April 28, 2016

Specifications Table - Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A

After internet searching no current, precise, detailed, list of DCNS Shortfin specifications has been located. Instead I've drawn together (and sometimes inferred) specs from a variety of internet sources (see links in Table). Some details are available through DCNS Youtubes, diagrams and pictures.

DCNS has limited the publication of Shortfin’s projected specs as keeping the specs secret was a requirement of the CEP. Detailed specs would reflect Australia’s detailed needs. Some/most specs will remain secret.

Also experienced arms sellers (like DCNS) don’t telegraph all the particulars of their product offers.

Now that DCNS has won, it and Australia are likely to be more forthcoming with the specs.

Specs and shapes for other French submarines are also useful indicators. These subs include the Scorpene SSK (2005-present), Triomphant SSBN (1997-present), the 2014 SMX Ocean concep and, of course, the Barracuda SSN (due to be launched 2017).

SHORTFIN TABLE

Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A - Figures at 28 April 2016
Class overview
Name:
DCNS Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A
Operators:
Only envisaged is the  Royal Australian Navy (RAN)
12 to be commissioned:
Approx. commissioned and operational 2030–2070. [may be an initial batch of 6 diesel-electric. By 2040s serious planning for 6 SSNs may occur - depending on strategic threats.]
Preceded by:
steel
[Likely to be 100 HLES high-yield pressure hull steel, roughly equivalent to US HY-130 - see Submarine Matters article Table that uses Japanese document.]
Crew
60 + around 16 divers/special forces (depending on mission)
Speed/range
and
Endurance
Transit speed 10 to 14 knots (kt) over [12,000?] to18,000 nautical miles (nm).
Maximum submerged speed 20+ kt. Endurance at sea 90 days depending on fuel, food and crew exhaustion. Max range at achieved at constant speed approx 10 kt.

Typical mission profile maybe mix of Transit at average speed (snorting or surfaced?) of 14kt for a week, one month Patrol, Transit back to Fleet Base West at 14kt for week.
Displacement:
 4,500 tonnes (surfaced) [numerous sources including]
 5,000 tonnes (approx) (submerged) [numerous sources]
Length
94 to 97 meters (see DCNS Marketing Director give length 55 seconds into this Youtube)
Diameter (Beam)
8.8 meters
Height
15.5 meters (hull + fin/sail)
Pumpjet propulsion
[Important to use the same pumpjet tried and tested on the Barracuda rather than a special new propeller only developed to the Shortfin. Pumpjet superior at higher submarine speeds but may have downsides at typical low Patrol speeds]
Acoustic stealth
Rubber/elastic mountings for moving and reverberating parts inside.
Capable of projecting
Unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), 
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)
Underwater decoys (against torpedoes and mobile mines)
On hull behind fin/sail.
Dry dock shelter for divers, diver delivery vehicles and large displacement UUVs (LDUUVs)
Weapons
·4 [?] × 533 mm (21.0 in) tubes. Around 30 heavyweight shots. As US Combat System is compulsory US weapons are compulsory, that is Tomahawk cruise missiles (for land attack and long range anti-ship) Harpoon anti-ship missiles, Mark 48 torpedoes, mines.
Sensors
Sonars from Thales and other makers. “The sonar suite performance provided by Thales will be the best available ever for a submarine this size.”
Combat System
Updated AN/BYG-1 (the network of sensors, databases and weapons costing about one third of the upfront price of the submarine)
Max Depth
300+ meters (operational)
Exterior stealth
Anechoic coating on hull to deflect and dampen sound waves inside and mainly outside the sub
Propulsion:
 Likely 6 x MTU 12V 4000 diesels
  [note Chilean, Indian and Brazilian Scorpenes have 4 x MTU 16V 396 SE]
  7 MW (9,400 hp). Jeumont Electric claims it is supplying the electric motor and some other electrical fittings. 
French battery company SAFT may supply Lithium-ion or Lead-acid batteries (depending what Australian customer wants) see APDR May 2016, page 19. Also see a 2008 DCNS Media Release about SAFT Lithium-ion research and Scorpene.
---

DCNS YOUTUBE


As this is a very recent (April 14, 2016) DCNS Youtube the claims/comments in it are useful. I have recorded most word-for-word and how many seconds in:

0:20 - Stealth capabilities from France’s nuclear submarine program,  

0:24 - pumpjet propulsion [important to use the same pumpjet tried and tested on the Barracuda rather than a special new propeller only developed to the Shortfin]

0:27 - “Hydroplances can retract to reduce drag and noise.”

0:32 - “Most powerful sonar ever produced for a conventional submarine” [Conventions sub’s sonar are less powerful because the sub’s are smaller with no reactor to produce high amounts of electricity for sonars.]

0:42 - “As new technology is developed between France, Australia and the United States upgrades are easily made via quick access tech insert hatches”

0:47 - “By adopting DCNS’ technology Australia will join an elite club which includes only the UK, US and France.” [thats the Western nuclear submarine hull club].

I'll add more details to the Shortfin Table as these details are published on the internet.

Pete

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

First batch of Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A will be commissioned at early 2030s. At that time, post-29SS (next-next generation Japanese submarine) will be commissioned. I am expecting to compare Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A with post-29SS.

Hope successful development and operation of Shortfin Barracuda and future prosperity of Adelaide.

Regards
S

Anonymous said...

I know the Government committed to building 12 submarines in Adelaide, and they would be loathe to break a promise.
But given we in part need these submarines, due to the rise of China and their growing assertiveness, as seen in the South China Sea, the 2030's is too long away.
We also know the hybrid plan, of building 1-2 submarines in France, would accelerate the build, and give Australians a chance to be trained first in France in an existing shipyard, without necessarily impacting the overall jobs created.
In addition, we are aware there is a 30-40% premium to building in Australia, we hope will be reduced to 10-15%, and also we would need to extend the life of the Collins to cover the gap, which will cost countless billions.
I would seriously like to know, how much extra it would actually cost to increase the order from 12-14 submarines, build the first two in France, and maintain the commitment to build 12 submarines in Australia. I suspect in this case, it wouldn't, and you would have 14 for the price of 12.

Peter Coates said...

Hi S

Thanks for your good wishes. I was born in Adelaide - a nice sunny city - with kind people.

Looking at the SORYU TABLE ( at http://gentleseas.blogspot.com.au/2016/04/soryu-cutaway-diagrams-evolution.html ) it will be very interesting how well the LIBs function on the Soryu - starting with 27SS due to be launched in 2017. Reuters news agency will probably cover that issue well.

Yes 29SS, with all its new equipment, will also be interesting.

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous [at 28/4/16 9:04 PM]

I think intentions announced this side of the 2 July Election may be reinterpreted after to an extent. The Turnbull Gov may well be a distant memory when Shortfins begin to be built in 2027.

The premium on the AWDs is arguably 200% on the Navantia build in Spain cost. So a 40% premium to build Shortfins in Australia may well prove a gross underestimation.

Pricing of 12 or 14 Shortfins involves so many variables and insider information that no-one outside a 100s of people working together in the the Aus Government and DCNS could quantify the price.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Japanese tabloid magazine, nikkan-gendai wrote about defeat of Japan. (http://www.nikkan-gendai.com/articles/view/news/180342/4 “Truth of the likely winner, Japan was defeated in joint development of Australian submarine”)

*snips*
Certain MoD related person confided “After Japan was defeated by China in high speed contract with Indonesia, Prime Minister's Office ordered Mod “Do not fail in next tender (submarine tender). NSC (National Security Committee) became head quarter of submarine, and NSC said non-sense such as “Go Australia for lobbing every month”. MoD was not inspired to do any sales.”
*snips*
We thought builder was feeling down by defeat, but it was not. He said “Australia conditioned local building on adoption, but, building of Soryu type needs special technology. The fact is that though deficit is inevitable in the case of local building, PM Abe sales submarine without consideration. Someone in practice department said “We relieved by not adoption””.

Comment
I do not know whether this article reflects truth or not. But, I do not think PM Abe decided submarine sale without obtaining enough consensus of MoD. I have never heard about full technology transfer before PM Abe’s decision of submarine sales, rather MoD hesitated technology transfer. PM Abe should have listened to MoD.

Regards
S

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete
But, I do not think PM Abe decided submarine sale without obtaining enough consensus of MoD.---> But, I do not think PM Abe decided submarine sale with obtaining enough consensus of MoD
Regards
S

Redeker said...

The last point at 0:47, somewhat wrong. Canadian Victoria (ex Upholder) class, formerly of the Royal Navy. Four diesel electric boats, utilizing a great deal of technology only found in nuclear subs.

Nicky K.D Chaleunphone said...

Hi Pete,
Is Australia looking to buy the Shortfin Barracuda class SSK or go with SMX Ocean

imacca said...

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/robert-gottliebsen/why-did-we-agree-to-pay-too-much-for-french-submarines/news-story/9ed179b276d13922c15d767873c6dea2

Well, here is someone unhappy. He comes out with some strange stuff sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

I get another information that Japanese government participated in the bidding without obtaining enough consensus with builders as follows:

On Apr/27, President of KHI, Shigeru Murayama said "We did not think until now that trade defense equipment to sell abroad", suggesting that the submarine bid participation was Government-led. *snips* Mr. Murayama said “If there is another business negotiation, since weapon export is the national policy, we will cooperate with the government if necessary for the sake of friendly relations between the allies”, but he showed cautious stance “But, we should whether it leads business or not.” *snips* (http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASJ4W52YSJ4WUTFK00C.html)

Japan and Australia should repair damaged relation since both PM Abe and then-PM Abbott made mistake.

Regards
S

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete
Correction: “But, we should whether it leads business or not.”--> “But, we should consider whether it leads business or not.”
Regards S

Peter Coates said...

Hi S

Yes indeed.

When two conservative PMs, like Abbott and Abe, get together,

- who are both unfamiliar with huge, slow, defence purchase matters,

- and Abbott and Abe are risk takers

- who don't listen to the advice of officials.

Things like the 26 April submarine announcement happen.

Also the instability of Australia's political system that has resulted in 5 Prime Ministers in 5 years confuses friendly Governments and Leaders.

Abe was partly a casualty of Australia's lack of political stability.

If Turnbull does poorly in the 2 July election Turnbull may lose his job this year as well.

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi Redeker

Yes the Victoria's do look like the older UK SSNs - specially the fin/sail.

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi Nicky

Australia is buying the Shortfin Barracuda class SSK, which is DCNS's solution in response to Australia's CEP.

The SMX Ocean was more of a concept submarine showcased in 2014 - though DCNS had Australia in mind as the country most interested in the SMX Ocean concept.

Regards

Pete

MHalblaub said...

Dear Redeker,
I read somewhere Victoria fired its first Canadian torpedo two years ago.
All these oversized SSN features are worth nothing in case your submarine is a dog.
Type 209 or 214 was also offered to Canada. Well, the UK offer was strong in relation of price per displacement.

Regards,
MHalblaub

NavyRecognition said...

Hi Pete,

Just my two cents... once again

For starters, Shortfin Barracuda will NOT be 97 meters long. The video everyone is using shows an error in the length (this was confirmed to me by DCNS, and we were the very first ones to have this video, back in October 2015):
The length of Shortfin Barracuda will be 94 meters. This is confirmed by a DCNS representative in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlr29PKX8X0

This is also confirmed at 02:19 in the video by the model, the text: LENGTH 94 meters.


Last but not least, here is a comprehensive interview of the French Navy Barracuda Program Manager. He proof read the entire article before publishing. Likely a more reliable source than Wikipedia.
http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2399
http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2253

Thank you for your consideration.
Cheers,
Xavier

Peter Coates said...

Thanks Xavier
of Navy Recognition

I've altered the Specification Table text with 94 meters and will add Thales sonars etc as DCNS-RAN negotiations progress for the Shortfin.

Cheers

Pete