October 19, 2016

DCNS's 3,000 t concept submarine, SMX 3.0, at Euronaval 2016


The DCNS 3,000 tonne concept submarine, SMX 3.0, may well have been displayed this year with an eye to future possible orders from the Netherlands, India and Canada. 

The SMX 3.0's VLS feature may in future draw from the actual Shortfin design that DCNS is designing for Australia. Also see a VLS feature in the "SMX Ocean" concept submarine displayed at the earlier Euronaval 2014. 

Mention of a SMX 3.0 AIP FC2G (see below) feature is quite big news because DCNS's has only been anticipated for the last few years and with no official reporting.

The 3,000 tonne concept submarine, SMX 3.0, may be, in some respects, a DCNS response to the 3,000 tonne future submarine that TKMS is partly designing for the South Korean Navy. This TKMS/South Korean design is variously called DSX-3000 or KSS-III. South Korea claims the DSX-3000 is an "indigenous design" just as South Korea claimed the TKMS Type 209s and 214s it makes under TKMS licence are "indigenous".

Scale model of the 3,000 tonne concept submarine, SMX 3.0, on display at the DCNS stand, at Euronaval 2016. The SMX 3.0's external shape seems to owe much to the current DCNS 2,000 tonne Scorpene. (Photo courtesy Navy Recognition)


Newswire Today, October 17, 2016, carries the following DCNS Press Release at http://www.newswiretoday.com/news/161240/ :

"DCNS Unveils SMX®3.0 - the Submarine Concept Ship Tailored to the Needs of 
Generation Z

NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Paris, Ile-de-France, France, 2016/10/17 - DCNS has unveiled its new submarine concept ship SMX®3.0 at Euronaval: The submarine has been tailored to the needs of Generation Z and will be at the control of vessels from 2025 - DCNSgroup.com.

The submarine features on board 3.0 technologies, better power management, unequalled operational performance and system upgradeability facilitating vessel maintenance.

With a displacement of 3,000 tonnes, SMX®3.0 integrates the latest digital technologies for strengthened operational efficiency and significant versatility of use. DCNS and Dassault Systèmes are partnering on this project to design a ship tailored to improve the level of comfort for the women and men onboard. The on-board data systems are now completely interconnected, robust, secure, fast and upgradeable.

Humans at the centre of the system: Tomorrow, submarine systems will produce many thousands of terabytes per day which will need to be managed and stored. In order to manage this; DCNS is developing digital solutions to enable improved responsiveness and functionality. The combat or platform-operation systems have been designed around more efficient, intuitive and fluid MMIs. The data management applications will allow operators to be more focused on their value-added functions. Capable of intervening at all times on the submarines systems, the commanding officer and their crew will be even more informed and in control of their vessel.

Unequalled operational performance: Equipped with a versatile vertical launch system which can be used for launching both drones and missiles, SMX®3.0 extends the scope of its warfare capabilities. Furthermore, SMX®3.0 has greater capacities for countering cyber-threats. Its hydrodynamic shape and masking coating ensure the submarine has unequalled acoustic discretion. Thanks to its database management systems, SMX®3.0 enjoys much improved sensor performance.

Better power management: Through this concept ship, DCNS offers the AIP FC2G (Air Independent Propulsion Fuel Cell Second Generation) ["FC2G AIP provides the best possible dive autonomy in total safety and easy support." see DCNS siteanaerobic propulsion system. Certified by DCNS, this system, of which the complete shore-based system is currently being industrialised, demonstrates all the advantages of a safe and versatile solution.

Upgradeability and facilitated maintenance: System maintenance and modernisation have been addressed right from the design phase thanks to the many 3.0 technologies, including a real time diagnosis of ships, big data management and detection of weak signals. This is supported by an onboard computerized infrastructure produced on the same principle as civil data centres with a strengthened resilience. This complete infrastructure guarantees great upgradeability and capacity to adapt to evolution in technology.

About DCNS

DCNS (dcnsgroup.com) is a European leader in naval defence and a major player in marine renewable energies. As an international high-tech company, DCNS uses its extraordinary know-how, unique industrial resources and capacity to arrange innovative strategic partnerships to meet its clients' requirements. DCNS designs, builds and supports submarines and surface ships. The Group proposes services for naval shipyards and bases. In addition, the Group offers a wide range of marine renewable energy solutions. Attentive to corporate social responsibility, DCNS adheres to the United Nations Global Compact. The Group reports revenues of €3.04 billion and has a workforce of 12,953 employees (2015 data)." 

See WHOLE PRESS RELEASE including contact details.

See more EURONAVAL 2016 (25th Naval Defence & Maritime Exhibition & Conference) News at Navy Recognition. Euronaval 2016 goes from October 17 to October 21, 2016 (see Programme).


Ztev Konrad said...

A lot of their concepts will be developed at Australian taxpayers expense, so it will interesting to see whether they are in for a cost sharing model? The point is that DCNS is still essentially a shipyard who fit in others technologies, so I dont know that its possible for them to move to be a systems integrator while others design-build it to your parameters. Didnt work out for Boeing when they tried it on the 787 as it nearly broke the company.

Anonymous said...

DCNS shows concept, but, never provides result. Suffren is still under building since 2007.

Peter Coates said...

Hi Ztev

Yes the SMX 3.0 (if ever built) would draw on features from the Barracuda, Scorpene and Shortfin. The SMX 3.0's concept design seems to be already using the Barracuda's VLS and its X-plane rudders.

With the Australian Government helpfully saying it is alloting $50 Billion to the Scorpene Project (no bargaining happening), DCNS might be embarrassed by the above market profits its sure to make. Adelaide will be a Boom Town for some.

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous

With DCNS laying down Suffren in 2007 and maybe launching in 2017, this may provide for the first Shortfin in 3 year design phase + 10 years = 2029. A 2029 launch is actually what the Aus Gov MAY expect.

But decade+ timings are so far beyond Australian politicians' election cycle getting to Shortfin SSK completion may never happen. Australia receiving Barracuda SSNs or UK SSNs or US Virginia's may happen instead.


Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

I think AIP including fuel cell is pass point to innovative battery for submarine. AIP needs huge amount of oxydizer (oxygen), its power is very low.

Currently, many researchers in industry, government and academia are devoting their attention to research and development (R&D) of innovative battery such as LSBs, giving steady results (all solid-LSBs, Ionic liquid-LSBs, MOF-separator LSBs, etc) to open the door for battery revolution age. Practical realization of innovative will be achieved in not far future.

One of the possible applications of LSBs is electric vehicles, and this application can be extensive to submarine. No information on LSBs submarine is reported, but, based on history of R&D of batteries such LIBs and solar cell, I am expecting that R&D of next generation second battery for submarine will be started soon or later. As LSBs submarine features high speed, long submerging and nuclear-free, it may be the third way other than nuclear submarine and conventional (LABs+AIP or LABs) submarine.


Peter Coates said...

Hi S

Yes the amount of oxydizer (oxygen) AIP uses is a big disadvantage. AIP systems that have trouble efficiently accelerating quickly are also at an operational disadvantage.

Lithium Sulphur Batteries (LSBs) have power and range advantages.

But LSBs reportedly can only currently be used for a few cycles due to a residue buildup - see http://myelectriccar.com.au/lithium-sulphur-battery-breakthrough/ So more development is needed.

Maybe LIBs + LSBs will be the best SSK propulsion in 20 years.



Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Research of LSBs seems to make rapid progress beyond our expectations.

Energy Interface Technology Group, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has developed metal–organic framework (MOF)-based separator for LSBs [1,2].

MOF-based separator acts as an ionic sieve in LSBs, which selectively sieves Li+ ions while efficiently suppressing undesired polysulfides migrating to the anode side. LSBs a MOF-based separator exhibits a low capacity decay rate (0.019% per cycle over 1,500 cycles).There is almost no capacity fading after the initial 100 cycles [1,2]. AIST is going to develop MOF-based LSBs for practical application.

[1] http://www.nature.com/articles/nenergy201694 (Nature Energy, 2016, Vol. 1, 27/Jun, Songyan Bai et al)

[2] http://www.aist.go.jp/aist_j/press_release/pr2016/pr20160628_2/pr20160628_2.html
LSBs maintains discharge capacity of 900 mAh/g after 1,500 charge/discharge cycles as shown in figure1 (Relationship between discharge capacity and Coulomb efficiency measured at 1C of current density for LSB).
As Dr Songyan Bai holds concurrent post of Professor of NanjingNanking University, research of LSBs in China also makes progress.


MHalblaub said...

Second generation fuel cell for SMX 3.0?
Where was the first generation fuel cell on a DCNS submarine?
There was a first generation AIP by DCNS the MESMA device but a fuel cell?

Sorry for all the LIB fans here: the energy density of a fuel cell system is still more than a factor ten higher including all the required equipment.


P.S. Sound is still in progress...

Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub

It could be DCNS is thinking the First Generation Fuel Cell is the AIP on Germany's TKMS Type 212A.

So clearly DCNS is offering an even better AIP - the mighty Fuel Cell: Second-generation Air-Independent Propulsion (FC2G AIP).

Note also the Press Release implies the mighty FC2G AIP has only been tested as a "shore-based system" that has not been "industrialised" yet.

That is - the FC2G AIP hasn't been tested in an actual submarine in the actual sea, yet ;)



Anonymous said...

Battery technology may be making big strides soon:

"Next year is starting to shape up as the year batteries change. We've collected all
the best battery discoveries that could be with us soon. From over the air charging to
super-fast 30-second re-charging, you could be seeing this tech in your gadgets sooner
than you think."



Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous [at 22/10/16 7:53 AM]

I've reposted your comment to where you intended it to go ie. http://gentleseas.blogspot.com.au/2016/10/cost-of-lithium-ion-batteries-one-major.html



Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Surely, energy density of secondary battery is lower than that of fuel cell, but loading weight of methanol for fuel cell and LIBs should be taken into account. If loading weight of methanol is very low, total energy of fuel cell becomes low even if its efficiency is high.

In the case of hypothecal Soryu with fuel cell, it can load LIBs of 400t (=770kg/battery-module x 480 battery-modules) and probably methanol of 40t [1]. This means that submarine loads 10 times heavier weight of LIBs than methanol and thar it has same level of energy as that of fuel cell.

If LSBs are developed, maximum speed of 30knot/h and submerging period of 30days are possible. Also, research on LIBs shows rapid progress and provides important insight [2].

[1] Amount of methanol is estimated base on both capacity of liquid oxygen tank and reaction between methanol and oxygen, and maximum loading, and maximum loading of methanol is 40t decided by maximum loading of liquid oxygen for AIP-Soryu.

[2] Recently, important degradation mechanism of high performance LIBs with energy density of around 700Wh/kg was clarified by Swedish researchers.


Peter Coates said...

Thanks for the information at 20/10/16 3:11 PM, 20/10/16 5:10 PM and 22/10/16 12:35 PM.

It will go into an article on LSBs in the next 2 weeks.



Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

I heard that Shortfin Barracuda would reuse battery and genelation systems which Scorpene adopts. I surprise as an outsider.


Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Recently, a renowned submarine expert reviewed periscope in detail [1]. Observation position for periscope is always set in controlling room. Optical system for periscope is consisted of five key elements such as length of periscope, diameter of mirror cylinder, brightness, optical magnification and viewing angle, and failure exsample of periscope is described [2]. Searching with only high opical magnification is dangerous and existence of enemy outside of viewing must be considered. Observation of target is conducted by combination of periscope with other informations such as through sonar. Utilization of optical mast is different from that of periscope. Optical mast provides comprehensive still image of surrounding within very short time. Four optical masts [3] such as AN/BVS-1 by L-2 KEO (USA), OMS-110/-200 by Airbus (Ger), Series 30 by Sagem (Fr) and CM010 by Thales (Fr) and next genereation optical mast by USA [4] are introduced.

[1] SHIPS OF THE WORLD 2017, NO.853, p141-147, “TODAY’S SUBMARINE” by M.Kobayashi, Ex commander of JMSF Submarine Fleet, Vice Admiral.

[2] http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1999/collins.htm
REPORT TO THE MINISTER FOR DEFENCE ON THE COLLINS CLASS SUBMARINE AND RELATED MATTERS, June 1999. See “Periscopes”. Acoording to the ex-commander, these failures of periscope are incredible for any submainers.

[3]Judging from continuity of technology, next genenration Japanese submarine (29SS) and Shortfin will adopt Thales and Sagem, respectively. By the way, both 29SS and Shortfin seem to adopt conformal sonar bow sonar in stead of cylindrical sonar.

[4] Affordable Modular Panoramic Photonics Mast (AMPPM):


Anonymous said...

Hi Pete (9/1/17 6:26 PM)

Before correction “CM010 by Thales (Fr)”, and after correction “CM010 by Thales-UK (UK)”

(Additional comment on Collins by the said expert)
Failure by periscope maker (Pilkington - Barr and Stroud) is doubtful, because Pilkington has long history of periscope making from before the WWII. There is a romour that there was user’s strong request for setting optical system on the top of periscope. As result of the request, the position of antenna was lowed to be pallarel arrangement with optical path, causing adverse effect on optical path. The lack of needed discsusition or communication beteen RAN and Pilington on feasablity or possible failure of periscope is really surprizing. Finaly, prescope problem was fixed, but reparement process was yet reported.

(My imagination)
RAN had sticked its wrong arragment of periscope neglecting proper recommendation of Pilkington. After the revelation of the prescope problem, and RAN accepted recommendation of Pilkington. How people reported such process.


Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous [at 9/1/17 6:26 PM and 9/1/17 8:56 PM]

1. I am trying to figure out whether you want to publish an article on Current Photonics Issues for Submarine (using current sources) ?

2. I've noticed http://dcnsgroup.com.au/coverage/50b-subs-price-tag-raises-eyebrows/ of April 29, 2016 which says :

"The Shortfin Barracuda will feature other advanced technology. Conventional optical periscopes – a staple of all submarine movies – will make way for fully electronic surveillance and attack periscopes. Rather than yelling “up periscope”, the commander will observe potential targets on a display screen in the control room."

3. Will DCNS (submarine platform) or Lockheed Martin (combat system integrator) have the main influence over the Photonics Masts for Shortfin issues?



Anonymous said...

Answer for Q1: I'll leave it to you.

Answer for Q2
http://dcnsgroup.com.au/coverage/50b-subs-price-tag-raises-eyebrows means optical mast which will be used for Barracuda. It is not AMPPM, because key features (modular/non-rotation structure of periscope, hyperspectral imaging [1,2]) of AMPPM were not mentioned.

Answer for Q3: I do not know. But I do Not think that USA shares this technology with France.

[1] Hyperspectral imaging developed by NASA is revolutionized technology for remote sensing. In both visible (Vis: wavelegth 400-750nm) and near-infrared (NIR: 750-2500nm) regions which are most effective color material identification, hyperspectral is used to descriminate among and identify materials. AMPPM or related techonology will be an alternative of current optical mast.