April 11, 2017

April 2017 Report to Donors: Indonesian Sub Buys a Puzzle

Indonesia's new sub KRI Nagapasa - with Pennant Number 403.
It is an Improved Chang Bogo (Type 209 variant).

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Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Thailand is going to purchase Chinese submarine [1, 2]. Low price of Chinese submarine is very attractive for Thailand government.

One of the key indices of submarine is submerge depth and modern Chinese submarine shows moderate (test depth of Type 039A submarine is 400m). But, true strength of pressure hull is described by clushing depth not test depth. Clushing depth of submarine is top secret, there is reference ie, that of DSV (Deep-Submergence Vehicle). Clushing depth of DSV may different from that of submarine, but, it may provide country’s point of view on safety margin of hull.

Test depth of Japanese DSV Shinkai 6500 is 6500m (where Shinkai means deep sea, and 6500 suggests test depth) [4] and its clushig depth is designed as 10050m. Test depth of Chinese DSV Jiao Long is 7500m [5]. As safety coefficient of Chinese DSV is said to be 1.1-1.25, clushing depth of Jiao Long is 8250-9375m. According to Chinese standard, we can call Shinkai 6500 as Shinkai 8000. Testing depth of Shinkai 6500 was achieved but that of Jiao Long was not [4, 5]

In Indonesian high speed rail project, Japanese and Chinese sectors anticipated the tender. Indonesian government selected Chinese sectors, because China offered extrordinay low cost. Now, project suffers from significant delay, significant price hike is expected and Indonesian government deeply regrets.

Of course, this story is different from that of submarine purchasing by Thailand. But, you should sometimes think twice when you buy expensive goods.

[1] http://thediplomat.com/2017/04/did-thailand-secretly-approve-its-china-submarine-buy/
“Did Thailand Secretly Approve Its China Submarine Buy?”
[2] http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/thai-government-defends-chinese-submarine-purchase
“Thai government defends Chinese submarine purchase”
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_039A_submarine, see, “General characteristics”
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DSV_Shinkai_6500
On August 11, 1989, submerging of 6,527m was achieved.
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiaolong_(submersible)
“On June 27, 2012, the Jiaolong with two oceanauts reached a depth of 7,062 meters (23,169 feet) in the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean.” Testing depth is not proven.


Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous

Thanks for the analysis and details.

I could turn them into an article on CHINESE INFLUENCE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA in the next 10 days.