December 9, 2015

Putin's Submarine Cruise Missile Party

 Its suspicious, in this Youtube footage, why the camera is so far from the launches. The footage in the above Youtube and this one - (freeze video frame at 6 seconds) seems to show that the submarine is firing the Kalibr-PL cruise missiles while surfaced! If so this is not a true submerged submarine launch achieved by US SSNs or SSGNs or UK SSNs.

Putin, on December 8, 2015, has gone to the trouble of launching Kalibr cruise missiles from improved Kilo class submarine Rostov-on-Don for a variety of reasons:

-  testing is an addition way to launch cruise missiles under operational conditions. Putin could have launched the Kalibrs by surface ship or ground launched but chose submarine launched because the opportunity presented and because it would be noticed.

-  Russia could have used the existing method of fighter-bombers dropping bombs on the targets in Syria. In that sense perhaps the submarine launch is a form of protest against Turkey shooting down a Russian fighter-bomber on November 24, 2015.

-  using weapons under operational conditions irons out technical bugs, organisational chain of command and targetting bugs and reveals any technical upgrades/capabilities that may be necessary.

-  the submarine launch event would be noticed by the Russian public and military/intelligence establishment who still seek vengeance for the IS organised downing of the Russian airliner (Oct 31, 2015)

-  and noticed by the Western military and potential customers for Kalibrs (with a range exceeding the MTCR) or MTCR compliant (not exceeding 300 km range Klub-S 3M-14E - DOD SS-N-30B's)

-  Putin wants the Russian military to be respected by the West as a modern, efficient military.

-  as the Western military have been surface and submarine launching Tomahawk cruise missiles against Middle East targets since 1991 Russia needs to be seen to have the same right. Russia wants to be seen as a legitimate World Policemen in the same way as the US sees itself.

-  It is suspicious why the camera is so far from the launches. The footage in the above Youtube and this one - (freeze video frame at 6 seconds) seems to show that the submarine is firing the missiles while surfaced. If so this is not a true submerged submarine launch. Note that Russian reports - including Putin's organ RT don't mention "submerged" launching.

-  It is a propaganda/PR victory as was Russia's earlier highly publicised cruise missile launches by Caspian Sea ships (Oct 7, 2015). Obama does not appear willing to highlight missiles strikes by the US or its Western allies in the Middle East - thus Western propaganda opportunities are lost. Obama's relatively peaceful moderation wins him few friends.

-  According to a combined report from the major agencies of the US intelligence community (CIA, NSA and DIA) the coalition is losing in its war against ISIS. It is understood Obama doesn't want to be seen as a Dubya-like warmaker but Obama aims to leave office in February 2017 with his moderate-liberal reputation intact. Obama's scrupulously clean Presidency may be at the expense of losing ground to terrorism. Obama needs to look beyond his reputation and beyond the countdown to his exit. Obama need not go down in history as too much like fellow lame duck Democrat Jimmy Carter.

-  For the planners of the future Australian submarine the firing of cruise missiles from a potential enemy SSK stands as a further reason that Australian future subs should be fitted from the beginning with Tomahawk cruise missiles rather than being retrofitted or on a "for but not with" basis. Note that SSKs of other countries in Australia's region (ie. Vietnam, China and India) also have land attack capable cruise missiles fitted (or about to be).

The Rostov-on-Don Improved Kilo Class submarine has fired the first missiles (Kalibr cruise missiles on December 8, 2015) "in anger" of any Russian (or preceding Soviet) submarine. (Photo courtesy Vitaliy Ankov/Sputnik via RT).



Anonymous said...

Yes, I also notice it seems the firing was on surface not submerged. In a French press briefing to the visit by Mr. Hollande to the CDG aircraft carrier, it was stated that the carrier group in concert with a USN frigate was tracking a Kilo submarine off the Syrian coast, this was just days earlier. I think the surface firing is probably due to rules of engagement given there are so many ships from many navies off Syria so an underwater firing will be tricky.

Nicky said...

Hi Pete,
I would not be surprise if the main selling point of the Kilo class SSK is that they are capable of Land attack operations and now have that capability built into the Kilo/Lada/Amur class SSK. Since now the world has seen what the Kilo class SSK can do, I would not be surprise if Russia picks up additional sales of the Kilo class SSK because every admiral by now has seen what the Kilo class SSK can do and I would not be shocked to see countries talking to Russia on buying either the Kilo class SSK or Amur class SSK.

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous

I'm glad you also judged the Kilo subs's (Rostov-on-Don's) firing was on the surface.

Interesting about the briefing to the press around President Hollande's visit to medium nuclear carrier Charles de Gaulle. Information about the nearby presence of "a Kilo submarine off the Syrian coast" would not normally be released to the Anglo-US media. Maybe the French media is entrusted with more information?

Yes heavy ship, sub and fishing boat congestion in the eastern Mediterranean may explain rules that missile launching only be from surfaced craft.



Peter Coates said...

Hi Nicky

Yes the Kilo firing submarine missiles may, in part, be for potential Kilo and Amur sales reasons. The Ladas are Russian Navy only but the export version is marketed as "Amur".

The countries that may want Kalibr or More Likely Klub land attack missiles in New Build subs may include Morocco (Amur) and Algeria (Amur or Kilo). Also Saudi Arabia, Iran and maybe Libya and South Africa may be potential customers.

Indonesia, if it eventually buys Kilos, also may want Klub land attack. Indonesia may want to keep up with Vietnam which has bought land attack Klubs for Vietnam's Kilos.

Possibly some countries might want land attack Klubs retrofitted into existing Kilos (eg Algeria and Iran) again.

The US has the political power to stop Russia selling subs or Klubs to South American countries and Mexico.



Nicky said...

Hi Pete,
Judging by the US political clout, it's on the low at the moment because of Obama. Though with I suspect many countries will want to still buy Russian after seeing what a Russian Kilo class SSK is now capable of doing in Syria. It would boost sales in Russia and more sales of the Kilo/Lada & Amur class SSK with Land attack cruise missiles.

Anonymous said...

The French press brief also says the Kilo was tracked by an SSN but the SSN name was not mentioned. I also read a Russian news a few months ago Russia launched the last of the Kilo, it appears they are moving away from this design.

Nicky said...

Russia is still selling the Kilo's and that's their Money Maker.

Nicky said...

Hi Pete,
Check this article out. Egypt got a brand new Sub.

First Egyptian Navy 209/1400 Class Submarine “S41” Named and Launched at TKMS Kiel

Peter Coates said...

Hi Nicky

Thanks for the Egypt tip.

I'll do a post on Egypt's and Saudi Arabia's naval buys next week.


Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous [Dec 10, 11:07PM]

I read somewhere that Russia warned the UK and US hours beforehand that the Rostov Kilo was to fire the missiles. So Russia was acting as an ally of the West and probably was not disguising the Rostov's movements.

Russia may be yet to launch Kilo number HQ-187 for Vietnam .

Possible customers may keep on ordering Kilos until Russia finally perfects AIP. AIP is the special feature that should make the more expensive-modern Amur worthwhile buying



Parikrama said...

Hi pete, The battle for new kilos is heating up.. Lot of new news developing for Indian Navy...

India seems to be keen too. The DM MP it seems was viewed that as a proposal as well as a potential make in India with Pipavav Shipyard too (Anil Ambani stake in that)

See this link that appeared few months back

"Parrikar, who is set to leave for Russia on Friday, is also likely to discuss the possible acquisition of two new Kilo class submarines for the Indian Navy that is battling with a depleted underwaterfleet. India currently operates nine Kilo submarines under the Sindhughosh class and had lost one to a major explosion at the Mumbai harbour in 2013.

The two submarines are being offered as a quick option to fill gaps as St Petersburg already has a line of advanced Kilo class submarines under production for the Russian Navy as well as a Vietnamese order."

Price seems to be the key here. A kilo upgrade costs around $400Mn versus Indian scorpenes at MDL $775Mn versus a potential U boat at $1.2 Bn approx under P75I potential.

Thirdly, a news tailormade for you,

"German Company ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) which was initially considering offering Type-212A /Type-214 Conventional submarines for India’s Project-75I is now open to offering more recently designed Type 218 diesel-electric submarine developed by its HDW subsidiary to beat rising competition in upcoming Indian Submarine tender to procure Six Stealthy Diesel Submarines equipped with AIP Systems."

Anonymous said...

Parikrama said

Fourthly, a few more goodies
In underwater battle, India 'annihilates' American n-submarine
If the hostile entry of United States Navy 7th fleet in the crucial stage of the 1971 war for the liberation of Bangladesh sent a shiver down the spine of Indian military commanders, events of last month gave them some relief.

"An operation under the high profile naval exercise MALABAR, between the navies of India, USA and Japan, featured a simulated battle to hunt and destroy each other's submarines. Locked in this match were two prowlers, the INS Sindhudhvaj (S56), a Soviet-designed EKM class of conventional submarine and the USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN705), a nuclear-powered attack submarine which functions like a fighter plane - scramble and destroy enemy submarines and ships. The crew of both the vessels were asked to hunt the other down in a general area of the Bay of Bengal, based on 'available int'. They, subsequently dived.

Hours later, as they still searched the Americans were informed that the game was over already.

Unknown, they had been marked, tailed and suitably 'annihilated' by the 533mm torpedos 'fired' by their Indian counterparts from on board the INS Sindhudhvaj."
Thats a kilo killing an SSN (lol)

The clincher was indian made USHUS Sonar seems to be superior to Russian Sonars installed in Nerpa or Akula 2 or INS Chakra

EMALS coming sureshot in IAC2 INS Vishal perhaps with F35s too.. LOL
BTW nes is IN plans 3 Vikrant class carriers and 2 Vishal class carriers and 1 Vikramaditya. Eventually Vikramaditya will be replaced by another Vikrant class. Seems a plan for 5-6 CBGs submitted by Naval Chief to MOD and GOI.

Anonymous said...

Parikrama said [Comment 3]:

Sixthly, Scorpene subs follow on orders is about 3 (more or less confirmed)

P75I next year tender release

Eightly, in 4th december Naval day release new projects dicussed is 6SSNs for IN and a new heavier ship (ala cruiser may be called P18 DDG "destroyer class under IN)

Ninthly, INS arihant is doing ejection test for K15 done in early november but declared in a small article in nov end dec beginning. K4 is almost ready to be tested from Arihant too. Work on K5 in advance stage.

Tenthly, Some news that S2(arihant) and 2 more will eventually operate as SSGN with 4 in arihant and 8 each in S3/S4 SSBN K4 Missiles but with conventional warheads. The real deal is S5-S10 6 Subs which will carry 12 K5s.

I guess its time Pete, i am requesting you for a new piece for Indian Navy context..

BTW HI Sutton feels Arihant is more like Kilo borrowed and upgraded design whereas most folks say its Akula inspired. See here in HI sutton link

From the couple of decent photographs of the boat with both show the starboard quarter (front right), we can deduce that the forward section of the hull is based directly upon the Russian KILO Class diesel attack submarine. India operates 9 Soviet built Project-877EKM KILO as the Sindhughosh Class. The upper sonar casing and torpedo tube arrangement look to be identical. The sail is also essentially similar although necessarily raised slightly because the casing gets deeper as it goes aft to accommodate the main missile silos. [more to follow]

Anonymous said...

Parikrama said [Comment 4]:

See here in HI sutton link

Excerpt - Observations [CONTINUED]:
The forward hydroplanes are remounted on the sail rather than on the forward casing, which also entails minor rearrangements, but overall the sail can be said to be the same hat of the KILO. It features an open bridge at the top, a bad-weather bridge with windows and a sonar array in the forward part of the sail. The distance from the bow to the sail is also the same as on he KILO, another telling observation.
So the forward hull is essentially that of the KILO design. There are six torpedo tubes which have to be reloaded through the top two from a platform which extends out of the forward hull. The torpedo room will be on the upper deck immediately behind the torpedo tubes and in front of the sail. Following the KILO layout, the top two tubes are likely configured for wire guided torpedoes (e.g. TEST-71ME-NK) and the lower four for self-guiding rounds (e.g. 53-65K). The lower tubes are reloaded using a fast automated reloading system. Eighteen torpedoes can be carried in total, although patrols probably occur with fewer. Although conceivably possible, it is unlikely that Arihant is equipped to fire KLUB cruise missiles or other exotic weapons through her torpedo tubes. As a nuclear deterrent she would not be utilised to lunch conventional cruise missile attacks during a war and would only carry torpedoes as a means of self defense.
Beneath the torpedo tubes is a large sonar dome designed for a circular sonar such as the CIM-400E "Rubicon-M" (SHARK TEETH) fitted the Sindhughosh Class. Behind this the main pressure hull starts, which is divided onto three floors. Like other Russian designs the KILO is a double-hull design which means the pressure hull is encased in an outer hull. This allows the reinforcing frames to be on the outside of the pressure hull. Beneath the sail is the control room.

Now we all know it was originally ATV as SSN plan later in 90s converted to SSBn by stretching and adding new compartments and tubes.. Whats your take on that.. And with 6 torpedo tubes the baby boomer looks well armed..

rather long multi post (sorry limits issue)
Regards, Parikrama

Peter Coates said...

Hi Parikrama

Thank you for your posts.

I will do a post on India next week

and maybe over the next few weeks with all that material, maybe.

Note that Blogspot can process a Comment of a third of a page or less.



Anonymous said...

If I am looking for a new Kilo, I would prefer one similar to B-871 Alrosa with the pump jet and not the traditional 7 blade propeller.

I am surprised Russia only does 1 Kilo with pump jet. A diesel submarine may have at one time limited battery capacity when running on battery using LAB but with LIB one can clearly derive better endurance while running silent at higher speed. A propeller will start cavitating at around 7 knots but with a pump jet, one can be running silent in the teens. The pump jet is clearly much more silent.

In fact I am surprised with the NG Australian sub, no one is even talking about pump jet propulsion especially with hi-cap LIB strings. The latest SSN like the Virginia are all on pump jets.

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous [Dec 15, 12:17PM]

Within DCNS 4,500 ton (surfaced) Shortfin design everything is offered, including a pump jet.