September 14, 2018

Chinese Photos of a "Stretched Kilo" More Likely Yuan Sub or New Class

On September 12, 2018 H I Sutton at Covert Shores commented that Chinese IMAGE A (below)  (also see at the Chinese website) reveals a "stretched KILO" class submarineThis "stretched KILO" might also be a new Chinese class of conventional attack submarine, that more fully incorporates reverse engineered features of the KILO.

This is a bold claim, because the Chinese IMAGE A provided is blacked out, revealing no features on the side of the hull and no positioning evident of diving planes (aka hydroplanes). If the diving planes were on bow/hull this may indeed indicate a KILO (see H I Sutton's IMAGE B). 

Alternatively if the planes were mounted on the "sail" (or "fin") this may indicate a  YUAN class submarine (see IMAGE C). Note that YUAN style diving planes are indeed mounted on the sail in the upper photos of the Chinese website in question.

Another problem is Chinese IMAGE A (and the other Chinese website photos) conveniently cut any  stern "tail" preventing a viewer assessing any lack of an unpright tail fin, indicating a KILO, or the presence of an upright tail fin which may indicate a YUAN (IMAGE C). 

IMAGE A - A low quality and only partial Chinese photo at http://bbs.tiexue.net/post2_13224151_1.html
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IMAGE B - H I Sutton's drawing of a so called Stretched Kilo with the main distinguishing picture being the lack of an upright fin on a cruciform tail. 
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IMAGE C.  Less exciting, but more likely. An existing YUAN class submarine - a type in commission since 2006 and with a stretched hull that accommodates AIP (This August 2015 photo is from the USNI News site).
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CONCLUSION

The Chinese website photos provide inadequate evidence to claim we are seeing a "stretched KILO". More likely we are seeing photos of an existing YUAN class submarine.

Pete

15 comments:

para said...

I agree its an iffy shot but it seems to me the Yuan class-claim is less likely for two reasons both related to look of the sail. Yuan class has a slight slope on the rear, whereas the Kilo sail is perfectly vertical. Furthermore Yuan also has a characteristic notch on the rear of the sail, which is missing in this shot. While overexposure may be an issue, I think it would still be noticeable.

I do agree that the photo cut before diving planes is not coincidental and probably intended to confuse, together with the Yuan photo in article.

Pete said...

Hi para

Yes your counter-arguments may be valid regarding my Yuan claim.

Although some mild photoshopping (all in black) can:

- straighten or slightly slope the sail (the latter being beneficial (radar and sonar return) stealth wise)

- and black out the rear of sail notch.

I agree China may be aiming to sow confusion from this public relations outing. The hint that China is adding the stealth of the Kilo class with a Chinese AIP or VLS plug may tend to dishearten other conventional submarine building countries in the region. eg. signalling Taiwan that Taiwan cannot build SS(G)Ks of such high quality - hence Taiwan should give up trying to build new subs.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Image A is based on “the comprehensive anti-submarine warfare drill in the South China Sea” (http://www.js7tv.cn/video/201809_158010.html).

0:15-0:19/1:48 Surfacing of the submarine:
The hydroplanes are mounted on the sail not on the hull.

0:26-028/1:48 Surface navigation of the submarine
The hydroplanes are mounted on the sail not on the hull.

0:34-0:40/1:48 Underwater navigation of the submarine
Characteristic cigar-shape of the submarine bow is revealed at 0:34-0:35/1:48, which seems to be different from fusiform of YUAN’s bow.

0:41-0:46/1:48 Inside of submarine
Torpedo is fired at 0:43/1:48 and exploded at 0:44/1:48.

1:09-1:16/1:48 Surface navigation of submarine
Sequence drain ports are found on the hull at 1:09-1:16/1:48, meaning double hull structure is adopted for the submarine. Also surface of the submarine is very smooth, where the seams of sound absorbing rubber are not found (also, see 0:17-0:18/1:48).

1:16-1:19/1:48 Original video of “Image A”
[Thanks - I put in your correction]

Regards

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete (continued from15/9/18 5:17 AM)

The video (http://www.js7tv.cn/video/201809_158010.html) consists of two or three submarines: 039 Song-class, 039A Yuan-class and Kilo-like submarine? But there is not evidence that shows stretched or AIP Kilo

0:15-0:19/1:48 Consists of two submarines with different parts on upper bow deck:
0:15-0:16/1:48 Song?
0:17-0:19/1:48 Yuan?

0:26-028/1:48 Song?
0:26-0:28, 0:29-0:30/1:48 Parts on upper bow deck are different from those at 0:17-0:19/1:48.
0:25-0:27/1:48 Shape and position of hydroplane are different from those at 1:07-1:12/1:48.

0:34-0:40/1:48 Song?
0:34-0:35/1:48 Cigar-shaped bow of Song.

1:09-1:16/1:48 Yuan?

1:16-1:19/1:48 Original video of “Image A”
Sail is longer than that of Song, its shape is slightly different from that of Yuan and resemble to that of Kilo. But, shape of hull seems to be slightly different from that of Kilo


Regards

Pete said...

Hi Anonymous

Below are my comments on the Chinese video of (maybe) KILOs, SONGs and YUANs matter.

Thankyou for your comments of 15/9/18 5:17 AM and 15/9/18 7:32 AM
and for providing video http://www.js7tv.cn/video/201809_158010.html.

Below video is text, when translated:

"Video information, Released: 2018-09-08, Source: Military Report, Author: "Military Report" Duration: 00:01:48, Introduction:

"The [anti-submarine naval] exercise was carried out in a "back-to-back" manner between the red and the blue [forces]. The two sides participated in a multi-type submarine...the submarines...Editor: Han Junqiang"

PETE COMMENT

So in the video we see a "multi-type submarine" and "submarines"

1. This allows the Chinese to have video of different types of submarines.

2. Chinese control of still photographs and moving videos allows the Chinese to produce fake photoshopped propaganda photographs/moving videos if China wants to.

3. If there are no separate Western photographs/moving videos of these Chinese submarines this allows the Chinese to create "Reality" on what their submarines look like.

4. China commissioned Russian built 877 KILO submarines from 1994 and 636 KILOs from 1997 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilo-class_submarine#Project_636_units . This allowed China to reverse engineer 636s and use some 636-style shapes in Chinese YUAN class submarines (YUANs first commissioned in 2006) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_039A_submarine

5. So this partly explains how Chinese subs can have KILO characterists in YUAN submarines. This latest YUAN/YUANs or maybe a New Class(?) "stretched KILO".

Regards

Pete

Pete said...

So in Chinese sudmarine Military Report video http://www.js7tv.cn/video/201809_158010.html

the "stretched KILO" at 1 minute, 17 seconds, may be the first example of a new Chinese

conventional attack submarine class.

This new submarine may, for the time being, be called the "multi-type submarine" mentioned in

"Video information" for http://www.js7tv.cn/video/201809_158010.html

Pete

Anonymous said...

Given the state of Russia's AIP, I wonder why Russia so far does not stretch their Project 636.3 15 meters like China to put in a sizable bank of Li-Ion. Add a 15 meters plug and it will be the length of Project 641B.

para said...

Pete, there's an interesting take on Twitter by a user I do respect for his opinions suggesting the shot may actually be from a TV drama split into the TV feed. Curious but he points out at least one other CG shot in the same video. I havent seen the feed myself but it kinda makes sense given how modifying inherited Russian subs, especially cutting into pressure hulls, seems suspect to me for using AIP. As you say, Yuan makes a lot more sense for that sorta application.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Recently, Japanese submarine expert suggested existence of modified Yuans equipped with originally developed AIP and China’s plan of importing latest AIP-submarines from Russia [1]. But, he did not comment on AIP-Kilo.

As Kilo is old type submarine, it does not seem to be suitable for platform and/or prototype of AIP-submarine.

[1] Ships of the World, 2018 Oct (No884) page 160, “Today’s Submarine” by ex-vice admiral and commander of submarine fleet, Masao Kobayashi

Regards

Pete said...

Hi para [at 16/9/18 12:20 PM ]

See the modified "stretched KILO" or latest model YUAN or maybe its a new Chinese submarine class 1 minute 17 seconds into this original Chinese Navy video feed http://www.js7tv.cn/video/201809_158010.html

It seems the Russians do not have the money to develop mature AIP for conventional subs given the Russian naval budget is spread thin developing nuclear subs with new naval reactors for the Russian Navy.

Also Russia's submarine export industry seems to be doing just fine churning out KILOs - the latest being for Vietnam and Algeria - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilo-class_submarine#Project_636_units

Regards

Pete

Pete said...

Hi Anonymous [at 17/9/18 5:56 AM]

Yes it makes more sense for China to modify its Yuan design with some Russian advanced 4th/5th generation Lada/Amur and/or Kalina submarine technology. Maybe some aspects of Russia's AIP are worth adopting?

I would expect that the Kilo's square sail (with 90 degree edges) would have some stealth SONAR and RADAR return weaknesses compared to the Yuan's curved sail computer generated stealth solutions.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

China is interested in Russia's fuel cell system and is negotiating the purchase of Lada and/or Kalina submarines. Also there is a rumour that China plans to export Lithium polymer cells [1].

By the way, the JMSDF is conducting the Indo South East Asia Deployment (ISEAD180) and has sent JS Kaga, JS Inazuma and JS Suzutsuki to India, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. In the anti-submarine warfare joint drills with the Philippines in the South China Sea, JS Kuroshio (an Oyashio class submarine) of JMSDF and five TC-90 light coastguard aircraft donated by Japan to the Philippines participated. China is not pleased [see 2 and 3].

But making China even more angry is a Japan Ministry of Defense initiative to provide old JMSDF P-3C Orion aircraft to Malaysia [4]. This will prompt the Philippines to definitely request P-3Cs [4].

[1] Ships of the World, 2018 Oct (No. 884) page 160, “Today’s Submarine” by ex-vice admiral and commander of submarine fleet, Masao Kobayashi

[2] http://www.mod.go.jp/msdf/en/operation/operation2018.html

[3] https://www.newsweek.com/china-north-korea-warn-japan-conducts-historic-military-drills-1124889 CHINA AND NORTH KOREA WARN JAPAN AS IT CONDUCTS HISTORIC MILITARY DRILLS

[4] In https://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXMZO2312394005112017PE8000/

Regards

Pete said...

Hi Anonymous [at 20/9/18 7:31 AM]

I understand China ordered some Russian Lada/Amurs and/or Kalinas about 5 years ago, but Russia seems unable to develop these submarines for Russian Navy use and certainly not for export.

China probably wanted these Russian subs as technology testbeds for Russian LIBs and advanced AIP, with China then reverse engineering these LIBs and AIP for use in Chinese Yuan submarines, but Russia appears unable to deliver.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Image A is Chinese version of Kilo [1]. 039A YUAN-class (image B) is evolved to 039B and further evolved 039C. 039C equips with fillet and is quiet [2]. Smooth and seamless surface of the submarine in the video (1:09-1:16/1:48) suggests 039B or 039C. As Chinese submarines evolve rapidly, organizations underestimate them may experience painfull lesson.

[1]
http://k.sina.com.cn/article_6505308848_183bf22b000100huop.html?cre=tianyi&mod=pcpager_mil&loc=1&r=9&doct=0&rfunc=100&tj=none&tr=9 (First picture, upper: Chinese version of KILO, lower: original 877EKM KILO)

Recently, in the public report of the Chinese Navy, a long-awaited "old friend" reappears the screen: through the relevant characteristics, the submarine is two "Kilo" 877EKM conventional submarines built by Russia, the same type. The two submarines joined the Chinese naval combat sequence in 1994 (Expedition 64) and 1995 (Expedition 65) respectively. They can be regarded as one of the few Chinese soldiers who are still serving in the "New Millennium" and are still in service.

But at first glance, this "KILO 877EKM" is not the same as it was in the past few years: its short and thick hull has become slender, and the length of the original "KILO" is about 15 meters (?).

[2]
https://www.popsci.com/blog-network/eastern-arsenal/new-chinese-039c-submarine-doesn%E2%80%99t-need-come-air%E2%80%A6-several-weeks

Regards

Pete said...

Hi Anonymous [at 22/9/18 8:28 AM]

Thanks for the links and information.

Regards

Pete