May 15, 2018

Naval Group Steps to Reduce 2 Year Australian Shortfin Project Delay

So, as things stand it is likely that the serious delay in Naval Group's Barracuda / Suffren class Project has added at least 2 years to Australia's Future Submarine Naval Group Shortfin Barracuda Project (see previous articles here and here). Although in any case there are major differences (including speed, range, center of gravity and hotel load etc) between the nuclear propelled Barracuda and Australia's future conventional diesel electric Shortfin.

The other Naval Group submarine on which Shortfin is based is the Scorpene. Scorpene is an old design and less than half the size of Shortfin. This means that Shortfin will have many differences - especially internal - compared to Scorpene.

The realities are an old Scorpene design and the Suffren, first of class Barracuda, has not yet been launched, let alone commissioned in the planned 2017. So what can Naval Group do to further the Shortfin design phase? This should include:

-  Computer simulations of Shortfin performance (already ongoing)

-  Development and study of major components, especially deisels (eg. MAN working with 
   Kawasaki or perhaps MTU 396 or 4000. Comparison of LAB and LIB battery advances, and

-  Technology transfer from certain, more modern, closer to launch or not yet launced SSK projects,
    any ideas? Revealed tomorrow. 



Anonymous said...

I thought the problem with Baracuda was with the reactor. It should not slow us down much at all as we are a long way yet from cutting steel. Obviously we want the Baracuda in the water well before we start. We aren't using the reactor at all - its a de-risking factor that theirs is in the water well before ours. A bit like the T26.

Anonymous said...

A delay on Barracuda does not translate automatically into a delay on Shortfin. I am pretty sure Naval Group will be running 2 separate design and program teams in parallel for these 2 projects. They are at different stages of their design life cycle. Resources from several engineering sub teams that are no longer needed on Barracuda will likely be re-assigned to Shortfin.
If the delay on Barracuda was with the reactor, those delays could be the results of the turmoils in the past few years with the Areva group as a result of mismanagement. The division responsible for naval propulsion energy, Areva TA or Technicatome is now 80% owned by the French state and 20% by Naval Group. So hopefully those turmoils are now behind them.