September 21, 2016

Taiwan's Teardrop Style Future Submarine - Japanese Assistance?


Taiwan's CSBC model of a teardrop hull style future submarine possibility (above) displayed at the 2016 arms exhibition in Taiwan. (Photo courtesy Jane’s

Notice this model's striking similarity with Taiwan's current teardrop hull style Hai Lung/Chien Lung class, submarines (below). This does suggest some reverse engineering is anticipated.
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Cut away of  Taiwan's latest 2 submarines of the Hai Lung/Chien Lung class, commissioned in 1987-88 (Diagram courtesy Dutch Submarines . com)
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From 15 to 18 September 2016, at Taiwan’s Kaohsiung International Maritime and Defence Exhibition, Taiwan was indicating it is getting more realistic about building 4 to 8 tear drop style submarines. Taiwan's  Indigenous Defence Submarine Project is known as the "Qianlong Project".

Taiwan’s China Shipbuilding Corporation (CSBC) created a new submarine design division (known as the Submarine Development Center of CSBC (SDCC)) in August 2016. CSBC aims to put itself in a good position to design and build the subs. Although Taiwanese officials stressed the model (above) is not representative of the final design the model looks surprisingly like an evolution of the class of Taiwan’s 2 operational Hai Lung/Chien Lung class submarines.

The design contract, which is understood to be worth around US$95 million, is expected to be issued by the Taiwanese government before the end of 2016 and may run until 2019.  [see Jane’s]


Taiwan’s Ming Rong Yuan Business Co., LTD. ("one of the world's largest manufacturers of pressure vessels") has joined forces with various domestic research institutes to develop underwater vehicle and hull components, an important early step in submarine development. 

Ming Rong Yuan Business Co., LTD, at this Kaohsiung arms exhibition, exhibited a miniature model made of high strength low alloy (HSLA) pressure hull steel. HSLA-80 alloy steel has properties making it "easy to handle" [HSLA-80 steel may be same/similar to]. The HSLA-80 alloy steel is actually produced by Taiwan's China Steel Corporation. [Based on the Exhibition Media Release via MarketWired].

MIGHT JAPAN ASSIST?

A December 5, 2015 a DefenseNews article indicated: Taiwanese Admiral Yang (de facto Military Attache, Washington) “admitted that Taiwan was “in communication” with Japan for a possible deal for Soryu-class submarines.

Taiwan and Japan both have geo-strategic concerns over the same "enemy" China. So Japan may be less susceptible to the Chinese pressure that has been stopping other countries from assisting Taiwan to build new submarines.

If Taiwan were to utilise a less sensitive, less expensive, established, teardrop design and Taiwan supplied the steel might Japan want to assist? In assisting with an older design (perhaps as an export model) Japan wouldn't be putting its more advanced Soryu submarine secrets at risk. 

This is noting Japan (inspired by the US Barbel class) developed and used the Uzushio class teardrop style submarine between late 1960s to 1996.

It is advantageous, in terms of reducing US technology transfer concerns, that the US Barbel class was the parent design for the Uzushio class and the Dutch Zwaardvis class (which in turn led to Taiwan's Hai Lung/Chien Lung class).

Japan's no longer used Uzushio class (teardrop style) submarines. (Photo courtesy seaforces(dot)org).
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Pete

8 comments:

Nicky K.D Chaleunphone said...

Hi Pete,
It would make logical sense for Taiwan to reverse engineer the Hai Lung-class submarine and take design lessons from Japan's Uzushio-class submarine and the US Barbel class Submarines. In fact, I think Japan should offer Taiwan technical help in reverse engineer the Hai Lung-class submarine.

Peter Coates said...

Hi Nicky

Naturally Taiwan should pay Japan a fair price for submarine help - as Taiwan expecting almost free help would have been a problem in the past.

Pete

Nicky K.D Chaleunphone said...

Hi Pete,
I think Taiwan should pay Full price for the technical knowledge on submarine construction.

Anonymous said...


Hi Pete

Sputniknews introduced opinion of Russian defense expert, Dr. Vasily Kashin on submarine technology transfer from Japan to Taiwan. Dr. Kashin clearly denied possibility of the submarine technology transfer (Dec/09/2015, https://jp.sputniknews.com/japan/20151209/1290996.html).

Only USA can challenge China by anticipating the Submarine Project of Taiwan. USA can obviously assist Taiwan by joint project, combat and sonar systems, but, issues on energy system and structure elements which are diesel submarine specific are yet solved. Also, in US, there are very strong opponents against introduction of non-nuclear submarine, who refuse any investment or technology development of manufacture of non-nuclear submarine.

As Japan has many problems with China, the Japanese government will never make a decision which evokes the harsh confrontation with long-term Chinese government.

Indigenous development and building project of the submarine, while drawn foreign technology, is possibly to be implemented. If USA anticipates the project as a major partner of Taiwan, she would be to undertake herself the huge criticism from the Chinese government. Possible partners except Japan are France, Germany, Sweden, etc. Japanese submarine is too big for Taiwan. However, it is clear that every effort to prevent leakage of secret contract will be made.

Regards

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

One of the key elements in conventional submarine is diesel generator. As the diesel engine for submarin is highly demanding, diversion of diesel engine for merchant ship is difficult and cost of development is extremely high. That’s why multiple arrangement system of existing diesel engines is adopted for conventional submarine [3].

A four-stroke engine these occur in two complete revolutions is used in modern conventional submarine, because it has exhaust and compression functions needed in snorkel operation and in low rotational range at strat-up, respectively. In a two-stroke engine, the four "cycles" of internal combustion engine theory (intake, compression, ignition, exhaust) occur in one revolution-360 mechanical degrees, and more than one function occurs at any given time during the engine's operation. As a two-stroke engine itself does not have exhaust and compression functions needed in snorkel operation, it is not suitable for application in submarine. Gas turbine engine needs as huge compressor as the diesel engine, and is not suitable for application in submarine [1, 2].

Repeated snorkeling of submarine results in the severe operational conditions such as generation of transitional thermal stress caused by rapid local heating, rapid increase in sliding and lubrication of engine parts and immediate stop at detection of danger. As operation of diesel engine means generation of noise and vibration, user of submarine tries to minimize operation period [2, 3].

[1] Perfect Guide of Submarine Mechanism by Tadashi Sano
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-stroke_diesel_engine
[3]SHIPS OF THE WORLD, 2016, November, No848, page 84 “Propulsion System of Modern Submarine” by Masakazu Kaji, the Ex-commandor of Submarine Fleet and the Vice-admiral.

Regards

Anonymous said...

PS

Mr Tadashi Sano is the ex-director of Submarine Building Devision of KHI, and devoted 36 years of his life to build submarimes.

Regards

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Taiwan is serious to deveop indigenous submarine [1]. The design will be based on ROCS SS Hai Lung class submarines [2]. Taiwan may have a good prospect in obtaining key elements such as diesel generators.

[1] http://www.sankei.com/world/news/161226/wor1612260024-n1.html
CSBC ORPERATION, TWAIN announced that it had received an order (2.95 billion NTD) of basic design for submarin building (1500-2000 ton) from Taiwan Navy.
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hai_Lung-class_submarine

Regards
S

Peter Coates said...

Hi S [at 26/12/16 8:53 PM]

Thanks the information.

With the Hai Lung class being evolved from the US Barbel Class [1] Taiwan may expect the US (under Trump) will help Taiwan build the smaller scaled down submarine.

But:

A. the US hasn't built a conventional submarine in 40 years

B. the US has not kept up with new technical developments in conventional submarine (eg. diesel propulsion as well as AIP), and

C. it will be very difficult for Taiwan to scale down a design from 2376-2660 tons to 1500-2000 tons.

It is slightly less difficult to scale up a design eg. Kockums scaled existing Swedish designs up to the Collins. But the Collins still had many scale problems.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbel-class_submarine

Have a happy new year.

Pete