September 28, 2018

Firmer Details of Japanese Contractors for Taiwan's Submarine Program - Previous German Help?

Photo of CSBC’s Kaohsiung shipyard where Taiwan's new submarines will likely be built. (Photo courtesy George Mourndreas & Company S.A.
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Anonymous has kindly provided comments below this article. These comments are based on Zhu Ming, for tw (Taiwan) news.yahoo.com Mandarin Chinese language article, of September 23, 2018. Pete has further translated the article/comments as follows:

Taiwan’s CSBC Corporation has hired Japanese contractors for Taiwan’s Indigenous Defense Submarine (IDS) Program, with the first submarine to be built in a shed to avoid satellite surveillance.

Taiwan’s IDS Program has commenced. The combat system integrator is Lockheed Martin. Taiwan’s CSBC Corporation is hiring foreign contractors to assess the proposed design. Japanese contractors will play an important role in planning facilities for submarine components as well as test equipment for submarine construction and repair. The contractors will also train provide Taiwanese welders on how to attach the submarine’s steel plates.

Submarine construction and repair facilities will take place in a secure shed to avoid satellite [and presumably spies in and around the shipyard] photography. Hence the shed doors will remain closed during construction. After completion the submarines will slide from the shed on tracks into the water.

The Japanese contractors from the submarine divisions of MHI and KHI are planning the submarines’ construction and repair facilities as well as conducting site surveys in Taiwan to select the best construction and test facility locations. It took only four days [?] to formulate the questions in the surveys. The contractors provide expertise and experience on all these issues.

As well as construction and repair facilities there will be sites selected for test facilities. These sites will be used to test submarines’ internal systems (other than combat systems) before installation. Air conditioning equipment is a simple example. Testing will assess whether systems function together to the standards set in performance requirements. If performance requirements are met each device or system will be installed into the interior of the submarine before dry land testing of the submarine. Welding of the submarine’s sections will take place once performance requirements (set out by the Japanese contractors) are met.

"In addition to the original German-based consultants" [?] Taiwan’s CSBC Corporation has recently hired Japanese MHI and KHI submarine welding engineers. Submarine welding training, up to the high class seven stage will be conducted on a 1-on-1 basis. Japanese welding engineers for the initial stage have already arrived at CSBC’s Kaohsiung shipyard, and have begun to teach new CSBC  employees the initial three-month submarine welding course. After the initial course training at the intermediate level will follow. By the time actual submarine construction begins in 2021, training at qualified senior welding level will have been achieved.

Impasse Between France and Australia on Huge Submarine Project


Andrew Greene, Defence Reporter for Australian Government owned ABC News, has written the following excellent article, dated September 29, 2018: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-28/future-submarine-project-deadlocked-french-shipbuilder-digs-in/10311294

“Future submarine project deadlocked as French shipbuilder digs in on $50 billion contract

The Government has grown so frustrated with the French company selected to build Australia's next fleet of submarines that Defence Minister Christopher Pyne refused to meet top officials visiting the country this week.

Naval Group was selected in 2016 to build 12 submarines for the Australian Navy, in the country's largest-ever defence contract worth $50 billion. [see website]

The ABC understands Mr Pyne will only meet the chief executive of the majority French state-owned company once a crucial document, the strategic partnering agreement (SPA), has been signed.

Negotiations on that document have stalled and it is feared they may not be resolved before next year's [Australian] federal election.

Defence and industry figures have told the ABC that France and Australia will not be ready before 2019 to sign the document, which is needed before detailed design contracts can be finalised, and submarine construction begins.

Sources familiar with the process say a goal to sign the vital SPA during a visit to Adelaide this week by French Minister Florence Parly has slipped off course, with fundamental differences that may not be reconciled before early next year.

Concerns over warranties and technology transfer are believed to be the main sticking points in the tough negotiations between the Australian Commonwealth and French-owned Naval Group.

The knock-on effects of delay on the SPA, which covers the guiding terms and conditions that govern the submarine program, and the likelihood of a federal election being called in the first quarter of next year threatens to create a "perfect storm" of uncertainty, with some risk that it could ultimately sink the French project entirely.

Ms Parly was accompanied to Australia this week by Naval Group chief executive Herve Guillou and project boss Jean-Michel Billig, but scheduled meetings between the two company representatives and Mr Pyne and Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo were cancelled.

Naval Group has declined to say whether it is disappointed that Mr Pyne refused to meet them, but has conceded the negotiations with Australia are "challenging" and "complex"...”

SEE WHOLE ABC REPORT

September 27, 2018

Poland's ORKA Submarine Competition Limping Along

Poland seems to be moving very slowly on its "ORKA" Project to buy 3 medium sized submarines to replace its decrepid Kobben class subs (on average 54 year old with 2 (ORP Sokół and ORP Bielik)
operating and 1 (ORP Kobbentraining and Poland's 1 x 33 year old Kilo class sub

If Poland has survived with such old subs against mainly land threat Russia and Belarus does Poland need subs at all?

The most serious contenders in submarine competition ORKA seem to be: 

-  French Naval Group Scorpenes. Reuters, January 25, 2017 reported along the lines Poland's state-
   run defense firm PGZ has signed an MoU with Naval Group that could allow them to work together
   on building submarines in Poland, AND

-  German TKMS Type 212CDs. SubMatts reported July 6, 2016: "In June 2016 Germany
    and Poland signed an MoU to establish a joint submarine operating command to be based
    in Glucksburg, Germany...

Sweden's Saab, marketing the A26, appears to have made little competitive progress since SubMatts reported on it in February 10, 2017.


On September 25, 2018 "Nick" provided a link and a Youtube on the TKMS, Naval Group and Saab submarine competitors displays at the Balt Military Expo 2018. This Expo, held in close co-operation with the Polish Ministry of Defense and Navy, took place, June 25-27, 2018, at Gdansk on Poland’s Baltic coast.

I don't know if the Polish Defense Ministry or Navy at the Expo, said anything formally or informally that might clarify who is likely to win the submarine competition?

Maybe Poland is looking for the lowest price as TKMS, Naval Group and Saab bid their way downwards or Poland has simply shelved buying subs for a few years?

 Pete

September 26, 2018

Japanese Contractors to Help Taiwan's Submarine Project


Drawing on articles located by Anonymous on September 25, 2018, points to:

A Taiwan News articleExperts from Japanese companies Mitsubishi, Kawasaki to join Taiwan submarine project” of August 21, 2018, which states:


“Retired experts from Japan’s Mitsubishi and Kawasaki Heavy Industries [Submarine Matters categorises them as contractors who previously built Japanese submarines for MHI and KHI] will visit Taiwan" [in September 2018] "to present a report on Taiwan’s domestic submarine program, reports said [on August 21, 2018]."

"Given that other countries are no longer prepared to supply the island nation with submarines due to pressure from China, the government of [Taiwan’s] President Tsai Ing-wen has been pursuing the local manufacturing of submarines, with 2024 as the date for the first inauguration."

"However, Taiwan could still cooperate with foreign suppliers for key elements of the project, such as engine technology, the Liberty Times reported."

"Retired specialists from the two Japanese companies had been invited by CSBC Corporation, Taiwan to come over to the island in September [2018], train the necessary personnel and present a study report in October [2018]...”

-----------------------
A Japanese language excite.co article dated September 21, 2018. indicated the Taiwanese and Japanese governments could not confirm any assistance from “Japanese engineers” [contractors].

-----------------------
A Chinese language msn.com article, of August 31, 2018. [Caution - Where article translates in English to “yuan” actually means Taiwan Dollars (TWD) same as New Taiwan (NT) Dollars)] 

article indicates: Taiwan’s government has commenced an ambitious 8 year plan to build the prototype (first) Indigenous Defense Submarine (IDS) from 2019 until [2026?]. This 8 year project is to be funded by a US$1.6 billion (Taiwan Dollars TWD 49.3 billion) budget with US$245 million (TWD 7.51 billion) to be spent in the first 2019 financial year.

-----------------------
Taiwan’s Indigenous Defense Submarine Project has politically/legally been made possible by a US government approval. A TimesNowNews article of September 25, 2018 indicating: “Beijing, which sees self-ruling Taiwan as part of its territory awaiting unification, has been incensed by recent warming ties between Washington and Taipei, including the approval by the US State Department of a preliminary licence to sell submarine technology to the island.”

Predictions since 2016 of Japanese Assistance for Taiwan's Submarine Program

In Submarine Matter’s article of September 21, 2016 “Taiwan's Teardrop Style Future Submarine - Japanese Assistance?” I wrote:

“MIGHT JAPAN ASSIST?

A December 5, 2015 a DefenseNews article indicated: Taiwanese Admiral Yang (de facto Military Attache, Washington) “admitted that Taiwan was “in communication” with Japan for a possible deal for Soryu-class submarines.

Taiwan and Japan both have geo-strategic concerns over the same "enemy" China. So Japan may be less susceptible to the Chinese pressure that has been stopping other countries from assisting Taiwan to build new submarines.

If Taiwan were to utilise a less sensitive, less expensive, established, teardrop design and Taiwan supplied the steel might Japan want to assist? In assisting with an older design (perhaps as an export model) Japan wouldn't be putting its more advanced Soryu submarine secrets at risk.”


Note that on April 13, 2018 Submarine Matters predicted that:

Japanese contractors might also assist Taiwan. This is noting Japan (inspired by the US Barbel class) developed and used the Uzushio class teardrop style submarines.”

With the possibility raised on July 18, 2018 that:


“MHI and KHI”

might supply submarine designs to Taiwan.

So what? See the next Submarine Matters article of September 26, 2018.

Pete

September 25, 2018

Explanation of Japan's Broader Hayabusa2 Research of Ryuga Asteroid


Japan’s Space Agency (JAXA) successfully dropped (see video above) two mini rovers (known as MINERVA-II1A and MINERVA-II1B) from its Hayabusa2 spacecraft, onto the asteroid Ryugu this week. See animated video above.
Hayabusa2 is an asteroid sample-return mission. It follows on from Hayabusa and addresses weak points identified in the Hayabusa mission.[5] Compared to the previous Hayabusa mission, 
Hayabusa2 features improved ion engines, updated guidance and navigation technology, antennas, and attitude control systems.[13] 

Hayabusa2 was launched on a Japanese H-IIA rocket[12]  on 3 December 2014. Hayabusa2
 rendezvoused with near-Earth asteroid 162173 Ryugu on 27 June 2018. Ryugu (formerly designated 1999 JU3) is a primitive carbonaceous near-Earth asteroid. Carbonaceous asteroids are expected to preserve the most pristine materials in the Solar System, a mixture of minerals, ice, and organic compounds that interact with each other.[7] Studying it is expected to provide additional knowledge on the origin and evolution of the inner planets and, in particular, the origin of water and organic compounds on Earth.[8][7] A kinetic penetrator will be shot into the asteroid to expose pristine sample material.[11][8]

Hayabusa2 is in the process of surveying the asteroid for a year and a half. Hayabusa2 then departs in December 2019, and returns to Earth in December 2020.
Hayabusa2 carries multiple science payloads for remote sensing, sampling, and four small rovers that will investigate the asteroid surface to inform the environmental context of the samples collected..."

SEE MORE DETAILS

Pete

September 24, 2018

Australia's Changing Pacific Island Strategy in Response to China

Australia since 1990 has been allocating large military resources to US led counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism and drug interdiction ventures in Horn of Africa waters, Iraq and Afghanistan. The reduction of Islamic State activity in Iraq and Syria is permitting a reduction in Australian air and ground resources.

There is increasing Australian focus on threats and trends in countries closer to Australia. From the 1990s to 2018 Australia has conducted primarily armed policing style actions in the Arc of Instability including East Timor (with Pacific Island like problems), Papua New Guinea (PNG), Solomon Islands, with worries about indebtedness in Vanuatu and stability in Fiji as well as Tonga. See map below for PNG to Tongan arc.


From 2018 there is increasing Australian focus on China's competition in southwest Pacific island nations. China's substantial infrastructure spending, high military aid budget and debt entrapment are rapidly changing Australia's outlook with an Australian strategy to use many financial soft power tools to counter China.  See Fergus Hanson's fine ASPI Strategist article of September 10, 2018, which begins:
"If you were trying to design a low-cost strategy to constrict the operational horizon of an important US ally in the region, China’s ploys in the Pacific wouldn’t be a bad model to examine.
China has been talking a big game in the Pacific. It’s been reported as looking to fund a major regional military base in Fiji and scoping Vanuatu for a military base of its own. And it apparently has plans to refurbish four ports in Papua New Guinea, including the strategically significant Manus Island. Over the decade 2006–2016, it has committed US$1.8 billion in aid, and Chinese telco Huawei has sought to build undersea internet cables in the region.
Australia’s response has been frenzied, but perhaps not yet that strategic.
Our aid spending in the South Pacific has been hurriedly increased from A$1.1 billion in 2017–18 to A$1.3 billion in 2018-19, the ‘highest ever contribution’ we’ve made in the region. Australia had to outbid China for the Fiji base, investing a ‘significant’ figure...."
See WHOLE ASPI ARTICLE 

See Australia vs China influence in PNG, here and here.

Also see earlier SubMatt's April 2018 articles on counter-China in Vanuatu here and here.

Pete

INS Arihant Wouldn't Operate in 2018 Without Russia's Huge Technical Help


Indians with access to the facts have long stated Russian contractors gave major help in building Indian submarines INS Arihant and developing its reactor.

RAKESH KRISHNAN SIMHA's, October 26, 2015 RBTH, at www.rbth.com/blogs/stranger_than_fiction/2015/10/26/arihant-how-rusia-helped-deliver-indias-baby-boomer_533849  states:

"“But the project was still not getting anywhere,” says V. Koithara in the book Managing India’s Nuclear Forces. “India then sought and got much more substantial Russian help than had been envisaged earlier. The construction of [Arihant's] hull began in 1998, and a basically Russian-designed 83 megawatt pressurised-water reactor was fitted in the hull nine years later.”

Ashok Parthasarthi, a former science and technology adviser to the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, sums up the extent of Russian assistance: “India's first indigenous nuclear submarine, INS Arihant...would have just been impossible to realise without Russia’s massive all-round consultancy, technology transfer, technical services and training, technical 'know-how' and 'show-how,' design of the submarine as a whole, and above all numerous operational 'tips' based on 50 years of experience in designing, building and operating nuclear submarines.”

Pete

September 22, 2018

Current and future F-35B Operations in and around Japan

Thanks Anonymous for your September 21, 2018 comment which drew me to the Yomiuri Shimbun's Japan News article of December 28, 2018 on: 

[Japanese] "Govt eyes converting Izumo to aircraft carrier"

This includes the artwork below on a modified Izumo's F-35B carrier function:



the Yomiuri Shimbun's The Japan News article continues: 

“...According to multiple government sources, the government aims to begin operation of the aircraft carrier in the early 2020s, and it intends to maintain its interpretation that Japan cannot possess an aircraft carrier with attack capabilities, by using the envisaged aircraft carrier for defense purposes [in line with the wording and spirit of Japan’s peace Constitution], such as using it as a refueling base in defending remote islands.

The government assumes that the new aircraft carrier will carry U.S. forces’ F-35B fighter jets (see below), the sources said. By strengthening Japan-U.S. cooperation, the government aims to prepare for threats posed by North Korea and China.

...If [Izumo] is remodeled into an aircraft carrier, it likely will be able to carry about 10 F-35B fighter jets, according to the sources.

In the remodeling, the deck’s heat resistance will be enhanced so that it can withstand the heat produced by the jet engine of an F-35B fighter jet, the sources said.

[Perhaps Izumo can use UK company D&D Coating’s 1,500 degrees C resistant aluminium and titanium treatment?]

[Remodelling could include installing a “ski-jump” to be studied by Japan’s Defense Ministry in its 2019 budget]

...a senior Defense Ministry official said, “If [modified Izumo] is used for defense purposes, it will not fall under the category of an aircraft carrier with attack capabilities.”...”

PETE COMMENT

US F-35Bs have been operated within Marine Fighter Attack "Green Knights" Squadron 121 (VMFA-121), at the US Marine Corps Iwakuni airbase (in Yamaguchi Prefecture on Japan’s home island of Honshu) since January 2017. See a photo of a VMFA-121 F-35B at this official Marine Corps website.



F-35Bs takeoff conventionally from Iwakuni air base, Japan, on September 18, 2017.
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Separately F-35Bs land on USS Wasp (LHD-1) on March 5, 2018.
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Pete

September 21, 2018

Japan retrofitting its Izumo carriers to take F-35Bs increasingly likely





Above is a very informative May 7, 2018 Youtube on the possibility of basing F-35Bs on Japan's Izumo class "helicopter destroyers".
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Anonymous’s comment of September 21, 2018 drew my intention to ongoing Japanese Government consideration of retrofitting Japan’s two Izumo class helicopter destroyers to each operate several STOVL or rolling F-35Bs. Retrofitting may involve ski-jump bows, extra heat treatment of the flight decks to absorb vertical jet engine heat and perhaps angled decks to protect parked aircraft against short distance roll-landing F-35B impacts.

Such retrofitting would add extra weight to the Izumos. Also these modified Izumos may serve as prototypes for even larger 30-40,000 tonne Japanese carrier “destroyers”. Larger carriers may be logical even if the F-35B “flights” (only about 6 airfcraft) are not added. Larger carriers can take increased numbers of helicopters, vertical takeoff V-22 Ospreys (that Japan is buying) and more Japanese troops to be air lifted.

Any new larger class of Japanese carrier “destroyer” would be capable of carrying a wing of 20+
F-35Bs that would be much more effective for round the clock combat air patrols, “buddy refueling" by some F-35Bs and for numbers suffient for in depth airstrikes.

Japanese decision-making on this issue would owe much to ongoing international developments including:

-  China's 2017 launching of its Type 001A ski-jump carrier
-  China’s expected 2020 launch of a Type 002  CATOBAR carrier
-  North Korea’s land and sea based nuclear capabilities
-  Future full time operation of F-35Bs on friendly naval carriers including US Wasp class 
-  Possible future use of friendly F-35Bs on Australia’s two ski-jump Canberra class LHDs and 
   South Korea's Dokdo class LPHs.

Pete

September 20, 2018

Japan conducted South China Sea Exercises for last 15 years, North K?

Thanks Anonymous for the Comment today drawing my attention to footnote [3]
Tom O’Connor’s September 17, 2018 Newsweek article "China And North Korea Warn Japan As It Conducts Historic Military Drills" including:

"China and North Korea have warned their mutual rival Japan against disrupting regional stability as it conducted two historic military exercises seen as provocative by the two countries.

The Japanese Defense Ministry confirmed Monday that its Oyashio-class attack submarine [“Japanese navy ship” JS] Kuroshio participated alongside Izumo-class helicopter carrier Kaga, Murasame-class destroyer Inazuma and Akizuki-class destroyer Suzutsuki, as well as five aircraft, Thursday in the country's debut drills in the South China Sea, much of which China claims as its own territory. The release did not offer further details about the training, but Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun cited defense officials as saying the moves were aimed at China and took place within the nine-dash line, which is considered by Beijing to be the extent of its sovereign maritime borders."

PETE COMMENT

1.  JS Kuroshio is not the first Japanese submarine to openly conduct a (message to China) Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) (exercise) in the South China Sea. Japanese submarine JS Oyashio (SS-511) earlier exercised in April 2016 by visiting Subic Bay in the Philippines. JS Oyashio was accompanied on this FONOP to Subic Bay by Japanese destroyers JS Setogiri (DD-156) and JS Ariake (DD-109) in defiance of China.

Later in April 2016 Japanese destroyers JS Setogiri and JS Ariake then sailed right across the South China Sea to the Vietnamese naval base at Cam Ranh Bay (see Map A below). See Submarine Matters article “Japan's First Ship-Sub FONOP in South China Sea starts April 3 - 6,  2016” at http://gentleseas.blogspot.com/2016/04/japans-first-ship-sub-fonop-in-south.html

The following year (in May 2017) Japanese helicopter carrier "destroyer" JS Izumo conducted another FONOP in the South China Sea.

"Punter" has also provided a September 18, 2018 link in Comments indicating: "But, contrary to earlier media reports, the [Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera] noted that the [Japanese Navy] MSDF had conducted submarine exercises in [Southeast Asian waters] for more than 15 years, echoing remarks by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe [on September 17, 2018]. Onodera said the government had “adequately publicized” these drills numerous times, but it was unclear when this had occurred." 

2.  It is odd that North Korea (NK) has now become involved in opposing FONOPs in the South China Sea. That sea is far away from NK and NK  claims no territory there.

Possibly when NK leader Kim Jong-on met Trump in Singapore (June 2018) Kim's limited consciousness expanded from NK's immediate regional matters to Southeat Asian matters. Also China might have encouraged NK (the recipient of much Chinese aid and trade) to present a united front against Japanese FONOPs.


Map A - Note Subic Bay is on Luzon, the large northern island of the Philippines.
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Map B - China has, by itself, decided to claim most of the South China Sea within its artificial,
so-called,  "Nine dash line" (Map courtesy GeoGarage).
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Pete

September 19, 2018

South Korea's nuclear ambiguity for its submarine missiles, until?

South Korea's intentionally ambiguous mixture of usually conventional Hyunmoo cruise missiles and usually nuclear Hyunmoo ballistic missiles. (See greatly expanded image by clicking Missile Threat (the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) Missile Defense).
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Pete has added additional information in bolded or in square brackets [...] to the article below that "Unknown" identified on September 18, 2018. The article is from THE KOREA TIMES, apparently dated "2011-05-02") and written by Jung Sung-ki / aka Jeff Jeong? (who is now a Seoul correspondent for Defense News)

[Exclusive] Vertical launching system for attack subs developed

Korea has developed a vertical launching system (VLS) [known as K-VLS or KVLS with, eventually, 10 cells for SLBMs] to be installed on 3,000-ton heavy attack submarines [KSS-IIIs] to be deployed after 2018, according to a shipbuilding industry source, Monday. 

Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering are subcontractors for the heavy attack submarines. 

It is the first time that the development of a submarine VLS in Korea has been confirmed. The Agency for Defense Development (ADD) has already developed one used aboard the 7,600-ton [KD-III Sejong the Great class Aegis destroyers]. 

A VLS is a modern type of missile-firing system used aboard submarines and surface vessels of several navies around the world. When installed on an attack submarine, a VLS allows a greater number and variety of weapons to be deployed in comparison to using only torpedo tubes.

Following the development of the VLS for subs, top shipbuilders in Korea and the ADD are also on track to develop an indigenous horizontal tube to launch torpedoes, cruise missiles and mines, the source said. 

"The development of a vertical launching system has already been completed, while the development of a horizontal launching system is still under way," the source told The Korea Times, asking not to be identified. "Developing the horizontal launching tube requires more sophisticated technology than the VLS development." 

The VLS would be used in launching long-range cruise missiles at key targets in North Korea.

The ADD has developed the 500-kilometer-range, ship-launched Cheonryong, which is a modified variant of the surface-to-surface Hyunmoo III-A ballistic missile [or Hyunmoo-3A (Tomahawk like) cruise missile?]. The missile range could be extended up to 1,000 kilometers, according to military sources. 

The Cheonryong missiles are believed to have already been modified to be [horizontally launched from torpedo tubes on South Korea's] Type-214 subs.

South Korea has successfully developed the Hyunmoo III-C surface-to-surface ballistic missile with a maximum range of 1,500 kilometers, following the deployment of the 1,000-kilometer-range Hyunmoo III-B. 

With the VLS development, Korea would have an advantage in selling its submarines overseas in the future, the source added. 

Currently, the South operates nine 1,200-ton, Type-209 submarines and three 1,800-ton, Type-214 submarines. They are all diesel- and electric-powered and were all built with technical cooperation from HDW of Germany. 

As Germany restricts the transfer of key submarine technology, such as launching tubes, Korea would have difficulty exporting any of those locally-built submarines.

The Navy plans to deploy at least three more Type-214 submarines in the years to come. 

Beginning in 2018, Seoul plans to build 3,000-ton KSS-III submarines fitted with domestically-built submarine combat systems aimed at automating target detection, tracking, threat assessment and weapons control. 

The heavy attack sub will be armed with indigenous ship-to-ground cruise missiles and be capable of underwater operations for up to 50 days with an upgraded Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system. 

PETE COMMENT

So South Korea seems to retain confusing ambiguity on whether its new submarine missiles will be:

-  usually conventional explosive cruise missiles (SLCMs) that are usually low flying,
    subsonic or mildly supersonic (if conventional adhering to the NPT)

 OR

-  usually nuclear explosive ballistic missiles (SLBMs) that are almost always high flying
   and hypersonic (if nuclear breaking the NPT in the same way North Korea already
   breaks the NPT).

Note that a submarine firing merely conventional explosive cruise or ballistic missiles would represent a very expensive launch method for little explosive effect. Also submarine launched cruise or ballistic missiles from a nuclear capable country (like South Korea) might be seen as nuclear armed by nuclear armed countries - usually demanding a nuclear response. 

If Israel's Dolphin submarines fired their cover-name "Popeye Turbo" missiles at Iran then Iran would consider these missiles to be nuclear until proven otherwise.

There is also a myth that ballistic missiles might carry other special warheads (by they biological, chemical or radiological payloads). Over the years critical military installations (eg. deep dug command or "Kim" VIP centers or hardened long range missile silos) have developed air conditioning or separate oxygen defenses that are only vulnerable to the blast penetration of nuclear weapons. So it is likely that South Korea's mature and final submarines ballistic missiles (in the late 2020s/or 2030s?) will be nuclear armed.  

Pete

September 18, 2018

Research Student accused conspiring to export to Iran US radar technology

From Australia's Government owned ABC News comes a Queensland, Australia article about a research student facing charges of allegedly conspiring to export special amplifiers classified as "defence articles" under the US Government munitions list. In what way might such "amplifiers" be "radar equipment" capable of "detecting stealth planes or missiles"?


"UQ research student accused of sending US radar equipment to Iran" By Kristian Silva *
Updated [September 14, 2018] at 4:45pm
"A University of Queensland (UQ) research student is fighting to avoid extradition to the United States, after American authorities accused him of exporting military radar equipment to help the Iranian Government.
Reza Dehbashi Kivi, 38, has never set foot in the US but is accused of exporting American equipment for detecting stealth planes or missiles to Iran.
Mr Dehbashi could face a maximum 20 years' prison for the alleged offences, which date back to 2008 when he was living in Iran, the country of his birth.
His barrister Daniel Caruana told the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday his client was on an "extraordinary scholarship" at UQ to study his PhD, where he was working on developing a machine to detect skin cancers.
The Redbank Plains [a suburb 30km southwest of Brisbane CBD] man was arrested on Thursday and taken into custody, with American officials seeking to have him extradited to the US to face six charges.
According to court documents, Mr Dehbashi is facing charges of conspiring to export special amplifiers classified as "defence articles" under the US munitions list.
The US Government has alleged the amplifiers were bought from American companies.
Another charge accuses him of "aiding and abetting in the exportation of defence articles from the United States to Iran".

Magistrate cites treaty obligations in refusing bail
Mr Dehbashi lost an application to be released on bail before a contested hearing on October 25 to decide on the extradition.
Mr Caruana told the court Mr Dehbashi's scholarship, lack of criminal history, and ties to the community were some of the reasons he should be released on bail.
But Magistrate Barbara Tynan rejected the application, saying the threshold for allowing bail was higher for extradition cases than for domestic cases.

"There is nothing extraordinary, in my view, that he is a scholarship holder and undertaking high-level studies regardless of the fact that those studies may be of benefit to the community," she said.

"Australia has a very substantial interest in surrendering a person in accordance with its treaty obligations.
"In an era where much crime is transnational, the breakdown in international cooperation would be disastrous.
"If other countries think it not worthwhile to seek extradition from Australia, Australia may become a haven, for a time, for people who have committed serious crimes in other countries.""
* Kristian Silva is a digital producer and journalist based in Brisbane. Prior to joining the ABC in 2015, he was a reporter with Fairfax Media in Brisbane and Melbourne. You can follow him on Twitter: @kristian_silva .

September 17, 2018

Likely Extra Specifications for South Korean 3,000-ton KSS-III Submarine

No big surprises so far. Although the second batch of South Korea's 3,000 tonne, KSS-III may have Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). The extra specifications are in red, below.

Pete has bolded specification in the following South Korean Yonhap News Agency article published September 14, 2018, which reports:

"(LEAD) South Korea launches 3,000-ton homegrown submarine"


"SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea held a launching ceremony Friday September 14] for a 3,000-ton indigenous submarine, a new strategic weapons system designed to bolster underwater defense capabilities.
The ceremony for the diesel-electric air-independent propulsion submarine, named after a prominent South Korean independence fighter, Dosan Ahn Chang-ho [making it the KSS-III, KSS-3 or Changbogo-III or Jangbogo-III class], took place at the Okpo Shipyard of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. on the southern island of Geoje.
The ceremony was attended by 350 people, including government and military officials and employees of the shipbuilder, the Navy said.
"The Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine is the Navy's first mid-class submarine and has been built with a combination of cutting-edge technologies," the Navy said in a press release. "This is a national strategic weapons system capable of responding to all threats, and it will help strengthen the Navy's defense capabilities."

   While the country's existing 1,200-ton and 1,800-ton submarines were built with technological assistance from Germany defense firms, the latest submarine has been domestically designed, and 76 percent of its component parts were made by Korean businesses.
The new 83.3-meter-long, 9.6-meter-wide [KSS-III is] capable of carrying 50 crew members is equipped with six vertical launching tubes capable of firing submarine-to-ground ballistic missiles [making KSS-III a conventionally powered ballistic missile submarine "SSB"] and can operate underwater for 20 days without surfacing, officials explained.
It is set to be delivered to the Navy in December 2020 after tests. Its operational deployment is slated for January 2022. It costs around 1 trillion won [US$1 billion] per unit.
The construction of the new submarine is part of South Korea's project to domestically build the 3,000-ton Changbogo-III submarine. The project, worth 3.33 trillion won (US$2.97 billion), was launched in 2007 and is set to end in 2023."
COMMENT - LIKELY EXTRA KSS-III SPECIFICATIONS
The KSS-III may weigh 3,000 tonnes (surfaced) and 3,500 tonnes (submerged).
Its Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) is likely around four German HDW/Siemens PEM fuel cells (each of 120 kW).
Likely to have 3 or 4 MTU 396 or MTU 4000 diesels.
One electric motor of the German Siemens Permasyn type, perhaps driving a seven bladed skewback propeller
The first batch of 3 or 4 KSS-IIIs will carry traditional Lead-acid batteries with the second batch having new Lithium-ion batteries

The submarine appears to have a two deck hull and sail of a stretched Type 214 (of which South Korea's KSS-II - Son Won-Il is a variant). Hydroplanes on sail are similar to the TKMS Type 212A.
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The lower photo gives a better look at the shrouded propeller. Also the rudder configuration appers to be cruciform like the Type 214 (so far with no X-plane rudders). Cruciform rudders promote stability during vertical launch missile firing. Lower photo originally at defence-blog.)
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More details, especially of the KSS-III's propulsion and missiles, are likely to follow in several weeks-months.

Pete