currently used for Harushio-class (1990-present), Oyashio-class (1998-present) and Soryu-class (2009-present) submarines.


Anonymous said...

Hi Pete,

As always, I like your blog due to it's very informative and insightful articles. It's this sort of thing that the internet should be (factual, insightful, accurate).

The poster about the amount of money that stays in Australia is well targeted at politicians, but I think it's more important for a place like Australia to have the personnel who have the skills maintaining and manufacturing military hardware. You never know when a war will break out, and any skilled people from other countries will be kept in those countries, they won't be flown out to Australia.

I was wondering if there are any countries which need non nuclear submarines with a long range. Canada? India? If so, perhaps Australia could consider selling the subs.

Cheers mate


imacca said...

On the TKMS type 210. If TKMS got the job, does it open up the possibility that the Subs buy may be for two different models that being built by the same company may have some commonality is parts / systems?

Do we actually need a whole fleet of big subs like the Type 216, or would there be a use for something smaller for a different tactical role in the region? Base the smaller boats in Darwin maybe??

Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub [at 24/2/16 7:24 AM]

Australia knows Japan will be developing fast running diesels for Japan's own large submarines that will have LIBs. Japan will likely have operationally tested at least 2 LIB Soryus before it launches a LIB Super SoryuAU.

There is no such push factor for Germany which only has small 212A submarines that will only have Lead-acid batteries for the foreseeable future.

So TKMS will not have launched a LIB submarine before it launches a 216AU as a LIB test bunny.



Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub [24/2/16 7:36 AM]

For a range of reasons all major sub users except Baltic countries are wanting subs larger than the 210. Australia has more need for a large SSK than other large SSK users (Japan, Netherlands) or potential customers (Canada).

Guam is a long way for Aussie SSKs to defend Australia. US SSNs see Australia's Fleet Base West as a safe distance (hence one fallback) from more vulnerable bases at (DF-26 range) Guam, Yokosuka and Diego Garcia.

I doubt any country would want a public discussion of range to reach sensitive targets (operational information) for its submarines. Though the future sub having Collin's range has been discussed.



Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub [at 24/2/16 8:05 AM]

Germany's and UK's willingness to even help China build naval (and submarine?) maybe latest model MTU 4000s "in Guangxi Province, south China and is expected to begin production in 2017" represents much more than exporting old MTU 4000s. See this February 19, 2016 article http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/rolls-royce-and-china-yuchai-to-jointly-produce-mtu-engines-300222849.html .

I think it unlikely US companies cannot be so helpful to China to build potential submarine engines. Japan would be even less likely, I think.

Its a useful subject to explore continue exploring. In that regard here's a previous article about Germany's, France's and Sweden's helpfulness http://gentleseas.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/german-diesel-engines-and-aip-for.html



Peter Coates said...

Thanks Adrian

It would take decades of extremely expensive trial and error for Australia to design and develop its own submarines.

Sweden has done it over many decades but has only been partly successful in exports. South Korea, with very efficient shipbuilding infrastructure, has mainly used German plans and parts but is know developing its own.

Australia has proven too uncompetitive labour wise (maybe we can blame the UK union heritage). Geographic isloation means we have no EU like market. The submarine export market is highly congested with suppliers (including new entrant China).

We tried to sell 2 Collins to NZ and they wisely said "no".

At a high cost Australia might be able to build and export subs under licence - but we don't have the fundamentals to compete.

The Netherlands is looking to buy about 4 large subs (probably from EU sources (Germany or Sweden)).

Canada may be the most likely customer - needs a large size, Anglosphere-Five Eye ally to adopt the US combat system. Canada currently getting used to its Victoria class actually working but may be at the buying process stage around the right time (about 2022) to tap an Australian production line (about 2025 on).



Peter Coates said...

Hi imacca

I think the small Baltic specialised 210 is at the opposite size end of what Australia needs. Other than in wars the tactical downsides of having two vastly different types are only eclipsed be sustainment complexities and costs.

Submarines are highly infrastructure intensive so forward basing is not as practical as some make out. For example Guam has required the US to build extensive shore facities over 50 odd years and the US seems to be the remaining country with a couple of submarine tenders. To give an idea of scale the submarine tender in Guam weighs 23,000 tons full load https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Frank_Cable_(AS-40).

Facilities, narrow channels, timing the tides, proximity to a future Chinese naval base in East Timor make suggestions of Broome, Darwin, Cairns, Townville all expensive and risky for submarines (even refueling).

I think a mixed fleet would more practically not include the Baltic 210mod but include:

- 6 large SSKs,

- followed by 6 SSNs (maybe Barracudas but probably Virginias) as the SSKs begin to be phased out in the 2050s.

All based at Fleet Base West below Perth.



imacca said...

Hi again Pete.

" followed by 6 SSNs (maybe Barracudas but probably Virginias) as the SSKs begin to be phased out in the 2050s. "

I'm not convinced we will ever go the SSN route in Australia, but if we did i think the logistics and alliance considerations would almost certainly mean Virginias.

Hey, by the 2050's they may be fusion powered. :)

I take your point on the 210's being at the extreme small end for size and for forward basing, though i wouldn't rule out Exmouth maybe?

If TKMS get the contract though, and follow up on their proposal to set up shop here along the lines of what they have in Germany, then they may well be looking at the infrastructure to support their 214 class in the region as well as the larger (i think?) 218SG and proposed 216??

This build will be over such a long period that i reckon the idea of a mixed fleet will come up more than once, perhaps driven in part by a desire to incorporate new tech into the later boats, and in part by changing perceptions of tactical needs.

Query? Might not boats smaller than the 4000T type 216 find it easier to hide in and operate in the shallows around the Indonesian archipelago and around the South China sea??
Is it fair to suggest that our range requirements are driven more by distance from base to operations area than optimal utility in the operations area??

wispywood2344 said...

Dear MHalblaub

According to KHI company history, "Kawasaki 12V25/25S" series is NOT a license build of MAN.
It is a originally developed product of KHI.
(If it was a licence build of MAN, it should be named as "Kawasaki-MAN 12V25/25S".)

http://shashi.shibusawa.or.jp/details_nenpyo.php?sid=6280&query=&class=&d=all&page=124 (Japanese language)


Peter Coates said...

Hi imacca [at 24/2/16 7:07 PM]

Taking your points in turn.

I agree Australia does not need to go the SSN route at present. Its also impossible in current domestic politics. If China becomes more threatening by the 2030s onwards then in the 2030-40s Australia should decide if follow-on SSNs are threat-warranted (a new phrase!). The US might build them in the early 2040s.

Refueling at Exmouth might help if the higher standard of completely submerged discretion is not degraded. TKMS, which makes 210s, has not been suggesting 210s for Australia for all the good reasons I've mentioned.

The 218/Dolphin II would more likely meet Australia's needs than 210s or 214s. A particularly large version of a 218 (with LIBs) could be called a 216.

Yes "mixed fleet" being 6 large SSKs from late 2020s replaced by 6 SSNs in early 2050s would be nice.

Large SSKs and current SSNs are increasing using diver delivery vehicles and planning largish UUVs to reduce risks to the actual sub. Yes the Baltic is very shallow so the 210 is specially designed to hide in Baltic holes.

The Malacca Strait is also shallow with 218s being capable of hiding in holes.

Much of the South China Sea is deep.

"Is it fair to suggest that our range requirements are driven more by distance from base to operations area than optimal utility in the operations area??" Both.

Overall Swedish Kockums assumed several things for the Collins which would have worked well in Sweden and Germany's Baltic but worked less well for the vast distances, high transit requirements, of Australia''s Asia-Pacific (now called "Indo-Pacific" in the White Paper).



MHalblaub said...

Dear Pete,
The Type 210 submarines are operated by Norway. Norway is not located around the Baltic Sea. Norway has a border with Russia and the submarines are also thought to close the Island gap. The main use would have been to defend from hords of Soviet vessels.

Also type 209, 212 and 214 were never built for Baltic Sea operations. Just the German Type 206 was built for such operations.

Type 210 and 206 had one thing in commen: the defnce against massive fleet of Soviet Union. Therefor many small submarines.


Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub [at 26/2/16 6:58 PM]

Certainly the 210 Ulas 21 crew, 14 shots, 5,000 nm range, may be right for Norway's needs.

How Ulas would fare with requirements for crewing for over 50 days, about 22 shots + 6 Tomahawks, 10,000 nm, is unknown.

An Australian 218 may make sense especially since Singapore is already getting them.

Then again Australian can no longer benefit from tthinking common submarines like its most successful class (the Oberons). We again strive for a Collins-like orphan sub at 2 or 3 times the price Singapore is paying for its 218s.

History to repeat itself, but paying for jobs in South Australia is most important.