October 6, 2017

Mainstream Media Misses Naval Group's Misspeak *

In response to KQN's comment of 6/10/17 6:30 AM,:

Yes the Naval Group's Executive Director, Australian Submarine Program, Mr Billig, saying we are designing the Shortfin "from scratch" doesn't seem to have been picked up by the journos of the Mainstream Media.

Mr Billig's misspeak directly contradicts Naval Group's 2016 reference to Shortfin using the Barracuda AND Scorpene as design references. This 2016 reference was in Sean Costello's (then CEO Naval Group/DCNS Australia) who stated in ASPI's The Strategist, April 8, 2016.

"The main area where Barracuda design references were not used [for Australia's future Shortfin submarine] was in the area of the electrical system (batteries and voltage), power generation (induction and diesel generators) and propulsion (main electric motor)."

"In these systems the design reference comes from the Scorpene class of diesel electric submarines, or from an existing submarine technology within DCNS. Existing technologies are re-used in all systems in the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A. System by system, the whole ship performance is validated and the design loop closed."

Comment - Maybe there's a French to English translation glitch?

Pete

9 comments:

Tri-ring said...

So I see France had admitted they presented vaporware for the tender and the Australian government's "Competitive Evaluation Process" was a cheap ploy to give SA the construction jobs France offered.

Basically I don't think it was even vaporware based on this statement;

"We know what shall be the length, what shall be the diameter of the submarine," he told reporters at the Pacific 17 maritime showcase in Sydney on Wednesday.

Which also suggest that he has no idea what is going into the interiors, the basic design or the equipments that will be placed to maintain balance of the boat at the moment.

TKMS at least had design concept for their type 216 to show at that time.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Japan was tricked by Turnbull.

Regards

MHalblaub said...

Remembers me somehow on reaction by DCNS to the IDAS missile. DCNS offered a lot of vapor ware and nice CGI but nothing of value. The latest offer was to replace one complete torpedo against one MICA missile. 4 IDAS missiles could be loaded in exchange for one torpedo. I still haven't seen any test by DCNS. The first submerged firing test for IDAS was in 2008.

It was also a French company which designed the battery layout for Boeing's 787.

Since when "length" or "diameter" is a capability of a weapons system?

Regards,
MHalblaub

Anonymous said...

I am guessing Shortfin is no more than a stretched Scorpene design wise and technology. wise.
KQN

Anonymous said...

Pete

I think you will find that the govt was well aware that both the DCNS & TKMS designs were just concepts (basic design only). Both required complete detailed design from scratch. Both would have used existing designs for reference (you don't reinvent the wheel unless you have to). Something the govt did take into account is the fact that TKMS has never built a sub even close to the size as Australia required. DCNS has built nuke subs much bigger than Australia requires & also builds conventional subs (the only potential supplier that still does both). You start from scratch for Shortfin because you cannot just cut a Baracuda sub in half & weld on a new conventional rear end. You will end up with problems like the Spanish have with what in comparision should have been a much easier stretch to a Scorpene design. It will definately be more like a conventional powered Baracuda than a stretched Scorpene (for a start you would have to stretch a Scorpene in all directions, not just make it longer). One advantage for DCNS is that the Baracuda part of the reference is the same size & basic specs as the Shortfin. The nuke version will also be in the water well before our design is finished which will help at least validate that part of the design.
regards

MHalblaub said...

Dear Anonymous,

I would like to disagree on several accounts.

It is not possible for DCNS to provide a working solution for fuel cells. Germany was testing fuel cells since the mid 1970s and has operational submarines with this system since 2005.

DCNS was not much forced to look at better batterie technology like Germany due to nuclear power solution for its own Navy. The customers accepted the lead batteries as state of the art. Look at the current customers of Scorpène-class submarines: Chile, Malaysia and India. Brazil is different due to the nuclear aspect.

For the second batch of German Type 212A (build from 2007 on) Lithium based batteries were thought of but rejected.

What about other toys like fiber wire guided torpedoes or missiles by DCNS?

What about the electric motor? How efficient is the French offer?
What about the French Diesel engines?

I don't think that it would have been a problem for TKMS to build a larger steel case.

TKMS is only a small part of ThyssenKrupp building big things like this: https://youtu.be/j3Sk1CdVdyk

I doubt the Suffren-class will be of any help to design the Short Fin.

Regards,
MHalblaub

C.c. An US combat system would worse any solution.

Peter Coates said...

Thanks everyone on this string

You raise interesting perspectives of Naval Group's possible strategy. I'll focus on the arguments in an article tomorrow (Tuesday)

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

MHalblaub

Not sure where your mention of fuel cell tech comes from in regards to Shortfin. While I agree the Germans seem to be in forefront of such technology, I don't see the relevance. All AIP options have there upsides & there downsides. All systems still make use of battries. The bigger you are the less you need to rely on AIP. AIP also takes up significant space. Japan are swapping from Stirling AIP to LIB tech in their latest subs. However they will be the first in the world to do so. Current proven tech is LAB. Will all d-e subs eventually go LIB? I believe so. Would you want to build 12 d-e subs with LIB's right now? Not really. Ask me again in 3 years or so. If one of the Jap subs catches fire & sinks in that time then the answer will be no. Australia (& DCNS) will build the subs in small batches (2 - 3). What is in Block 1A will be different to Block 1B & will be different to Block 1C (or 2A or whatever). This is standard practice.

As far as I am aware, DCNS does not make missiles (they do make torpedoes). MBDA (a joint UK-France group) makes missiles such as SCALP-M. Australia does use some MBDA missiles (RAAF) & some of their missiles are world leading (eg Meteor).

There is more in building a sub than ability to build a waterproof case. Ask the Spanish. A combat system is just a fancy computer system & can be shoe horned into just about anything. Its making it talk to all your various bits thats the hard part. Especially if you tend to use a wide range of systems from a wide range of suppliers. The difficulty with a US system is they expect US bits (USA tend to buy US bits even if they are not the best). Australia tends to buy the best it can afford (try at least). Thales (a French company) is renown for its sonars. Hence Collins has Thales sonar.

regards

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Japanese Industrial Standards on LIBs for ships has numbers of requirements and recommendations on their safety. As risk reduction measures of electric energy storage equipment using LIBs, use of safety analysis tools such as FTA(Fault Tree Analysis), FMEA(Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) and SIL(Safety Integrity Level)are recommended.

Some people points out risk of LIBs for submarine and suggests sinking, but never points out safety issues of hull cutting of Collins submarines where commonsense of fracture mechanics is neglected. Possibility of sinking submarine caused by rectangular hull cutting is far higher than that caused by failure of LIBs.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fault_tree_analysis
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Failure_mode_and_effects_analysis
[3]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_integrity_level

Regards