June 8, 2016

Report "Southeast Asian Submarine Developments" available to donors.

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1.  I have emailed the first Submarine Matters Special Report to donors.

-  Report subject is Southeast Asian Submarine Developments.

-  This report is more than 1,250 words.

The report concentrates on the four Southeast Asian nations (Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia) that have submarines and discusses the chances of the other seven nations buying submarines. There are many reasons why submarines will be bought or not. Two reasons are strategic priorities and sea levels around a country (see map above).

If you wish to receive Southeast Asian Submarine Developments and subsequent monthly reports please donate (see upper right sidebar) then email me at pete74730@yahoo.com.au

2.  I am reopening the COMMENTS facility, at the bottom of future Submarine Matters articles, to
     all (except spammers) .

Regards

Pete

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

I enjoyed the special report which well outlined submarine situation in the Southeast Asia (SA), and I could understand the future submarine trend of the SA. LIBs will be definitely adopted in future submarines for the Southeast Asian countries. Singapore is going to buy TKMS 218G [1] equipped with AIP which may be methanol reforming fuel cell and exert superior indiscretion ratio. Obviously, the future submarines of the SA will show higher speed and better indiscretion ratio.

As RAN is aiming at achievement and maintenance of regional superiority of its submarines, they must show highest speed and best indiscretion ratio as well as silence. However, it is difficult to believe that LABs based Shortfin without AIP can exert highest speed and best indiscretion ratio, suggesting logically that regional superiority is not achieved by the proposed Shortfin.

Contrary, reginal superiority may be maintained and achieved by TKMS Type 216 equipped with fuel cell and LIBs, if the noise issue is fixed by improvement of vibration or noise reduction systems and if they use well- proven LIBs and fuel cells.

Advantage such as high efficiency of pump jet propulsion is exerted at high speed like 30knot/h, but, maximum speed of LABs based submarine is around 20 knot/h.

From the view point of regional superiority and proven submarine, Japanese and German submarines are better than DCNS. CEP was over, but, frankly its decision is still open to question.

[1] Special Report, TABLE A – SUBMARINES OF SOUTHEAST ASIA

Regards

MHalblaub said...

My comment on pump jet propulsion is rather short:

Speed Kills!

Priority number one for SSK is silence. A fast SSK may travel faster to the area of operation but is more likely to be detected on its way.

Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub

Yes I suspect a pumpjet fulfils the fantasies of some in the RAN who see it as a stepping stone to a Barracuda SSN.

DCNS is shrewd enough to feed the fantasy.

DCNS probably has a Plan B (a propeller) and a hope that TKMS will come to the party by supplying Reformer Fuel Cell AIP.

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Thanks Anonymous

I'm guessing that Singapore's first 2 x 218SGs (delivered around 2020) will have LABs and current fuel-cell AIP.

But the likely 2nd set of 2 x 218s (Singapore may order around 2023, delivery 2029) may indeed have LIBs and methanol reforming fuel cell AIP.

Australia may pay enough to DCNS to buy LIBs and reformer/FC AIP from TKMS for Shortfin.

Australia appears to like complicated industrial arrangements, as the AWD episode is showing.

Yes the speeds for pumpjet propulsion are thought to exceed usual LABs SSK speeds. Here's hoping DCNS has acheived some technical breakthrough to make pumpjets work on Shortfin.

Australian taxpayers money at risk...

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...


Hi Pete

China deploys her carrier, Liaoning to the South China Sea area as a symbol of her naval ability. But, Japanese and US submariners seem to believe it as an ideal target ship, and they enjoy torpedo practices [1].

[1] http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-ultimate-way-sink-aircraft-carrier-16643?page=2 (The National Interest, “The Ultimate Way to Sink an Aircraft Carrier” by David Axe, June 18, 2016) see last few paragraphs
*snips*
Those vessels (=Song-class submarines plus Type 091 nuclear subs) are the best defense China possesses against the American and Japanese subs that will undoubtedly hound Liaoning every time she leaves port, practicing to sink the carrier in the event of war.
*snips*
Regards
S

Peter Coates said...

Hi S [at 20/7/16 8:19 AM]

Carriers are big targets - so exercise "sinking" them is a propaganda sport for submarine captains.

Only problem is carriers are mainly designed for low level warfare, counter-insurgency, operations - like US, French and soon UK carriers in the Middle East.

In a war against Russia or China I don't think US carriers would leave harbour.

Thanks for http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-ultimate-way-sink-aircraft-carrier-16643 .

Page one is also interesting:

"That wasn’t the only NATO carrier the Soviets tailed. In 1984 a Victor-class Soviet submarine played cat and mouse with the flattop USS Kitty Hawk off the Korean Peninsula. The Americans lost track of the Victor and, in the dead of night, the 80,000-ton carrier actually collided with the 5,000-ton sub.

“I felt the ship shudder violently and, going to the starboard side, I could see two periscopes and the upper part of a submarine moving away,” Kitty Hawk Capt. Dave Rogers told The Sydney Morning Herald. A Japanese patrol plane later spotted the apparently damaged Victor limping away at three knots."

Poor Soviet sub captain!

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Peru Navy is going to modernize its submarine. As TKMS is one of the most experienced submarine builders, successful modernization is expected.

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2016/06/02/Peru-to-modernize-submarines/9121464887283/

In modernization of Oyashio class of JMSDF, command and control systems are replaced by those of Soryu class. Modernized Oyashio class is nearly same as 27 or 28SSs, final version of Soryu except equipment of LIBs, full rubber coating of hull and X-shaped tail planes.

Regards
S

Peter Coates said...

Hi S [at 24/7/16 11:35 AM]

Thanks for the updates on the Peruvian Navy's 209 upgrades and non-AIP Soryus 27SS and 28SS.

It is interesting that 27SS and 28SS Soryus that don't have AIP come after the AIP Soryus while the non-AIP Oyashios come before the AIP Soryus

Readers can see the Oyashios, AIP Soryus and non AIP 27SS and 28SS on the Soryu Table at the end of this Submarine Matters article http://gentleseas.blogspot.com.au/2016/04/soryu-cutaway-diagrams-evolution.html .

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

The ex-Vice Admiral and ex-Commander of Fleet Submarine Force of JMSDF, Masao Kobayashi presents series of article on submarine [1] which are very interesting. According to the ex-Vice Admiral, the building cost of Virginia submarine is 26 billion US$ (=3.45 billion AUS$ = 314.6 billion yen) [2], which is nearly 5 times more expensive than 28SS Soryu (64.3 billion yen).

Based on this discussion, it is expected that the total building cost of 6 Shortfins plus 4 Virginias become much more expensive than that of 12 Shortfins.

[1] SHIPS OF THE WORLD, from 2016, No.8
[2] ibid, 2016, No.9

Regards
S

Peter Coates said...

Thanks S [26/7/16 11:16 PM]

On top of the US$2.6 Billion for a Virginia SSN the cost of training and maintaining the 135 crew (or usual 2 x 135 = 270 standard Blue-Gold) would be vastly more than training just a 60 man crew for the current Collins or future Shortfin.

But the vastly higher capability of an SSN - especially sustained discrete submerged speed - needs to be considered. While an SSK slowly and indiscretly snorts the ability of an SSN to rapidly become available from Fleet Base West to above Northern Australia or to Australia's eastern seaboard makes subs for Australia truely effective.

Very arguably 12 SSKs for Australia is a deficient number given India or Japan, with there much shorter coastlines, envisage more than 20 attack subs.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

The ex-Vice Admiral, Masao Kobayashi said (SHIPS OF THE WORLD, from 2016, No.9);

i)Sonar system of SSN is much superior or sensitive to that of SSK. but SSK cannot adopt the former sonar which is spherical shaped and all-around type, but requires huge amount of power which powerless SSK cannot supply;

ii) Current SSN, which is far quiet than older SSN, may be a little bit noisier than SSK, but it has much better sonar system. So, we cannot judge which type of submarine firstly find other type; and

iii) In battle between SSN and SSK, even if SSK firstly find SSN, SSN might escape from attack by SSK, but if SSN firstly find SSK, SSK can never escape.

Regards
S

Peter Coates said...

Hi S [at 27/7/16 12:05 PM]

Thanks for those reasons why SSNs are more capable than SSKs.

Australia, like Canada, has major disadvantages of a vast coastline and island responsibilities, yet we have very limited financial resources (tied to small populations).

This means, even if Australia and Canada restrict themselves to "cheap" SSKs we can never have sufficient numbers of them. They can't be in enough places waiting for unfortunate SSNs to pass by.

This is why Australia and Canada, with varying degrees of publicity have considered buying SSNs at each time we buy SSKs. This is in preliminary studies leading to the Oberons, Collins and about 5 years ago to the present day until about 2030.

As SSNs proliferate amongst competitors/peers (mainly China and India) Australia will have steadily more "regionally" INFERIOR (not superior) submarines.

After China starts to build SSNs in higher numbers South Korea may position itself to build SSNs next.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Article by the ex-Vice Admiral, Masao Kobayashi is really impressive[1]

(1)Building cost of nuclear submarine are as follows:

Virginia class 2.6B USD (3.45B AUD = 314.6B JPY)
Astute class 1.3B GBP (221B JPY; where 1GBP=170JPY)
Yasen class 440B RUB (188B JPY in 2008; where 1RUB=4yen before clash of RUB)

(2)Very high disposal cost (45M USD), political cost and high concentration ratio of nuclear fuel for submarine which is as much as that of nuclear weapon should be considered.

(3) As enemy detection ability of submarine depends on size of sonar, ability of smaller submarine is not high because of its smaller sonar.

[1] SHIPS OF THE WORLD, from 2016, No.9, by Masao Kobayashi

Regards
S

Peter Coates said...

Hi S [at 27/7/16 7:15 PM]

You raise some really interesting issues.

1. So the 1.3 Billion GPB for the Astutes will cost (1st, 2nd, to last of class? Average?) about USD 1.7 Billion.

Yasen costs vary widely - with this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasen-class_submarine#Costs quoting up to USD 3.5 Billion!

I think comparative cost is very difficult because of exchange rate fluctuations and the politics behind the state, monopoly or duopoly enterprises that build subs. I especially distrust Russian estimates. Very easy for politicians or their state officials to underestimate costs.

2. Yes the costs and highly international and domestic political proliferation issues of nuclear fuel are major. For example the US's 90+ % HEU fuel is reputedly made in specially built for-military-only facilities (but with superpower economies of scale) while

much lower % (LEU?) fuel for France's Triomphants and Barracudas reputedly costs less as it is made in dual-use civilian-military plants.

3. So the smaller, lower power sonar of the TKMS 210mod may not be such a good selling point :)

In SHIPS OF THE WORLD, from 2016, No.9, by Masao Kobayashi did Kobayashi predict that Japan may, one day, have SSNs?

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Cost of Astutes are for first, second and third batches.

Kobayashi did not mention about J-SSN.

He said that no SSN was exported. SSN from Russia to India was lease and not export. Currently India is developing domestic SSN, but development of nuclear submarine is quite difficult.

Regards
S

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Picture of Bow Sonar for SEAWOLF (Kobayashi also showed resembled picture).
http://www.subsim.com/phpBB_archive1/viewtopic.php?t=25324&sid=2c5379390b4ce76ef7a9e8a4f9416eaf

Regards
S

Peter Coates said...

Thanks S [28/7/16 2:07 AM]

Here's another Seawolf bow array image http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/images/ssn21-array.jpg

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi S

Thanks for your 28/7/16 1:27 AM reply.

On India leasing the SSN - now named INS Chakra - I haven't seen any evidence that Chakra is operational or at sea.

Chakra is just one SSN - providing no constant SSN availability (as that would require 3 SSNs).

I think it likely that Chakra spends most time berthed at India's Fleet Base East (Vishakhapatnam) where its crew requirements, hull, sensors and reactor are being studied for India's future SSN project.

No matter what India's politicians and admirals claim I think launch of an Indian SSN is still a decade away.

Regards

Pete