April 16, 2016

Has Germany's TKMS Won the CEP?

Hamish McDonald in Australia’s The Saturday Paper, April 16, 2016 https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/world/south-and-central-asia/2016/04/16/japanese-unlikely-supply-our-submarines/14607288003128 has written a most surprising article with the expectation that Germany’s TKMS has won the Future Submarine CEP.

Here is a portion but its best to read the whole article at The Saturday Paper site.

“Japanese unlikely to supply our submarines”

"…The Defence Department is understood to have completed the “competitive evaluation process” called for by former prime minister Tony Abbott a year ago after his secret “captain’s call” in favour of Sōryū boats built in Japan caused a mutiny in Coalition ranks. Its recommendation will shortly go to the national security committee of Malcolm Turnbull’s cabinet…

…Increasingly, defence circles think the bid by Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems looks the safer bet. An associated German shipyard provided the design and back-up for the RAN’s trouble-free Anzac-class frigate program. TKMS has built about 160 submarines since 1960, including 50 in the local yards of foreign navy customers, not to mention the hundreds of U-boats turned out by its predecessors in Kiel. At least the Americans won’t have to work with the French…"


I haven't seen other commentaries that Germany has won. The final decision still needs to get through the Turnbull Government Cabinet.

Nevertheless perceived German (TKMS) strengths include:

-  choosing Germany is less likely to offend China which genuinely fears a militarily resurgent Japan 

-  Germany’s long experience as a builder of submarines tailor-made for specific customer needs 

-  Germany makes the well known MTU 4000 diesel modified for marine use

-  Germany has the most experience and most success in overseeing foreign build projects (just look how South Korea is churning out Type 209s and 214s)

-  Germany is not dedicated to building new, possibly risky, Lithium-ion Batteries into a Australian submarine, but instead could build standard Lead-acid Batteries

-  Germany has no issues of difficult to weld submarine steel or short operational submarine life

-  Germany can supply the most advanced, proven air independent propulsion (AIP) if Australia eventually favours AIP

-  German designed 209s and 214s have already included some elements of the US combat system for US weapons including the Mark 48 torpedo.



Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Mr. Hamish McDonald should have written this article at least one year ago. This article is not only out of date, but also suggests insufficient judgement. Because new judgement based on technology is provided without any new formation or discussion on technology.


BK said...

Hi Pete,

good research and good to see a variety of opinions now!

S, why one year ago? The facts are still correct, or aren't they? Remember, even the Japanese need to design and build a brand new submarine, because the Soryu is not want the RAN wants.


Ztev Konrad said...

It does seem a rather strange thing to write ( not unusual though for 'The Australian') when the governments own SEA1000 website says they haven't even got their evaluation process up to full speed.
"In support of meeting this direction, the development of engineering tools, design brief and illustrative design has been undertaken by the Defence Organisation, the SEA1000 Integrated Project Office in Adelaide and the Defence Science and Technology Organisation."

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete and BK(14/16 7:21 PM)

Question: why one year ago?

Answer: Short range of Soryu has been discussed more than one year ago. Also, I wanted to emphasize that discussion should be conducted in a timely manner.

Question: The facts are still correct, or aren't they?

Answer: My answer depends on what you mean by “the facts”.

If the facts mean “its patrol range, about 6000 nautical miles, is less than the 9000-mile range of the RAN’s existing [1]”, they are correct.

If the facts mean that short patrol range is drawback [1], they are wrong, because short patrol range does not always mean drawback. As Japan adopts exclusively defensive posture, Japanese submarine features relatively short patrol range by optimal design. Longer range needs extra fuel which results in increase in size and makes submarine to be detected. If Soryu shows unnecessarily long range, it is drawback, because it means lack of optimal design.

Comment: Remember, even the Japanese need to design and build a brand new submarine, because the Soryu is not want the RAN wants.

Answer: I well understand that CEP resulted from the fact that no existing submarines satisfied requirements of RAN. And, I do not believe that Japanese government proposed short ranged submarine as a candidate nor that RAN accepted such a silly proposal.



ONeil Padilla said...

Hi Pete,
I was under the impression that all three contenders were offering Lithium-ion batteries with their Subs?
Am I mistaken? Wouldn't Lithium-ion batteries boost the capability levels of any of these designs? (especially the German one, LIB+PEM?!?)


Peter Coates said...

Hi ONeil Padilla

Yes I think (but cannot be certain) that all 3 contenders have offered LIBs (if that is what Australia wants) but have also offered Lead-acid batteries (if that is what Australia wants).

But then it goes down to which contender is most determined to develop LIBs to safe maturity.

My impressions are - in order of offering safe and mature LIBs:

- Japan is most determined.

- Germany can offer LIBs or LABs.

- France may prefer LABs but will offer LIBs if Australia really, really wants LIBs.

See mid 2015 Table at http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zjOY4BotAbE/VdVKLf8sq5I/AAAAAAAAG4Y/I_WQpHT6myg/s1600/Future%2Bsubmarine%2Bcomparison%2Btable%2B-%2BNews%2BCorp.jpg

Naturally the actual contenders and SEA1000 assessors know more.


MHalblaub said...

Siemens seems to be ready to provide the right LIB technique:

TKMS does not only provide submarines but also replishment ships (Berlin-class) and various types of corvettes and frigates. Therefore TKMS could make a rather big offer.


Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub [at 18/4/16 9:30 PM]

Thanks. This is a mighty interesting article on a totally LIB powered ferry project http://m.faz.net/aktuell/technik-motor/umwelt-technik/schiff-mit-akku-antrieb-null-abgase-zero-einfach-nichts-12782067.html

So the battery weight is 10 tons using a nickel manganese cobalt LIB. The LIB is made by American manufacturer Corvus Energy. A 10 ton LIB is not so heavy because there is no need for heavy diesel generators fuel tanks, pumps and lines.

Some Baltic Danish and German ferries partly rely on LIBs. Here's one https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prins_Richard_(Schiff)#Umweltfreundliche_Technologien_und_Einbau_eines_Hybrid-Antriebs