March 17, 2016

Might German TKMS Type 216 Win?


Uploaded on Nov 19, 2009 "The latest German submarines. Virtually undetectable, unlike diesel or nuclear submarines that generate more noise and/or higher heat signatures."
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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).
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After I published this article at 7:43pm, March 17, 2016 Australia's ABConline posted an article at 8.24pm that day, entitled "Germany argues political incentives in bid for submarine contract". 
Two major TKMS points in it were:
-  "…choosing their boats, unlike Japan's, would avoid inflaming tensions with Beijing." and
-  "…offering to build all 12 submarines entirely in Australia."


Cutaway of likely 216 (Courtesy Submarine Dossier)
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Uploaded on Feb 5, 2009. U-32 (S182) is the second Type 212A submarine of the German Navy. U-32 is powered by one diesel engine and an electric motor driven by two fuel cells and features a cavitation-free screw, making it virtually undetectable. U-32 was the first non-nuclear submarine to stay submerged for two weeks.
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Germany hardly mentioned in 2016 Defence White Paper

Mentions in Defence White Paper Japan 36, France 10, Germany 3. Not conclusive.

Some sound arguments by Dr John White can only help the TKMS bid.

But who knows?

Pete

22 comments:

JakobS said...

The U-32 was not the first submarine to stay submerged for two weeks, the swedish submarines did this already in the 90s.

Peter Coates said...

Hi JakobS

Its too bad Australia is relying on the potential of not fully tested LIB technology for the Future Submarine.

Otherwise AIP technology would have been considered much more a stealth-discretion solution.

Being the two most advanced AIP competitors TKMS would have been rated better and Kockums would likely have been included in the CEP (and then rated better).

LIBs may be the undoing of the second future major user - Australia.

Regards

Pete

BK said...

For a more acurate account of yesterdays presentation at the National Press Club Canberra, which is the source for the above mentioned ABC article, see the respective YouTube channel in a couple of days.
The German Ambassador clearly articulated the support of the German Government, the German interests in the Indo-Pacific Region and the increasing bilateral relationship between Germany and Australia during the last 2 years. As a result of the German-Australian Advisory Group, initiated under PM Abbott, Germany and Australia have agreed on holding regular 2+2 ministerial consultations, just like AUSMIN or AUKMIN. On the issue of Japan and China, the Ambassador said that "The Australian Government is now in the evaluation phase - which might cover, which will certainly cover - technical requirements, which will certainly also cover political considerations. [...] That's the way it is, that's the way it always is in cases like that. But I don't think it's for us to comment."
At the event, it was never mentioned that "Germany says choosing their boats, unlike Japan's, would avoid inflaming tensions with Beijing"; that is an interpretation by the author(s) of ABCs article. To be precise, the Chair of TKMS has said that "Maybe it is an advantage dealing with us, not to be in a position where you would have to, let‘s say, decide between certain heavyweights in the Pacific area".
The chairman of TKMS, Dr. Atzpodienfurther elaborated on the fixed-price offer, the duplicaiton of the Kiel shipyard in Australia and the foundation of a Shipbuilding Centre of Excellence (SCoE) in SA.

Regards,
BK

Anonymous said...

Pete, what makes you think that tkMS is out of the race?

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous [19/3/16 9:40 AM]

I suggest you read the Sub Matters article.

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi BK

Thanks for that info. I'm trying to find a transcript of the German Ambassador's Speech and answers but only come to https://npc.org.au/speakers/christoph-muller-hans-atzpodien/

Regards

Pete

BK said...

Hi Pete,

I think you need to wait some more days before the NPC puts it on their youtube channel. I think a copy of the speech of the Ambassador was distributed amongst the journalists - see if I can get a hand on one and link it. Otherwise, I think you should be able to get a transcript from the NPC. My

With regards to Anonymous' question above, I have to admit that it is really hard to find out why you think that TKMS is not in the competition anymore. Nothing has come out of the CEP team yet, and nothing will. There is a lot of speculation in the press, and all competitors are still in the race. If there would have been a reason to exclude one, that would have happened a long time ago. So why do you think that TK will not be chosen?

Cheers,

Peter Coates said...

Hi BK

Thanks for exploring the NPC German Ambassador issue.

Admittedly my thinking on TKMS is circumstantial:

- Defence White Papers(DWPs) are highly political and often used to justify a whole range of policies and subsequent decisions. Put against the many more substantial mentions of Japan in the DWP there are only 3 scanty mentions of Germany. In the CEP strategic links with a country has not evaporated as a criteria. So set against Japan a decision in favour of Germany's TKMS would be an uphill political decision for the Turnbull Gov to justify.

- Malcolm Turnbull's political image is in trouble. To avoid accusations of potential conflict of interest one would expect Lucy Turnbull to stand down from her two positions that favour greater closeness with Germany (especially her Presidency favouring greater ties with German "Industry and Commerce" - of which TKMS is a prime case). But Lucy has not stood down from her pro-German industry positions...

But yes, the Turnbulls may be politically silly enough to disregard the conflict of interest crisis that would come if TKMS were chosen...

This is also noting that both Malcolm and Lucy are multi-millionaire business people with international business connections (past, present and future?)

TKMS also needs to consider its standing in the Future Frigate CEP that will likely be held soon. A Lucy conflict of interest crisis might kill TKMS's Future Frigate chances.

Regards

Pete

BK said...

Hi Pete,

thanks for your clarifications.

You are right about the DWP, but one could also argue that this is the first time ever that Germany has been mentioned in an Australian DWP, therefore... And the Australian - Japanese defence relationships will surely develop, even without a submarine, because this development makes a lot of sense.

With regards to LT, I see your point. But vice versa, if you look at who is on the French side (Peter Jennings suddenly receiving a French Medal three weeks ago, Frank Owen from SIA openly favouring France, and the former Chief of Staff of David Johnston, Sean Costello, leaving DoD in Jan 2015 and joining DCNS immediately after), these things are at least as doubtful.
I do not think that there is a conflict of interest with LT, because TK is only one of many heavyweight German companies in the GER-AUS Chamber of Commerce, with the other companies doing much more business already. It did make sense though that she was a member of the GER-AUS Advisory Group.

All three proposals have their strengths. The German proposal is fixed price, with a great reputation, from day one promising to build in Australia, including companies like Siemens and the digital shipyard with the PLM software (which is used in the US for the Ford-Carriers, the Virginia submarines and the JSF). And through the Ambassador they now officially stated that the proposal has the full backing of the government, with price auditing, training, R&D and the use of test facilities. And I think the Germans have already done similar work with other nations like Portugal or Italy, hence having a huge range of experience in the company and within government. They really are a "safe pair of hands" for my opinion.

Cheers,
BK

Peter Coates said...

Hi BK

Thanks. Your deep knowledge of the German position is impressive.

Regards

Pete

BK said...

Hi Pete,

thanks for the flowers, but I just think that in the past there were many speculations about the German offer. That has changed now, with the chair of TKMS and the GER Ambassador giving their speeches at the NPC- what I have written has been said last Thursday in Canberra.

It is all out there in the public domain. The thing is that many people only look at one side and totally neglect the others.

The french side is currently doing a lot with regards to the economical side of their offer. They do benefit tremendously from the fact that they are a Govt owned company, and are backed up by a huge industry which goes well beyond submarines. That enables a cross-domain experience and ability to include many things which are usually not part of a "classical-only" shipyard. That, in combination with their proven ability to build "big" and the fact that they are the only provider of military hardware fopr their maritime forces is their real strength. They do have experience of export, maybe not as much as TK, but I hear that some of their customers are not that happy...

On the technology side and from what is out there in the public domain, I think that all three competitors do not differ too much from each other. S the decision will be in the political, economical and industrial sphere.

Cheers,
BK

Peter Coates said...

Yes certainly if TK wins, the Australian customer can be assured of a tradition.

No country has had such a successful torpedo hit rate. That is in WW2 (I understand) more than 50% of German torpedos fired hit Allied ships.

https://youtu.be/_jP-eOrv2Ok?t=5m38s

BK said...

But you have to consider that Australia's torpedos will be Made in the USA... not using the SeaHake Mod.4 ER

... and fiction movies are hardly suited as an example in this blog, right?

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Few days ago, a delegation from MHI visited Civmec's Henderson facilities [1]. This news was not reported in Japan, but, I am very curious about this news. As the current challenge of submarine building is bad Quality Management System (QMS) of the current builder, establishment of drastically improved QMS is urgent task for RAN and future foreign builder. There are two routes to the improved QMS, i.e., via adoption of new QMS and via modification of existing OMS. In this case, the former route is easier and more effective than the latter , because in the latter, QMS builders must straggle with existing bad elements of QMS (lack of responsibility, bad inefficient work habit , old machine, etc.) and consume their energy.

From the standpoint of QMS, Civimec shows many elements [2] needed for new submarine QMS, commitment of top management through offer of needed resources including construction of hull section and his initiative, other facilities, human resources, good financial status [3]. And facility in Perth is more attractive for submarine life cycle from building to operation/maintenance. Of course, this is Oz’s matter.

Followings are hypotheses. As Civmec constructed newly-built submarine hull section in collaboration with TKMS, if Japan win the tender and select Civmec as an Oz-builder , can MHI use this hull section?

[1]https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/31110002/civmec-hosts-submarine-bidders/
[2] http://civmec.com.au/submarine-hull-section-unveiled-at-civmec-henderson/
[3]http://www.perthnow.com.au/business/perth-engineering-company-civmec-owes-success-to-change-in-focus-away-from-mining/news-story/9cfe1f8b5aa3b84bb124b726b0895d08

Regards
S

MHalblaub said...

Dear S,
I guess that the hull section is a property of TKMS.

The problem with QMS is the company itself.
Well ASC requires ISO 9001 from its suppliers (http://www.asc.com.au/documents/supplychain/supplierqualityassurancemanual.pdf).
ASC itself?

I think Civmec can build many designs. The problem is not the QMS. Problems are most times not solved via the QMS solution. The simple solution is two engineers or workers talking with each other. How many Japanese workers are capable to talk in English? I have enough expierence with Japanese engineers.

Regards,
MHalblaub

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete & MHalblaub (22/3/16 8:11 AM)

If RAN requests ISO9001, ASC must adopt it. But, many examples suggest that establishment and maintenance of ISO9001 is different from high performance of company’s QMS.

Study on Collins class submarine assisted by Australia government in 2012 pointed out the 25 recommendations, and in 2014, the progressive review [2,3] of this study reported that 4 risks still remained. QMS is the problem.

I do not how many workers can speak talk in English. But, welding skill is much more important than language skill for welder.

[1] http://www.defence.gov.au/dmo/multimedia/coles_progress_review_march2014-9-5124.pdf
“STUDY INTO THE BUSINESS OF SUSTAINING AUSTRALIA’S STRATEGIC COLLINS CLASS SUBMARINE CAPABILITY, Progress review – March 2014” Issued by Mr John Coles, Review Team (John Coles, Paul Greenfield, Arthur Fisher, Steve Davies)
[2] ibid, page 13
[3] ibid, page from A1-11 to A1-16

Regards
S

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Two years ago the study on Collins class submarine assisted by Australia government [1] was carried out. According to this study, hull-cutting is conducted [2, 3, 4] for maintenance diesel generator and motor in FCD (Full Cycle Dockings) which is the 2 year-maintenance in every 8-10 years. Although Collins-class is expected to experience twice or three times hull-cutting in its 30 years-operation, the effect of hull-cutting on hull strength was not mentioned.

The Japanese submarine does not experience hull-cutting [3], except the case of Ashsio (Harushio-class) for experimental equipment of AIP. After AIP equipment, Asashio was degraded to a training submarine.

Simple comparison of operation period of Collins-class with that of Soryu-class is not rational, because it neglects effect of multiple hull-cutting on hull strength in Collins-class.

[1] http://www.defence.gov.au/dmo/multimedia/coles_progress_review_march2014-9-5124.pdf
“STUDY INTO THE BUSINESS OF SUSTAINING AUSTRALIA’S STRATEGIC COLLINS CLASS SUBMARINE CAPABILITY, Progress review – March 2014” Issued by Mr John Coles, Review Team (John Coles, Paul Greenfield, Arthur Fisher, Steve Davies)
[2] ibid, Page 16, for HMAS Collins
[3] ibid, Page 17, for HMAS Waller
[4] ibid, Page 22, for HMAS Farncomb
[5] According to “Instructions on Building, Repair and such of Ship and Vessel” by Japanese Ministry of Defense, periodic inspection of Japanese submarine is conducted every three years.

Regards
S

Ztev Konrad said...

S , Im dubious about your inference that cutting the hull- and welding it back again- reduces hull strength for Collins class.
http://www.asc.com.au/en/News-Media/Latest-News/ASC-innovates-in-submarine-maintenance/
Thats shows the start of the hull cut for HMAS Collins on the crown of the hull. With a steel frame to maintain strength while hole is open.
Its likely this location would designed in the original structural design and as usual the welding up process would be carefully checked and just as strong as before. Steel frames for buildings are welded together all the time and they have to be designed for bending as well as compression and ductility under earthquake loads. A submarine hull of circular shape is by comparison quite simple.

Ztev Konrad said...

It seems ASC has evolved the maintenance to a full circumference cut, as described here for Farncomb in May 2014. This gives you more space to work in and lessens problems with hull strength while having an small open section. of course the welding up process just repeats the original build and maintains hull strength.
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/168380/australia%E2%80%99s-asc-improves-submarine-maintenance,-cuts-time.html

See also the RAN marine engineering technical bulletin which covers both the 'sunroof' and full circumference cuts in detail
MULTIPLE SUBMARINE HULL CUTS SHORTEN FULL CYCLE DOCKING MAINTENANCE ACTIVITY IN ADELAIDE
http://www.navy.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/Navy_Engineering_Maintenance_Bulletin_September_2015.pdf

Peter Coates said...

Hi S and MHalblaub

With Adelaide (ASC?) promised the Future Frigate build I don't think Adelaide should expect as much of the Submarine build that it enjoyed with the Collins.

Civmec, Williamstown? and others should be considered for much of the submarine work to improve:

- Quality standards
- Efficiency (on time on budget)
- Competition, and
- especially avoiding monopolistic ransom by Adelaide political, ASC and union interests

Already the Adelaide-South Australian interests are demanding the Turnbull Government declare the submarine CEP winner BEFORE the (likely July 2, 2016) General Election. See http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/sa-liberals-pressure-malcolm-turnbull-to-make-submarine-announcement-before-election-to-ward-off-voter-angst/news-story/38324a57a5a993e2bb44a168d4dbf843

After the Collins build and the current AWD fiasco no part of Australia should feel entitled.

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi S and Ztev

Interesting points about hull cutting. I aim to write an article on it next week.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete and Ztev Konrad (23/3/16 10:01 AM, 23/3/16 10:25 AM)

After hull-cutting and repair of equipment, hull experiences rewelding. Welding of broad steel (thickness>6mm) sometimes might result in three types of degradation such as hardening or softening, weld cracking and embrittlement. Assuming reduction in strength or degradation after welding is not inference, but it is based on insight into welding. One can deny this assuming, but he or she should provide data or evidence which proves maintenance of original strength after hull-cutting and re-welding.

Hull-cutting innovation in submarine maintenance by ASC was carried out more than two years ago [1], reports [2, 3] by ASC and RAN in 2015 did not show any validation of strength after rewelding. Who judges the need of validation of reweld strength? What is the criteria of this judgement? Does such a criteria exist?

In the welding of NS-110 of Japanese submarine, various structures such as hull-frame and hull-hull with actual size are adopted for welding experiment by MOD, and optimal weld strength was tested and decided by using specimen cut from the said structure. Of course MOD reported the result.


[1] http://www.asc.com.au/en/News-Media/Latest-News/ASC-innovates-in-submarine-maintenance/
[2]http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/168380/australia%E2%80%99s-asc-improves-submarine-maintenance,-cuts-time.html
[3] http://www.navy.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/Navy_Engineering_Maintenance_Bulletin_September_2015.pdf
MULTIPLE SUBMARINE HULL CUTS SHORTEN FULL CYCLE DOCKING MAINTENANCE ACTIVITY IN ADELAIDE

Regards
S