April 13, 2016

Australia's hot SEA1000 Future Submarine website


The Australian Department of Defence's "SEA1000" Future Submarine website is surprisingly interesting.

At http://sea1000.gov.au/  click GET STARTED

“THE PROGRAM” at http://sea1000.gov.au/the-program/   introduces some bold claims of "affordable" and more puzzling "regionally dominant".
Dominant over who?
China?


Click "MENU" towards top left corner to navigate around the site.

Click http://sea1000.gov.au/submarine-essentials/faqs/ scroll down and you’ll see

"WHAT'S NEEDED IN AN AUSTRALIAN SUBMARINE?
·     These areas of importance to Australia’s sea borne trade and historically central to its defence, involve operations at great distance from Australian bases and support facilities.

·     To support such operations, Australian submarines will need to deploy further forward and earlier than surface fleet units if they are to build strategic deterrence of an opponent’s plans, as was done by the sinking of the ARA General Belgrano by HMS Conqueror.

·     This means that Australia’s submarines will have to go a long way to carry out their missions and be able to stay for periods of weeks to attack the enemy in times of war, to inform on developments in times of tension and to provide intelligence to support national security objectives in times of peace.

·     Existing off-the-shelf submarine designs cannot perform effective operations that comply with these requirements. Even at very slow speed for best fuel consumption they can barely reach pivotal operational areas in the South China Sea and the interface between the Pacific and Indian Oceans and even then can then stay for only a day or two.

·     These existing submarine designs can travel to distant bases only with extensive pre-planned logistics support. The recent deployment of a German submarine over the 8,500 kilometers from its home base to the east coast of the US could only be undertaken with an accompanying logistic ship in support.

·     In contrast, the larger Australian Collins class submarines regularly deploy the 12,000 kilometers from Fremantle to Hawaii (the distance from Washington to Athens) as a routine training operation.  Last year, HMAS Sheean completed a 37,000 kilometer deployment that included high tempo multi-national exercises off Hawaii.


·     Optimum operational performance under these conditions can be provided only by a submarine design considerably larger than the off-the-shelf designs. Crew must be large to ensure performance over long, intensive missions. As a rule of thumb, each crew member represents one day of mission endurance – the Collins crew is around 60.

·     Unsurprisingly, the off-the-shelf designs, with crews of around 30, are usually sent by their operating navies on deployments of less than 30 days.

·     To sustain larger crews, Australian submarines need the ability to provide, without replenishment, larger outputs of power, food, water and fresh air over long periods. Cooling demands in warm tropical waters require increased electrical capacity. Performing roles such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance requires equipment for which there is not enough space in the off-the-shelf designs.

Evil enemy sub sinks peaceful passing steamer.

THE END

  Pete

10 comments:

MHalblaub said...

Dear Pete,

The exercise WESTLAND DEPLOYMENT took place in 2013 and went over several months. So it could be useful to have the right spare parts at hands to keep the US Navy busy. The whole submarine crew was replaced by another crew during the exercise.

The Tender "Main" was also used as a hotel for the untrained crew member which did practice on board. A submarine is narrow so not all could be on board at once. The "Main" also has a diving chamber in case of an accident. Not all US ports have such a facility but I guess Hawaii.

Belgrano was sunk by a nuclear powered submarine able to follow a cruiser at higher speeds with a torpedo made for World War TWO because the Captain was not sure about the new ones. No SSK can do this. Australia would need far more submarines than 12.

Running on diesel power across the Pacific Ocean is not a difficult task. Maybe for RAN with 3 Garden Island engines aboard.

Regards,
MHalblaub

MHalblaub said...


Dear Pete,

It is a standard German Navy practice to accompany a ship or boat (or U-Boot) with a tender on longer missions. The aim is also to train tender-submarine interaction and procedures.

Due to some experiences made German Navy expects the first target in any mayor war to be the fixed harbor facilities. A tender protected by an AWD at sea is far harder to destroy.

The article left out that the submarine was even accompanied by a second ship during this mission the "Planet" - https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planet_(Schiff,_2005)

The Seas around Europe are to congested to make significant noise measurements. So the TAS was calibrated there also the noise signature of the submarine.


How many times did Collins-Class reach Hawaii without mayor problems? How many times South Korean Chang-Bogo-class? How many times did the round trip started at the ASC dock and ended there for the next enduring inspection? 8,500 km is also the distance from Adelaide to Hawaii.

The German submarine relied during that time on one Diesel engine only because Type 212A has just one.

Regards,
MHalblaub

Nicky K.D Chaleunphone said...

Hi Pete,
Check out this vid from DCNS

DCNS unveils Shortfin Barracuda / DCNS dévoile le Barracuda Shortfin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHZUJe3N99c

Peter Coates said...

Hi Nicky

Well spotted.

I'll feature the "DCNS unveils Shortfin Barracuda" youtube next week.

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub [at 14/4/16 4:29 PM and 14/4/16 6:18 PM]

The Germany Navy was indeed very sensible in having two vessels accompany the Type 212A sub during Exercise WESTLAND DEPLOYMENT in 2013.
- The crew replacement had training benefits and may have been a recognition that you need around 60 crew for very long missions because only 30 crew would become exhausted due to very intense shift-work and short and disrupted sleep.

Yes the Tender "Main" of the Elbe-class proved useful.
- Actually at only 3,600 tonnes the Elbe-class https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elbe-class_replenishment_ship may be much more suitable for Australia than the much larger 23,000 ton US submarine tenders https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emory_S._Land-class_submarine_tender

The UK SSN capability (of rapid speed over long distances) that permitted Belgrano to be sunk just goes to show SSNs may be more suited to Australia’s needs than SSKs.

Yes certainly long distance SSKs need at least two diesels, unlike the single 212A diesel.

When Collins-class go to Hawaii I don’t know if there is any accompanying ships.

Regards

Pete

Nicky K.D Chaleunphone said...

Hi Pete,
From what I heard is that it takes a Collins class crew 3 weeks to sail from Australia to Hawaii. They often make stops in Guam on the way

Nicky K.D Chaleunphone said...

Hi Pete,
Check out this article from the Diplomat

Why the US Needs Conventional Submarines
Filling a capability gap in the U.S. Navy’s Pacific operations.
By Torsten Heinrich

http://thediplomat.com/2016/04/why-the-us-needs-conventional-submarines/

MHalblaub said...

Dear Pete,
The tender is not required for transit. The tenders job is e.g. to collect used torpedoes and rearm the submarine.

I can smell quite a taste then someone think just the traveled distance is an achievement.

The standard crew did only changed once during the exercise. Upcoming submarine commanders, officers or crew members where changed more often.

The crew exchange was to give both crews the chance to get experienced. I am not sure the US submarines may also have two crews (Blue and Gold?).

So tender accompaning a submarine will tell nothing about endurance or reliability as the Australian DoD wants to show.

The bigger Type 214 submarines have 2 Diesel engines.

The Elbe-class tender are used for a variety of things. Germany has six such small tenders due to the home ports of the fleet located far to close to the expected enemy.

It seems Australia still thinks to have secure ports and only tenders for distance missions.

Regards,
MHalblaub

Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub [18/4/16 6:29 PM]

A submarine tender the size of Elbe may be useful in Darwin - that if subs have secure access to Darwin Port.

Yes a US SSN Blue crew may operate for 5 months then handing over to a Gold Crew. The UK may have a similar system except the crews may be called "Port" and "Starboard".

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi Nicky [16/4/16 3:10 AM]

Re "US Needs Conventional Submarines"
http://thediplomat.com/2016/04/why-the-us-needs-conventional-submarines/

The return of SSKs to the USN is about as likely as SSNs being introduced into the Australian Navy.

For political, tactical-military and submarine officer career reasons the US Navy wouldn't want SSKs.

Regards

Pete