March 20, 2016

Risks in Japanese submarine partnership and Latest Soryu Table

There's a good article, of March 16, 2016, on the Australian Naval Institute website. This is by Hugh White, Professor of Strategic Studies at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANU. This article at http://navalinstitute.com.au/risks-in-japanese-submarine-partnership/ first appeared in The Age newspaper.  

"Risks in Japanese submarine partnership"

The article ends:

"What kind of co-operation will we get from Japan if in say, five or 10 years, with the project well under way but no subs yet delivered, Japan faces a confrontation with China and we don’t give it the support it expects? Why wouldn’t Japan walk away from the project, or start putting tight limits on what [sensitive submarine technology] it is willing to share with us?

That would be a disaster for the submarine project, and for our relations with Japan. So we’d be much better off keeping them separate. The beauty of the German and French bids is that their bids are so much simpler. They are only in it for the money, and that’s a good thing, because that is a price we know we are willing to pay."

[see the whole article on the Australian Naval Institute website]

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MHI and KHI are very methodical, building submarines for Japan, on-time, on-budget, for decades (since the 1960s). 

See the possible submarine building schedule for Australian Future Submarine in red below
 (Aus1, Aus2 - 12)


SORYU TABLE (with earlier Oyashios, as at March 22, 2016)

SS
No.
Build No
Name
Pennant
No.
MoF approved amount ¥ Billions & FY
LABs, LIBs, AIP
Laid Down
Laun
-ched
Commi-ssioned
Built
By
5SS
8105
Oyashio
SS-590/ TS3608
¥52.2B
FY1993
LABs only
 Jan 1994
Oct 1996
Mar 1998
 KHI
6SS-15SS
Oyashios
10 subs
8106
-8115
various
SS-591-600
¥52.2B per sub
FY1994-FY2003
LABs only
 Feb 1994
Mar 2008
 MHI
&
KHI
16SS Soryu
Mark 1
8116
Sōryū
SS-501
¥60B FY2004
LABs + AIP
Mar 2005
Dec 2007
Mar
2009
MHI
17SS
8117
Unryū
SS-502
¥58.7B FY2005
LABs + AIP
Mar 2006
Oct 2008
Mar
2010
KHI
18SS
8118
Hakuryū
SS-503
¥56.2 FY2006
LABs + AIP
Feb 2007
Oct 2009
Mar
2011
MHI
19SS
8119
Kenryū
SS-504
¥53B FY2007
LABs + AIP
Mar 2008
Nov 2010
Mar
2012
KHI
20SS
8120
Zuiryū
SS-505
¥51B FY2008
LABs + AIP
Mar 2009
Oct 2011
Mar
2013
MHI
No
21SS
No 21SS built
22SS
8121
Kokuryū
SS-506
¥52.8B FY2010
LABs + AIP
Jan 2011
Oct 2013
Mar
2015
KHI
23SS
8122
Jinryu
SS-507
¥54.6B FY2011
LABs + AIP
Feb 2012
Oct 2014
7 Mar 2016
MHI
24SS
8123
Sekiryū
SS-508
¥54.7B FY2012
LABs + AIP
Mar 2013
Nov 2015
Mar 2017
KHI
25SS
8124
SS-509
¥53.1B FY2013
LABs + AIP
Oct 2013
Nov 2016
Mar 2018
MHI
26SS
8125
SS-510
¥51.7B FY2014
LABs + AIP
?
?
Mar 2019
KHI
27SS
Soryu
Mark 2
8126
SS-511
¥64.3B FY2015
LIBs only
?
?
Mar 2020
MHI
28SS
8127
SS-512
¥63.6B FY2016
LIBs only
?
?
Mar 2021
KHI
29SS
?
?
 1st of New
Japanese  Class
LIBs only
?
?
2023?
MHI?
Aus1
?
?
1st of new Aus class (if Japan chosen)
LIBs only
2028?
2030?
2033?
in Aus or Jpn?
Aus2 to 12?
?
?
between 5 and 11 additional Aus subs
LIBs only
from 2029?
from 2031?
from 2034?
in Aus or Jpn?
Table courtesy of information provided to Submarine Matters. LABs = lead-acid batteries,  
AIP = air independent propulsion, LIBs = lithium-ion batteries.  


Pete

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

The concept of risks in Japanese submarine partnership is not new, because we have already discussed in this bog that Oz’s submarine deal with Japan is quite different from that with Germany or France. So, it is not surprising.

Frankly speaking, Professor Hugh White insufficiently understands the situation of submarine deal between Australia and Japan. He thinks that Australia still has a choice as to alliance with Japan [1]. But, it is too late. Australia has requested for the top secret on Japanese submarine, and Japan has already provided it to Australia. If Australia does not want to ally with Japan, she should not have requested for the secret data on submarine.

[1] http://navalinstitute.com.au/risks-in-japanese-submarine-partnership/
"So before we decide whether to select the Japanese bid, we have to ask if an alliance with Japan is good for Australia. Would it be a big additional benefit, or a big additional cost? "

Regards
S

Peter Coates said...

Hi S

Where you say "Frankly speaking, Professor Hugh White insufficiently understands the situation of submarine deal between Australia and Japan. He thinks that Australia still has a choice as to alliance with Japan [1]."

"But, it is too late. Australia has requested for the top secret on Japanese submarine, and Japan has already provided it to Australia. If Australia does not want to ally with Japan, she should not have requested for the secret data on submarine."

Yes Australia is obligated to Japan, not for $20 Billion expected but the $50 Billion the Australian Government has helpfully, publically, offered.

Of course the CEP was just for appearances, in what is a $50 Billion Australian payment for the US and associated Japanese alliance...

Australians are finding out that Prime Minister Turnbull cannot generate his own new policies, he only follows Abbott's earlier policy settings.

Abbott never hid the policy of Australia buying the Soryu.

It is, after all, what America wants.

Regards

Pete

MHalblaub said...

Dear S,
If Japan wants to offer a weapon system it is quite natural Japan has to lower its pants because not even Australia wants to buy a submarine in a poke.

My view from Europe is quite different on such deals amongst allies. We had and have a lot of such deals. Sometimes one partner left e.g. French during Eurofighter development, sometimes the partners follow their own projects Abrahms and Leopard 2, ... but such projects are not the base for a relationship.

Australia should mix foreign politics with weapon deals of such importance. May I mention the troubled F-117 bomber replacement sold to Australia as a fighter aircraft?

Regards,
MHalblaub

Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub

I'm assuming you meant to say:

"...sometimes the partners follow their own projects [ABRAMS] and Leopard 2 [tanks], ... but such projects are not the base for a relationship.

Australia should [NOT(?)] mix foreign politics with weapon deals of such importance. May I mention the troubled [F-111] bomber replacement sold to Australia as a [F-35, JSF] fighter aircraft?

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete & MHalblaub

The submarine deal between Australia and Japan consists of mixed two elements, i.e., the drastic deepening of the alliance and the weapon trading.

De facto agreement on the former element has already achieved at bid participation of Japan with the submission of detail data. But, this agreement needs embodiment including what Australia cannot conduct.

Australia obviously needs further improvement of assessment ability as proven in huge budget scale of future submarine.

Regards
S

Ztev Konrad said...

I cant imagine Japan having any confrontation with China where it doesnt have the full and unconditional support from the US- its almost in their DNA by now to keep onside with US on issues in their patch.
From that leads the possible situation where Japan AND US have an issue with China which Australia doesnt support- nah not going to happen.
Im very surprised Professor White has entered the debate over the source of the submarines, by seeming to be a shill for the Europeans. But of course he would be totally independent however he gives no evidence of this hidden covenant in a buy Japan deal. And as though Japan never sees things only through its mercantile eyes anyway, its exporting economic success belies that.

Did Australia have any problems with Kockums because they probably didnt agree with any thing with Sweden on foreign policy.

Anonymous said...

If China and Japan enter into a conflict, basically the #2 and #3 economies in the world, God forbids, there is no country in Asia that will not be impacted seriously one way or another. Soryu will be the least of anybody's concerns. And I doubt the ramifications will just stay in Asia.
Professor White voiced a geopolitical concern but he did not state all the geopolitical consequences.
KQN

Ztev Konrad said...

The UK about a year ago in a defence review indicated a need for a new anti-submarine patrol aircraft. Immediately the Kawasaki P-1 came into contention ( Are they the only ones building both a submarine and the aircraft to hunt for it). While there were a lot of advantages for this particular plane, it was not to be and the expensive P-8 was chosen instead.
I dont recall the offer of this aircraft was seen as part of a master plan for UK to be drawn into a tighter alliance with Japan- something that did happen 100 years ago but not considered since.
You could think of an alliance with these nations as from a pack of cards, Australia may be a 10, but the UK is a Queen and the US is the Ace. Japan already holds the ace.

Peter Coates said...

Hi Ztev [21/3/16 8:15 PM]

Submarine Matters looked at the P-1 at http://gentleseas.blogspot.com.au/2015/07/two-of-possible-choices-for-uks-next.html in July 2015

And the P-8 winning the UK contest at http://gentleseas.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/uk-chooses-p-8-poseidon-as-its-new.html November 2015

The UK has been buying US aircraft and separately US ASW technology since the 1940s. UK overall seems to have a buy from NATO (eg. US) and/or buy from EU policy - so even though Japan offered the P-1 the P-1 was probably only likely to be a third choice.

Yes as the UK is so far from Japan there is no strategic alliance pull. Rather the UK is pulled to NATO and the EU.

Pricing of the P-1 (spare parts and training) would have involved much uncertainty over delivery timings. This was in circumstances that the UK DoD was under great pressure to rapidly solve the strategically and politically embarrassing absence of having no ASW Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA).

So the UK also bought from a familiar, politically safe, supplier - the US.

Regards

Pete

MHalblaub said...

Dear Pete,
Thanks for the corrections.

The P1 has one mayor draw back: spare parts
Standard spare parts for a 737 are quite cheap and there will be a huge stock pile due to old airframes.

Ztev Konrad said...

Japan is probably thinking it dodged a bullet from having an RAF order, as the UK defence procurement is truly a house of cards. They just pulled their frigate replacement program from whatever gate, steps or trapeze they were at and plunked in some more OPV just to bide time. The carrier program was joint venture with France and then not, and then was going to take a catapult instead of Stovl, and then not and it seems the operational role of the two carriers under construction is a shifting sand as well.
Australia by comparison, while having hiccups is usually heading in one direction.

Peter Coates said...

Hi Ztev [22/3/16 4:45 PM]

Yes the UK not only seems to be risking all by building two large carriers https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Elizabeth-class_aircraft_carrier that are tailor-made for the late and complex F-35 but it'll be the STOVL https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_F-35_Lightning_II#F-35B with probably a low takeoff weight (low fuel, low ordinance).

These UK https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_F-35_Lightning_II#F-35B will probably spend most time againsy low-tech insurgents in Iraq, Syria and Afghnistan. This is a job the US is steadily using low-tech, cheap to operate A-10s and even Broncos https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_Attack/Armed_Reconnaissance#History with more being reintroduced to service. Also the UK operates Reaper UAVs efficiently and cheaply.

All making the Queen Elizabeth carriers hugely expensive, last 2 hours in WWIII or hoping for Falklands II, luxuries.

But skimmer Admirals luv'em :)

Regards

Pete

MHalblaub said...

Dear Pete,

the SAAB Gripen NG requires a runway length of just 600 m. The QE-carriers are about 280 m long. The Gripen requieres this for full MTOW take-off without a ski-jump. The A-10 has a stall speed of 120 kn.

The Falklands are controlled by a squadron of Eurofighters and supported by an A330-MRTT. Even a small island is a far cheaper and tougher aircraft carrier than anything swimming. Ask China.



Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub [24/3/16 7:50 AM]

Thanks for the info. As the QE carriers have no arrestor cables or nets any conventional fixed-wing aircraft wouldn't stop if it tried to land.

From what I've read the contracted in 2008 QE's have been built remarkably quickly for a whole new carrier class. No major problems. Though the first QE may need to act only as a helicopter carrier until the F-35B's are available in decent numbers. I don't know if the Bs are really operational with the US Marines http://www.marines.mil/News/NewsDisplay/tabid/3258/Article/611657/us-marines-corps-declares-the-f-35b-operational.aspx

Regards

Pete