So, as things stand it is likely that the serious delay in Naval Group's Barracuda / Suffren class Project has added at least 2 years to Australia's Future Submarine Naval Group Shortfin Barracuda Project (see previous articles here and here). Although in any case there are major differences (including speed, range, center of gravity and hotel load etc) between the nuclear propelled Barracuda and Australia's future conventional diesel electric Shortfin.
The other Naval Group submarine on which Shortfin is based is the Scorpene. Scorpene is an old design and less than half the size of Shortfin. This means that Shortfin will have many differences - especially internal - compared to Scorpene.
The realities are an old Scorpene design and the Suffren, first of class Barracuda, has not yet been launched, let alone commissioned in the planned 2017. So what can Naval Group do to further the Shortfin design phase? This should include:
- Computer simulations of Shortfin performance (already ongoing)
- Development and study of major components, especially deisels (eg. MAN working with
Kawasaki or perhaps MTU 396 or 4000. Comparison of LAB and LIB battery advances, and
- Technology transfer from certain, more modern, closer to launch or not yet launced SSK projects,
any ideas? Revealed tomorrow.