July 27, 2017

3D printers and "Amateur" bio-weapons

And now something (non-North Korean nuclear tipped submarine launched missile) to worry about, in future:

"Amateur 'biohackers' who tinker with the genetic make-up of living organisms could develop new types of biological weapons, a leading academic has warned.

Professor John Parrington, a molecular biologist at Oxford University, claims cheap gene editing tools are becoming widely available around the world.

This is giving DIY scientists the chance to genetically alter organisms like bacteria and yeast to give them properties not seen in nature...." 

Add 3D printing of bio weapons into the mix.

But luckily NSA like cyber agencies may be able to seed, track and destroy bio weapon messages and/or organisations attempting to send such dangerous messages for 3D printers or other uses.

Something to worry about in 10 years (more or less)

July 26, 2017

Chinese-Russian Joint Sea 2017 Naval Exercise Worries Balts

China and Russia have been cementing their unholy naval alliance with regular exercises. The live fire “Joint Sea 2017” July 22 to July 28, is the latest. It is being held far from China, in the Baltic Sea near European Russia. See good Youtube about how Baltic nations are worried.

The regular Joint Sea exercises have been held since 2012 and mark the eclipse of Russia as a top five conventional naval power but China’s rise as the number two conventional naval power (neck and neck with Japan). Russia’s possession of the second largest fleet of nuclear submarines complicates relative strength measurements a bit.

Throughout the Joint Sea Exercises Russia has only been able to deploy very small or very old vessels (of uncertain engine reliability). Large tugboats therefore feature large in Russian flotillas.

China’s Xinhuanet News Agency reports the 2017 exercise includes: “drills on a map”; live firing of “secondary cannons” (30mm on Chinese vessels); air defence;  “joint landing and inspection”; search and rescue; and underway replenishment, etc.

For 2017 the Russian Navy can only muster two corvettes (Steregushchy and the Boiky) and an essential tugboat (SB-123). Russia is providing lots of land based airpower though.

The Chinese flotilla consists of:

Type 052D destroyer Hefei 合肥 (DDG-174). It is the third 052D  built, commissioned December 2015, in China’s South Sea Fleet. Its AESA radar and 64 cell VLS may make it almost as effective as a US Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.
Type 054A multi-role frigate Yuncheng 运城, No. 546 (sister ship above). At 4,000 tons (with a 32 cell VLS, 8 Harpoon like ASM, ASW torpedos and ASROC launchers) it is of the size and armament that the US Navy can return to - after the abortive US LCS program. 

And Type 903 replenishment ship Lomahu. 骆马湖No. 964, commissioned July 2016 based at South Sea Fleet (sister ship above). At 23,000 tons it is a useful size for a flotilla. (photo courtesy Coatepeque at Chinese Defense Blog).


-  Joint Sea 2012 was held in the Yellow Sea, April 22-27, 2012. A total of 25 warships and
   submarines, 13 warplanes, nine helicopters and two commando units participated

Read more: https://sputniknews.com/voiceofrussia/news/2014_05_26/Russian-Chinese-military-exercises-Joint-Sea-2014-end-in-China-9370/

-  Joint Sea 2013 was held in the Sea of Japan, July 5-12, 2013. 18 ships of the 2 countries took part   

-  Joint Sea 2014 was held in May 2014 in the East China Sea.

-  Joint Sea 2015, held May 2015, in the Mediterranean Sea, included two Type 054A frigates
   (Linyi and Weifang) and Type 903 replenishment ship Weishanhu subscription source, and

-  Joint Sea 2016, was held September 2016, in the South China Sea. Three Russian warships and two
   supply ships exercised with ten Chinese Navy ships (destroyers, frigates, landing ships, supply
   ships and submarines) took part.

So the exercises are very regular. It is is not yet clear whether pro-Russian Trump will bother to  Tweet-Churchillian* about this symptom of Chinese-Russian naval alliance.

* Never in the course of New York history have so many plebs payed out so much to so many Trophy** trading Billionaires.

** the latest super model trade-in Trophy is crucial to America's Putin-Trump-Putin era.


July 25, 2017

Russia's Haphazard Husky Program of 3 Submarine Types

Russia's submarine programs continue to be haphazard with Husky the latest envisaged.


Dave Majumdar for National Interest has written a fine article How Russia's New Husky-Class Submarines Borrow from the U.S. Navy's Playbook


Unfortunately for Russia it did not emulate America's successful strategy of evolutionary scheduling and longer build runs. Russia seems to be maintaining its inefficient and expensive submarine building programs by publicising the 3 submarine program currently codenamed "Husky".

Russia only commissioned the lead Borey/Borei SSBN and Yasen class SSN/SSGN in 2013 - see  here and here respectively. This means the first Husky SSBN, SSN and SSGN might not be commissioned for 30 years, in 2047. Such an early announcement of the Husky concepts may owe more to the hoped for career continuity of submarines design bureaus and junior-middle ranking  designers than timely planning schedules.

Russia is also repeating its build-only-a-few-subs tradition rather than the US and Japanese longer build, gradual evolution approach. Only 8 Boreys (right sidebar) and 6 to 10 (right sidebar) Yasens will be built. Small batches loses economies of scale. 

However, Russia does seem to be following the sound US strategy of placing vertical missile launch plugs onto a SSN concept, in order to create the SSGN concept. The SSBN will involve more extensive changes with a long plug and bigger draught missile compartment hump. This will be needes to accommodate the SSBN's longer (or is that taller) compartment of at least 12.1m for Bulava missiles .

With a 3 type semi-common submarine program might Russia fall into some of the structural and weight problems of the 3 type F-35 program? The F-35s have long lost their cost cutting  commonality "dividends". The F-35s have steadily become dissimilar due to different structure and load requirements (optimistically planned in 3 F-35 variants that would share 80% of their parts. However, by April 2017 the variants were sharing at most 20% common design). May much larger Husky SSBNs have far different stealth characteristics (eg. larger pressure hull dimensions and water flow (hydrodynamic noise) characterisks than the smaller SSNs? 

In the 1980s upscaling a smaller Swedish submarine design for the Collins' design caused marked hydrodynamic noise problems.  

This likely drop in common design percentage may also impact US plans that assume Columbia-class SSBNs can adopt many parts and solutions of the Virginia-class.

Russia could claim it has much shorter production runs than the US because Russia's defence budget is now just about one-ninth that of the US. But one could question the lack of an evolutionary continuous build.

Oh well, what's bad for Russia is probably good for Western democracies (though the Trump clan would disagree).

The commonality cost/efficiency "dividend" of the 3 Huskies is even more ambitious than the 2 class Virginia-Columbia dividend.  The Columbia-class (aka Ohio replacement) SSBN is to carry many of the external and internal characteristics of the Virginia. But the Virginia structure laid down in 1999 may be very different from than engineering solutions desired in 2021, when the first Columbia is due to be laid down.


July 21, 2017

India's Closeness to Russia May Handicap Submarine Project P-75(I)

In the last 24 hours India's Deccan Herald and other quality Indian news outlets have carried an important Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announcement. My comments are in [...] brackets.

India's MoD has issued the long anticipated request for information (RFI) to 6 submarine suppliers to participate in the construction of 6 advanced conventional diesel-electric submarines under the Project-75I (I for India). This will be a $9.5 Billion (so far) project

Companies invited, via the RFI, to provide information are:

-  France's Naval Group (formerly DCNS)
-  Russia's Rosoboronexport
-  Spain's Navantia
-  Sweden's Saab
-  Germany's TKMS, and
-  Japan's MHI (which would include KHI).

The RFI is just the beginning of a lengthy selection process [1] that may take 5 years till a winner is chosen, then another 5 years to commission the first sub. The winner will need to:

-  partner with an Indian company, and
-  build the submarines in India [Australia has similar rules] 
-  [The winner will need to facilitate provision of air independent propulsion (AIP). Long discussed is
   the winner being prepared to share the AIP technology with India's Defence Research and
   Development Organisation (DRDO)]
-  [also long discussed as a requirement is the fitting of a vertical launch systems (VLS) or at least the
   ability to torpedo tube launch long range, land attack, cruise missiles]

For more information see the WHOLE DECCAN HERALD article.


India has for over a decade been conscious that its strategic competitors have been exceeding India's very slow submarine production (and purchasing) rate.

China has produced dozens of submarines in the last two decades with increasing numbers featuring the advantage of AIP. India has no AIP conventional submarines and India's submarines are mostly of less stealthy, old, designs.

Pakistan already has 3 AIP submarines and has ordered 8 submarines designed by China. These 8 will likely have AIP fitted or retrofitted.

It is not yet clear whether India wants average sized submarines (about 1,900 tonnes submerged) or is thinking of a larger, more capable, design.

Risk P-75I Technology May Flow to Russia

Some RFI invitees may be worried about India's close high tech & sensitive submarine relationship with Russia. Meaning there is a perceived risk that India may transfer some P-75I tech to Russia (eg. AIP & pressure hull formulas?). RFI invitees may therefore limit the submarine technology they build into their submarine proposals to India.

Then Russia may on-transfer tech secrets to China. This is noting Russia likely transferred nuclear sub technology and certainly Kilos to China in the past. China increasingly has the kind of money to attract "Russian" high defence tech.

The depth of Indo-Russian submarine relations can be seen in Russia taking the unusual path of:

-  allowing India to finance the final completion of INS Chakra "II" 

-  Russia leasing Chakra II to India for 10 years (in practice forever?). Russia obviously provided
   some Russian crew and maintainers, particularly working with Chakra's reactor, and

-  Russia's extensive help with the Indian submarine reactor program. This was acknowledged by
   former Prime Minister Singh who presided over INS Arihant's "launch" in 2009. An
   acknowledgement voiced by no-one else I'm aware of. 

As a sweetener for Naval Group to be announced P-75I winner, India may quietly ask for some French nuclear propulsion/propulsor/hull technology.

[1] In terms of the glacial age of Project P-75I see the Submarine Matters' article of 2012.

Chart above reflects why India needs to buy (from overseas) or locally build P-75I submarines quickly - not the usual spread-the-commissions-till-all-happy-time of 10 to 15 years. The chart is still fairly accurate - numbers of conventional subs (SSKs) are 13 Indian vs 61 Chinese. Adding China's ally Pakistan's 5 makes India's shortfall even more serious.


July 20, 2017

Trump is Putin's Best Agent of Disruption

As Russia's democratically re-elected Leader for Life, Putin, can take the long view, developing long term projects. 

Putin’s triumphant project is Trump. Putin is at heart a jokester, really.

Trump is Putin's great Agent of Disruption. Even better than an Agent of Influence.

Russia did its utmost to boost Trump's electoral prospects. Russia is still nurturing Trump's disruptive tendencies.

Trump is continually disrupting the US government, the nation and international reputation. 

At the G20 Trump was again played by Putin “It’s very clear that Trump’s best single relationship...is with Putin. US allies were surprised, flummoxed, disheartened.

China doesn't mind Trump bringing interesting times to America, either.

Best buddies - Montage courtesy Slate


July 19, 2017

Walrus Replacement Submarine Program Delayed

This article follow comments by special Netherlands' correspondent Kevin on July 17, 2017, below Submarine Matters article Dutch Submarine Talks With TKMS & Kockums, not with DCNS of March 2, 2017.

The Netherlands' process to decide on a Walrus replacement submarine has been slowed down by the Dutch general election of March 15, 2017. The election result has been a hung parliament of parties unable to form a stable decision making coalition.

This means delays in parliament approving a large expensive (estimated at 2.5 Billion euros initial costs) new submarine program.

A June 2016 briefing by Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis envisages a submarine class:
-  that is stealthy and long range
-  with powerful weapons
-  that is capable of ISR
-  perhaps completely submerge for weeks, and
-  can carry and deploy special forces.

All of these functions cannot be performed by unmanned platforms – very obviously not carriage and deployment of special forces.

With the first of the Walruses due to be retired in 2025 there is increasing pressure to research, decide on and order a new submarine class. Consultation with Australia, Germany, Norway and Sweden is important, but difficult.

Information following the March 2017 election is that some new parliamentarians (in the parliamentary committee hearings at Troelstra Hall) are less familiar with submarine issues. Also some are less than enthusiastic about ordering new submarines. This is slowing down decision making. 

Much more discussion about submarines and agreement is needed. Salima Belhaj (scroll a third down) of the Democrats 66 sees a need for submarines but they should definitely not be nuclear armed. [As in Australia most Dutch parliamentarians would oppose nuclear weapons in their submarines].

Other issues deemed important by some parliamentarians are:
-  recognition that no off-the-shelf submarine design meets the Netherlands' needs [this strongly
   implies a larger than usual European submarine design (ie. more than 2,000 tons surfaced – perhaps
   Walrus sized) will be chosen]
-  giving Dutch companies the right to bid in any submarine competitive selection process
-  building the [probably 4] new submarines in the Netherlands [by Damen at the old RDM 
    shipyard?] and
-  the Netherlands holding the submarines intellectual property rights.

With a deliver first submarine intention in the mid 2020s the Netherlands has even more issues to decide than Australia (deliver submarines by the early 2030s). The Netherlands decision makers have not even reached consensus on a submarine size or chosen a submarine designer or builder. All this suggests that the Netherlands may take several more years than currently expected to start building submarines.

Three out of four of the Netherlands' Walrus submarines undergoing maintenance on ship stands. The photo may indicate how limited and congested shipbuilding space is in the Netherlands. Also the situation of only one Walrus being available may become standard as the Walrus' reach their use by date. (Photo courtesy Willem Severins)

Kevin and Pete

July 17, 2017

Could Australia be Pyne's major weapons exporter? Unlikely.


The Guardian (Australian edition) July 17, 2017 and The Canberra Times, July 15, 2017 have reported that:

Australia's Defence Industry Minister, Christopher Pyne, has voiced enthusiasm about Australia becoming a major weapons exporter - perhaps on the scale of UK, French and German exports (see Table below). As Pyne mainly promotes shipbuilding from South Australia this is likely what he is talking about.


Major impediments to Pyne Vision are: 

-  Australia does not have an industrial base or equipment research sector large enough to develop 
   major weapon systems

-  put another way Australia does not enjoy the economies of scale to sell a high volume of weapons
   to the Australian domestic market that would make unit prices competitive or lower for foreign

-  Australia does not have the necessary labour efficiencies or productivity to compete against
   existing major arms exporters (think South Korea and Spain for surface ships). Also Singapore is
   highly efficient in labour productivity making it unlikely to buy from Australia.

-  Australia does not have the major advantage of being an established weapons supplier with an
   established sales structure in other countries. This is unlike all the exporters listed in the Table
   below (US, Russia, Germany, China, France etc)

-  Australia does not have the corporate financial depth to sell weapons at below market prices in
   order to secure contracts - then recoup revenue over the long term (eg. by charging higher for
   maintenance and spare parts, etc)

-  Australia is constrained by licences and intellectual property being held by major exporters to
   Australia (eg. US, Spain, UK and for the future submarine France.

-  Australia is not geographically positioned well to sell weapons to paying regional allies (except for 
   New Zealand). NOT to impoverished Pacific Islands, PNG, East Timor etc.

So what is Pyne really talking about?

New Zealand. It is the only country Australia has built major weapons system for, and sold those weapons to. But New Zealand is still a very small customer. The largest orders to NZ over the last 3 decades have been 2 Anzac-class frigates in the 1990s and 2 Protector-class OPVs in the 2000s. 

Offsets. Australia is partly justifying the large amounts of taxpayer money it is spending on F-35As by claiming that the much smaller scale Australian content and "sales" of some F-35 components will be a victory for Australian industry  

Pyne appears to focus most of his attention to ship and submarine building in Adelaide. It is highly unlikely that Australia could build and export Future Frigates, Futures Submarines or OPVs, to foreign countries. This is mainly because those countries that designed and hold the intellectual property rights to those weapons system would not want to lose business to artificially created Australian reselling or competition. 

Pyne's claims of a potential export benefits of Australian built weapons can mainly be seen as ways to divert criticism of the high prices Australia will be spending on F-35s, ships and submarines over the next 20 years. Pyne wants to maintain Australia's major policy direction - that is spending on the weapons sector should not be questioned in the way spending on the less deserving health, education, welfare, infrastructure and energy sectors is being questioned.

Pyne's words do not yecertify that he is out of touch with the realities of weapons exports.

Australia has long been geared to be a major weapons importer making it difficult for Australia to become a major weapons developer and exporter. Source is the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) database via The Canberra Times


July 14, 2017

Future South Korea Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine - Could Hit China

An Anonymous comment on 1 July 2017 12:35 AM has prompted me to consider the issue of South Korea building a nuclear tipped ballistic missile capability.

South Korea has laid down its third KSS-III (also see) of 3,000+ ton conventional attack submarines (SSKs) to carry 6 cruise or ballistic missiles. If the KSS-IIIs carry ballistic missiles they can be reclassified conventionally propelled ballistic missile submarines (SSBs).

It is unknown whether the missiles will be in separate vertical launch tubes along the hull or be in one more flexible Vertical Multi-Purpose Lock. Confusingly the KSS-III can also be called KSS3, Jang Bogo-III or perhaps Chang Bogo-III.

The ballistic missile to be carried in the early 2020s may be the Hyunmoo-2B with a range of 500km and warhead/payload of 500kg. 500km may be more a political minimum estimate signalling China or the China-North Korea border areas are not targets.

KSS-III’s could potentially carry:

-  800 km range Hyunmoo-2C ballistic missiles, or

-  1,000 km range Tomahawk like Hyunmoo-3 cruise missiles that could make China a target.
North Korea has little to worry about South Korea missiles that only have conventional explosive warheads. Kim could be protected in a deep bunker.

If there are rumours or an actual South Korean nuclear weapons program then South Korea could utilise independent nuclear deterrence – something North Korea will respect.

If Trump is no longer interested in extended US nuclear deterrence then Australia should also contemplate building an independent nuclear deterrent.

The map above indicates how close some North Korean nuclear facilities are to the Chinese border, particularly Yongjo-ri uranium enrichment site and Hyesan nuclear research site. If either site were hit with South Korean (SK) or US conventional explosives this may spill radioactive fragments from the facilities onto Chinese soil. This would bring China into any conflict. Use of US or future SK nuclear weapons on those sites would even more likely damage and antagonise China. (Map courtesy The Guardian).


This second map (courtesy The Economist) illustrates how constricted the waters are for South Korean (SK) submarines. Any SK cruise or ballistic missile submarines might be easily monitored by Chinese or North Korean submarines or undersea sensor/SOSUS arrays as the SK submarines leave port or move into vulnerable near seas (Sea of Japan, Yellow Sea or East China Sea) for missile launches.  

Relatively distant Western Pacific waters would be safer but that may mean SK submarines need missiles of 2,000 km range - something likely unachievable now - unless Tomahawks from the US are used. 


July 12, 2017

July 2017 Donor Report: Naval Group To Handle Whole Submarine Build (So Far)

Images of ASC Pty Ltd as seen in the white pages of the phonebook. ASC has been leaning more to shipbuilding (rather than submarine building) for years. Therefore should ASC now call itself "Australian Shipbuilding Corporation" instead of "...Submarine Building". Perhaps change the name when ASC breaks into the 3 new companies?

Hi Donors

I've just emailed Submarine Matters July 2017 Donor Report: Naval Group To Handle Whole Submarine Build (So Far) out to you, as a WORD attachment. Please check your spam bin if you don't see it in your IN box.

Leadin to report:

Naval Group (formerly DCNS) is not rushing into associating itself with an Australian partner – even ASC (what was more commonly called “Australian Submarine Corporation”). Submarine building is too complex for politicians to simplify. Promises by politicians on ship and submarine building are temporary and maximised just before Elections.


Submarine Matters International 

July 10, 2017

Anniversary, Sinking Rainbow Warrior, Australia and a French Submarine

Joseph Fitsanakis for Intelnews, July 10, 2017, has authored an article marking the 32nd anniversary of an act of state terrorism (terrorism by a state). This was when French spies blew up a Greenpeace ship in the main harbour of a democratic, Western country, in 1985.


"French spy who infiltrated the environmentalist group Greenpeace and in 1985 helped bomb the organization’s flagship, the Rainbow Warrior [a bomb that sunk Rainbow Warrior and killed Dutch photographer, Fernando Pereira], has spoken to the media for the first time..."


Further details to the bizarre Sink Rainbow Warrior Operation involved Australia and a French nuclear submarine.

Three other DGSE agents providing support for the Operation (Chief Petty Officer Roland Verge, Petty Officer Bartelo and Petty Officer Gérard Andries) sailed to New Zealand on the yacht Ouvéa.

Those three were arrested by Australian police on Norfolk Island, an Australian possession located between Australia and New Zealand. Not wanting to draw French anger Australia quickly decided to release the three French agents.

A few days after their release the three agents were picked up by the French nuclear propelled attack submarine Rubis. Rubis had sailed half way round the world from France specifically to be available as an extraction asset for the Sink Rainbow Warrior Operation.

It is odd, but familiar, how deluded military based intelligence agencies, like DGSE, can get. The delusion is apparent in the last paragraph of the Intelnews article when the female French agent, Christine Cabon, rationalised why it was OK with her to bomb a peaceful Western country. She says the “job was what it was”, and [she] noted that “all military people, who serve their country, often find themselves in situations that they have not wished for”. Basically she's claiming she was just following orders - a defense used and discredited at Nuremberg.  

The small trawler sized ship Rainbow Warrior (photo courtesy Greenpeace) was sunk in Auckland Harbour, New Zealand, in 1985, by a timebomb smuggled into New Zealand by France's external intelligence agency DGSE. An unsubtle piece of state-based terrorism which left this hole in the hull (below) - sinking the ship and killing Dutch photographer, Fernando Pereira.


July 7, 2017

Ex-PM Abbott doubts wisdom of Australia's future submarine choice

Below are excerpts from former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s June 29, 2017 Speech on Australia's  submarine selection decision http://tonyabbott.com.au/2017/06/address-centre-independent-studies-sydney/:

"When a Russian naval task force appeared to our north at the time of the Brisbane G20, I was told that neither of our two deployed submarines could shadow it. They simply couldn’t get there in time.

It was a stark reminder of the limitations of a strategic deterrent comprising just six conventional submarines of which two are in deep maintenance, two are in training, with only two available at any one time – and limited by an underwater cruising speed of just 10 knots.
...The whole point of the next submarine acquisition was to avoid the problems of the Collins – to find the submarine that could be brought swiftly into service with the least possible modifications – but what we have done so far risks an exact repetition.
We’ve based our proposed sub on an existing design but one that will need to be so extensively reworked that it’s effectively a brand new submarine and our intention is to build it entirely in Australia.
...A unique Australian boat is precisely what we wanted to avoid; but it’s exactly what we now face because of our insistence on a submarine that as well as being large, and long-range, was also conventionally powered.
The competitive evaluation process conclusively showed that there’s no such thing currently in existence. All the submarines on which the bids were based are excellent for their countries’ needs – but none, it seems, for ours.
The Japanese sub lacked range.
The German sub lacked size.
And the French sub lacked conventional power.
But instead of changing what we wanted, we’ve decided – again – to bring an orphan submarine into being.
Instead of taking a small Swedish submarine designed for the Baltic and seeking to double its size and range to make it suitable for the Pacific – as with the Collins – this time we’re proposing to take a French nuclear submarine and completely redesign it to work with conventional propulsion.
...The resulting sub will have less power, less range, less speed and less capability than the existing submarine on which it’s based and it will come into service about a decade later than would be optimal at a time when strategic circumstances are changing against us.
Hence the basic question: why should we spend years designing a sub that’s inferior to one we could potentially have now?
...a conventional sub takes at least a fortnight to go from Australia to the South China Sea through which passes more than 50 per cent of our trade.
...I stress: I do not want to interrupt the process of acquiring new submarines given that it had languished for so long.

The design process with DCNS should continue and so should the build if that remains our fully considered assessment of what’s best."
Next week Submarine Matters will republish Abbott's comments on the need for Australia to acquire "regionally superior" NUCLEAR attack submarines.
Tony Abbott (left) on a warship. Photo courtesy Australia's news(dot)com(dot)au.

July 5, 2017

Latest Table of Developers of LIBs and LABs for Submarine - Version 4


It is not diesel reformer or methanol reformer fuel cell (FC)/air independent propulsion (AIP) that will be the next revolutionary advance in conventional submarine propulsion. Lithium-ion batteries will be the next big advance.

The major test will be the first country to fully adopt LIBs for submarine. That country will be Japan, which may launch the first LIBs submarine (27SS First Soryu Mk. 2) this year or next year and then commission it in 2020 or 2021.

If there are no problems with Japanese LIBs for 5 years of operation South Korea and China (secretly) may then launch LIBs submarines in the mid 2020s. Naval Group (formerly DCNS), TKMS and Russia might later (in the late 2020s) launch LIBs submarines.


It is important to keep track of current lead-acid batteries (LABs) and LIBs suppliers. To do this Anonymous has revised the following Table (last published on May 18, 2017) with all the new entries, including new endnotes, marked in this highlight.

Table of Submarine LAB/LIB Suppliers Version 4

LAB for subamrine
LIB etc

Non submarine
Atlas Elektronik

Lithium Iron Phosphate(LFP) [16]
(for TKMS subs [17])
Backup for Nuclear subs. Main underwater propulsion for diesel subs [12]

Space applications [11]
No data
Exide Technology
U205, Kobben, U206, U209, U212; Dolphin, Scorpene, Walrus, Näcken, Västergötland, Gotland, UIa, TR 1700, Agosta, Daphne, Redoutable, Rubis, Triomphant [2]
Onyx™ M70 Series LIBs use lithium cobaltaite (LCO)

No data
West European submarines: U209/U214/Scorpene/Agosta/Daphne.
Russian subs: Romeo/ Foxtrot/ Kilo
Design development has been done also for classes U206, U212, Vastergotland (A17) (A19).
Nickel cobalt manganese oxide
(NCM), lithium iron Phosphate (LFP)[4]
No data
HBL Power Systems Ltd.
12.391 kWh to 40.300 kWh [5]
Kilo, Sorpene [6]
No data
Underdevelopment [7]
Sunlight Systems
West European submarines: U206, U209, U212, U214, U209P, U210, Scorpène, Agosta, 6YOH, Sauro, Walrus, Kobben
Eastern type submarines: Romeo, Foxtrot, Kilo [8]
LiSO2 batteries [10]
Radio sets, Mines, Locator beacons, Anti tank weapons, Night vision equipmen
GS Yuasa
Oyashio, Soryu Mark 1
Lithium manganese oxide (LMO)
Lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (NCA)
Lithium-titanate (ITO)
Lithium-titanate (ITO)
West European submarines
U206, U209, U212, U214, U209P, U210, Scorpène, Agosta, 6YOH, Sauro, Walrus, Kobben
•Russian designed submarines
Romeo, Foxtrot, Kilo
Lithium lithium cobaltaite (LCO) [3],

Energy density, 68, 84Wh/kg etc [9]
South Korea
No data
Lithium polymer batteries for military use  (114-168Wh/kg) [13]
Lithium polymer batteries ?
No data
No data
Kilo uses Saft (France).
No data
Kalina submarines [14]  in collaboration with China
How about Saft?[15]

[1] http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160915005029/en/Top-5-Vendors-Global-Submarine-Battery-MarketEnerSys, EverExceed , Exide Technology, HBL Power Systems Ltd., and Sunlight Systems are the major lead-acid battery (LABs) vendors in the market. Companies, such as GS Yuasa, Saft, Kokam, Arotech, and Toshiba, are aggressively developing Li-ion batteries for submarines and investing in R&D to reduce the cost and match the LAB specifications for the submarines. The report also states countries, such as Japan, China, and Russia, are focusing on the Li-ion battery technology for the submarines. Russia is also planning to develop Li-ion battery technology for Kalina submarines in collaboration with China.

[3] Data in 2005

HBL is the largest defence battery manufacturer in India. All the products have been designed, developed and manufactured based on in-house technology. The Company supplies batteries for a wide range of applications - fighter aircrafts, helicopters, transport aircraft, submarine propulsion, light weight and heavy weight torpedoes, battle tanks, missiles and artillery fuzes among others.The Company has recently secured approval for Kilo class submarine battery and approval process for Scorpene class submarine is at an advanced stage of completion.

For many years, we had been asked why HBL did not make Lithium Ion batteries. We have now initiated a plan to manufacture prismatic Lithium Ion cells and batteries for specialized applications - not for consumer products. The project is likely to be implemented in the near term.

The design and development of more than 25 different cell types and the delivery of 60 battery shipsets to navies worldwide are the strongest evidences for our expertise and cumulative experience in the submarine battery sector. Indicatively, we have manufactured submarine batteries for: Greece, Italy, Egypt, Germany, Fance, Ukraine, Pakistan, Peru, Sweden, Poland, South Africa, Portugal, Korea, Netherlands, Equador

Energy density is 84Wh/kg for Ion’ Drive 630 (26kWh), 68Wh/kg for Ion’Drive® Motive 24 V 410 Ah

The most commonly lithium batteries used are manufactured based on Lithium Sulfur Dioxide (LiSO2) and Lithium-Ion technology. More specifically, LiSO2 batteries are constructed of a Lithium (Li) anode, a Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) cathode and their electrolyte is made of Acetonitrile in combination with Lithium Bromide.
(Radio sets, Mines, Locator beacons, Anti tank weapons, Night vision equipmen)t

EnerSys is the leading global supplier of lithium-ion batteries for space applications where space heritage, innovation, and a proven delivery track record come together to produce market-leading batteries.

Nominal capcity (160Ah), votage (20-29.4V) and weight (28kg) mean energy density (114-168Wh/kg)

"In December 2014, TsKB Rubin completed the research work" Kalina-Navy "as a result of which the advanced design of a promising multipurpose non-nuclear submarine with air-independent power plant (VNEU) and a lithium-ion battery (LIAB) was executed in accordance with the tactical and technical task of the Russian Defense Ministry," said Shlemov.

In April [2017], a seminar-presentation of developments and products of SAFT (France) under the name "Lithium-ion power systems for large underwater vehicles" was held at the St. Petersburg State Maritime Technical University. From the Russian side, specialists from a number of interested organizations took part in the seminar. From the French side SAFT representatives: Bertrand Dotfey, Sales Director, Cosmos and Defensive Systems Division; and Alain Coadou, Manager, New Defensive Systems, made a presentation.

Safety is paramount in the demanding technological environment of the submarine. ATLAS ELEKTRONIK and ALSE have succeeded in passing all tests based on the demanding safety standards of the German Navy needed to achieve certification and clearance for use on submarines of its new Lithium Iron Phosphate rechargeable battery. This was achieved by a deliberate choice for the safest Lithium Ion type battery chemistry available, Lithium Iron Phosphate, and a unique dedicated battery cell design by ALSE that achieves primary safety. This ALSE battery cell is then integrated by ATLAS into the exercise battery. A battery whose cells conform to primary safety standard does not contain any risks that necessitate extensive secondary safety measures. This ensures a maximum of safety beyond that of the legacy battery system and other offerings on the market.

[17] https://www.atlas-elektronik.com/contact/press/news-detail/news/thyssenkrupp-marine-systems-from-platform-to-systems-provider/ (Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems: from platform to systems provider 04/03/2017)
TKMS has taken a major step in its development. With the acquisition of ATLAS ELEKTRONIK by TKMS this combines their strengths and offers their customers the full range of solutions from a single source.

TKMS adopting the systems of ATLAS ELEKTRONIK suggests TKMS will adopts LIBs too.

By Anonymous (with a few comments from Pete)