May 9, 2018

Why Naval Group Decoupled Australian Future Submarine from Barracuda


See Naval Group (was DCNS) stating the Australian Future Submarine "Shortfin" was based on Barracuda - in April 2016 Youtube above.
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In October 2017 it was reported Naval Group's (was DCNS) Executive Director, Australian Submarine Program, Mr Billig, said Naval Group is designing the Shortfin "from scratch". This directly contradicted Gerard Autret's and Sean Costello's both of  Naval Group's statement of April 8, 2016 that the Australian Future Submarine was using the Barracuda AND Scorpene as design references. Australia duly selected Naval Group (DCNS) as the winner of the submarine competition on April 26, 2016

Returning to Naval Group's statement of April 8, 2016 - this included the categorical words:

"As the nuclear Barracuda is designed to operate globally, shares the same hull form as the Shortfin Barracuda and is also compliant with nuclear safety standards, it is very suitable for the Australian requirement. This avoids many years of design studies for validation of equipment such as pumps and hoses, and allows the designer to take margins for higher performances elsewhere in the ship."

So this decoupling of the Australian Future Submarine design from Barracuda presumably adds:



"many years of design studies for validation of equipment such as pumps and hoses, 

And will not allow:


"the designer to take margins for higher performances elsewhere in the ship."

It is difficult for Naval Group to decouple Barracuda from the Australian Future Submarine because of their similar length and the same diameter/beam.



See Julien Kerr’s article of October 2017 in The Australian:

"Agreement has been reached on the length, diameter and tonnage of the Royal Australian Navy’s Future Submarine, an important milestone that will allow further progress on the concept design phase of the $50 billion program.

This was disclosed in the course of an industry briefing at the recent Pacific 2017 naval exposition in Sydney, although neither the Defence Department nor French submarine designer and constructor Naval Group would release specific details.

However, informed sources said the agreed dimensions were a length of 97 metres [Barracuda 99.4 metres], a diameter of 8.8m [Barracuda Beam 8.8 metres], and a submerged displacement of 4500 tonnes.”

Has Australian Future Submarine design been politically, but not technically, decoupled from Barracuda due to severe delays in the Barracuda Project?

On delays French wikipedia tries to explain the delay:



"The Barracuda definition phase started in October 1998. Then the design in 2002 for tests then planned in 2008 and an entry into service in 2010. In 2015, the entry into service of the first copy was postponed until 2018 following budgetary difficulties, then, in 2016, postponed until 2019."

The Barracuda severe delay may now amount to 3 further years (from no launch yet) until 2021 entry into service (ie: commissioning of the first of class). This omen provides little time for the Australian Future Submarine  to profit from real world testing of Barracuda's hydrodynamic, sonar performance, anechoic tiles, photonic masts and of many other parameters before the Australian Future Submarine Project is supposed to cut steel in 2022.


More tomorrow on the actual reason Barracuda has been delayed and hence politically decoupled from the Australian Future Submarine Project.

Pete

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Design and build from scratch suggest that CEP was the fake process and that both Naval Group and Turnbull tricked JMSDF and TKMS.

Regards

Josh said...

@Pete:

It was always a bait and switch, and I've posted comments here to that effect. Replacing the entire engineering plant and its coolant system for diesels was never going to be swapping one plug for another, and furthermore the RAN requirement that the fire control be US ensured that a lot of the other electronic systems were also not going to be one for one with the MN nuke version. And after all of those changes clearly the center of gravity of the whole boat would be thrown off and have to be compensated for. Commonality was in basic hull form only from the get go, for anyone willing to put thought into the exercise.

Cheers,
Josh

Anonymous said...

Even the Barracuda design has changed quite a bit between the 1st unit and 5th unit. It has grown i think from 4000 to 5300 tons suggesting a major design change.
KQN

Anonymous said...

I think everyone involved was & is well aware that a design from scratch was what was going to happen. You only have to look at the design differences of the Baracuda & their SMX Ocean concept design. SMX Ocean is an example of what Australia may well end up with - but it was only ever a concept design to show what could be acheived using the Baracuda hull as a starting point. To base the Australian design on an existing hull is a big running start to any design from scratch approach, something TKMS did not have.

Everything on & in the Baracuda has been designed for a sub of that size (length, diameter & weight). Anything that can be re-used saves time & risk. Even something as simple as a galley is never quite so simple on a submarine. The fact that the diameter is exactly the same increases the chance that some sections can be 'almost' copy & paste while others will be nothing like the original. We really need the Baracuda in the water asap to further de-risk the basic design (for all the common elements). We still have time to fiddle with various internals, even during the build, but we want at least the basics to be verified for real before cutting steel here.

Its a bit like SEA-5000 where UK have now slowed the T26 build, just when Australia & Canada are about to decide on a new frigate (you would have thought they would have waited to help out BAE's bids). BAE has assumed & argued that the T26 will be de-risked by having the UK's first ship in the water in plenty of time to sort out any problems. Germany's F125 shows how easy it is to go wrong.

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous [at 9/5/18 11:12 PM]

I don't believe Naval Group when they say "Design and build from scratch". It is natural Naval Group designers would rely on previous submarine design solutions (especially Barracuda and Scorpene) and also on future designs that they have computer simulated (eg. the SMX Ocean [1])

The CEP added greater fairness and thoroughness than the previous lack of process (previous being Prime Minister Abbott's Office unilaterally choosing Japan - mainly because Abbott liked Abe).

The CEP, of course, was part based on technical criteria but also the contenders needed to persual politicians and the public that their submarine (Shortfin, Type 216 and evolved Soryu) was the best choice.

Also Naval Group's Costello had his background as a former Defence Ministerial Adviser to have the right contacts and know what the Australian customers wanted...

[1] http://gentleseas.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/revised-frances-dcns-announces-smx.html

Cheers

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi Josh

I think "Commonality was in basic hull form" with Barracuda can yield much hydrodynamic (though not propulsor vs Australia's Future Submarine's propeller) and sonar directional data. But this is only once Barracuda is finally launched and thoroughly tested.

Hull form commonality also greatly relies on Australia's Future Submarine having exactly the same pressure hull steel strength/formula/supports as the Barracuda hull.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

In Shortfin, weight gain of various equipments [batteries (+ hudreds of tons), four diesels (+ tens of tons), AIP + Lox (+ca.100~200 tons), diesel fuel (+ hundreds of tons), propulsion motor (+ ca.50ton), etc] and weigh loss of nuclear reactor must be considered. While Baracuda equips with a small propulsion motor (PMSM, few tons) to cover low speed range for surveillance, Shortfin equips with a big propulsion motor (PMSM, tens of tons) to cover all speed range. As differences in weight balance and volume of the said equipmes between Shortfin and Baracuda are considerably big, application of dimensions of Baracuda to those of Shortfin seems to be optimal in the economic point of view, but not in technology.

Even development of an elemental technology, sometimes it takes few years. In building of Shortfin, many elemental technologies must be developed.

Regards

Peter Coates said...

Hi KQN

"from 4000 to 5300 tons"?

Maybe extra length to accommodate a highly modified reactor, lead shielding and steam turbine?

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous [at 11/5/18 11:16 AM]

Yes I think the SMX Ocean concept and the already built Barracuda hull and X-plane tail will be starting points.

Also many Barracuda and then on Shortfin internal fittings, bunks, wardrooms, kitchens for the same officers + crew of 60 will be substantial rather than Naval Group's (avoiding Barracuda delay political) description "from scratch".

Regards

Pete

coldSTEEL said...

Hi, Pete,

I just found this site http://www.bakstengineering.com/category/1-submarines/

I don't know if this has been shared here. Regards.

Anonymous said...

I should have said from the original design of 4000 tons Barracuda to the Suffren at 5300 tons.
KQN

https://lefauteuildecolbert.blogspot.fr/2018/05/renaissance-du-sna-du-smaf-au-barracuda.html

Tri-ring said...

Also many Barracuda and then on Shortfin internal fittings, bunks, wardrooms, kitchens for the same officers + crew of 60 will be substantial rather than Naval Group's (avoiding Barracuda delay political) description "from scratch".

Actually it will.
With any object that is traversing in 3 axis placing the center of gravity in the center of the system is paramount. By removing the most heaviest component(a nuclear reactor with thick shielding) and switching it with a much lighter mass component(diesel fuel tank) is going to disrupt the original design balance to obtain the center of balance so you need to redo the complete design.
I wrote this when I head about the Short Fin Barracuda plan that France floated to win the tender and that is exactly what they are doing now.

Anonymous said...

Tri-ring
While there will be wholesale & massive design changes involved on going from nuke to diesel, the fact that the hull diameter stays the same does mean that quite a lot of work can be reused. As I stated, even simple things like a galley is not so simple in a submarine. However if the galley is exactly the same size then the internals of the galley are simply moved one way or the other in the hull. If its a different size then you can't. There will be a lot of stuff they will have to redesign, but equally there will be other parts where they can reuse to the milimeter. A major problem with submarine design is the fact that everything has to be designed to an astonishing level of detail in order to make everything fit & detail takes time.

Tri-ring said...

Anonymous said...

You're reaching,,
Basically if the hull diameter stays the same and yet the center of gravity is completely off then everything is off sync. You can't move one thing without affect the others so the galley will need to be re-configured respectively as well.
All the parts will be re-positioned to regain center of balance.

Basically you have a see-saw with various weights positioned in various points that was once perfectly balanced on a single point but you replaced the most heaviest yet relatively small mass with a relatively light and yet large mass.
To re-balance on a single point with various weights, you need to re-do the whole thing changing various parts to regain balance on a same plank.
If you do not believe me try it.

Anonymous said...

Tri-ring
I stand by what I said. Yes I understand about balance - however it is also true that many 'sections' & 'sub-sections' can remain 'basicaly' the same. Some will be in the same place eg torpedo tubes, others will be shifted elsewhere. The galley may need to be reconfigured, moved, reconfigured & moved or left as it is. By making the diameter the same, such options exist. If the diameter was say 7m then it wouldn't & everything would need to be designed much more from scratch (to use your plank analogy - it would change the size of the plank). How hard it is to rebalance a plank on a balance point depends on how much weight you need to shift & how many items you need to move to add up to that weight given the space. If your lucky, it might be just one, if your unlucky it may be lots. There is also of course the possability of simply adding more weight (balast) to the whole equasion. Lead is nice & heavy & was probably a major component of what was removed in the first place, although I would rather add more lead-acid batteries if you want something heavy & compact rather than say lead balast that serves no other use.

Tri-ring said...

I doubt lead will be a solution especially on a boat that is under water.
Face it you said it yourself it maybe one or all, nobody knows and the only way to figure it out is going through the pain staking process of redoing the design from SCRATCH because nobody is going to try and re-balance a boat that is wacked out of sync. with various alien objects that has different mass, size and, requirements replacing the original.
One more thing, a galley is basically an open space so the design engineers would put that on the bottom of the list placing the ones with the smallest in size with the most mass on top to make it easier to do the balancing act.