June 28, 2019

Japan's Kamikaze Klasse (29SS) Future Submarines

With the Covert Shores - Popular Mechanics articles yesterday what can we learn about Japan's Future Submarine class, classified 29SS?:

29SS (see Table below) with a little more color, will be the lead boat in the new Japanese Kamikaze

 (神風 - "Divine Wind") class. The Kamikaze were 2 "divine winds" or storms said to have saved Japan in the 13th century from 2 Mongol/Chinese fleets. This clearly has renewed relevance to the Chinese naval threat to Japan today. Such mythical winds follow Japan's Oyashio 
(mythical currents ) and Soryu (mythical dragon) class submarines.

Japan relied on (overly) brave Japanese pilots in Kamikaze aircraft to sink or damage allied ships in WWII, in part because of inadequate use of Japan's submarine force (see page 2, paragraph 1 of this source). It is therefore fitting that Japan's new submarines, faced with overwhelming Chinese submarine numbers and Chinese SSN qualitative superiority, will carry on such sacrifice. 

Popular Mechanics advises:

"The designation “29SS” is derived from the 29th year of the reign of Emperor Akihito, otherwise known to everyone else as 2017, and SS is the international shorthand for non-nuclear attack submarine

... 29SS retains the general hull form of earlier submarines but with some important changes. The sail is substantially reduced and blended into the hull, which should reduce hydrodynamic drag. This will make the submarine quieter, perhaps a little faster, but also more energy efficient. Non-nuclear powered submarines, operating underwater under combat conditions, must carefully manage their power or risk being forced to surface. The dive planes have also been moved from what’s left of the sail to the hull.

...The research and development phase will take place from 2025 to 2028, and the first ship of this class will probably hit the water around 2031."

The Kamikazes will, with the benefit of heavier, more voluminous, NCA formula Lithium-ion Batteries (LIBs) have longer (maybe 10 day) fully submerged performance .


Of course the Kamikazes (like the Australian Under Attack class) will be as good as sunk against the superiority of Chinese and Russian nuclear propelled attack submarines (SSNs).

Japan and Australia currently, and out to 2040, will be totally reliant on the whims of increasingly isolationist US SSN management to take on Chinese and Russian SSNs.

China's and Russia's increasingly sensitive fixed and mobile anti-submarine sensors demand more discrete performance from these Japanese and Australian diesel-electric submarines. But even with LIBs, these Japo-Aussie subs still need to loudly snort with supercharged diesel engines every 10 days. Thus blowing their residual discretion out of the water.

What might the new Kamikaze - 29SS class look like (courtesy H I Sutton's Covert Shores and anticipated by Submarine Matters on June 14, 2017 ):



With a pumpjet/propulsor and (Alfa, Akula slightly Type 212A) smaller, faired fin/sail on a Soryu looking hull (above). Inspired by artwork released by "Kobe Shipyard" (KHI, MHI, Japanese MoD)  via Covert Shores (below): 




Putting 29SS in Japanese sub evolutionary context:


TABLE.  Japanese Soryu and Oyashio Programs as at June 27, 2019 

SS
No.
Diesel Type
Motor
Build No
Name
Pennant
No.
MoF approved amount ¥
Billions FY
LABs, LIBs, AIP
Laid Down
Laun
-ched
Commi
ssioned
Built
By
5SS Oyashio
8105 Oyashio
(mythical
currents)
SS-590/ TS3608
¥52.2B FY1993
LABs only
 Jan 1994
Oct 1996
Mar 1998
 KHI
6SS-15SS
Oyashios 
10 subs
SMC-7?
8106
-8115
various
SS-591-600
¥52.2B per sub
FY1994-FY2003
LABs only
 15SS Feb
2004
15SS
Nov
2006
15SS
Mar 2008
 MHI
&
KHI
16SS
Soryu Mk I
SMC-8
8116
SS-501
¥60B FY2004
LABs + AIP
Mar 2005
Dec 2007
Mar
2009
MHI
17SS
8117
Unryū
SS-502
¥58.7B FY2005
LABs + AIP
Mar 2006
Oct 2008
Mar
2010
KHI
18SS
8118
Hakuryū
SS-503
¥56.2 FY2006
LABs + AIP
Feb 2007
Oct 2009
Mar
2011
MHI
19SS
8119
Kenryū
SS-504
¥53B FY2007
LABs + AIP
Mar 2008
Nov 2010
Mar
2012
KHI
20SS
8120
Zuiryū
SS-505
¥51B FY2008
LABs + AIP
Mar 2009
Oct 2011
Mar
2013
MHI
No 21SS
No 21SS built
22SS
8121
Kokuryū
SS-506
¥52.8B FY2010
LABs + AIP
Jan 2011
Oct 2013
Mar
2015
KHI
23SS
8122
Jinryu
SS-507
¥54.6B FY2011
LABs + AIP
Feb 2012
Oct 2014
7 Mar 2016
MHI
24SS
8123
Sekiryū
SS-508
¥54.7B FY2012
LABs + AIP
KHI
25SS
8124
SS-509
¥53.1B FY2013
LABs + AIP
22 Oct 2013
12 Oct   2016
MHI
26SS
end of SMC-8s
8125
SS-510
LABs + AIP
2014
6 Nov 2017
KHI
27SS First
Soryu Mk II
diesel
first SMC-8B
motor
8126
SS-511
LIBs only
(NCA type)
2015
4 Oct
2018
Mar
2020?
MHI
28SS  Second
Soryu Mk II
SMC-8B
8127
SS-512
¥63.6B FY2016
"2,900t" surfaced
LIBs only
(NCA type?)
2016?
Oct 2019?
Mar 2021?
KHI
29SS New Class
SMC-9?
8128
SS-???
¥76B FY2017
large budget rise for sub of 
larger "3,000t" 
surfaced
class page 3
implies many new
features. New class?
LIBs only
2017?

or

2025?
2020?

or

2028?
2023?

or

2033?
MHI
30SS New Class
8029?
SS-???
¥71.5B FY2018
LIBs only
?
?
?
KHI?
Table from information exclusively provided to Submarine MattersLABs = lead-acid batteries, AIP = air independent propulsion, LIBs = Lithium-ion Batteries. ¥***B = Billion Yen. MHI = Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, KHI = Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation of Kawasaki Heavy Industries. 
---


Pete

5 comments:

Tri-ring said...

From a Japanese perspective I seriously doubt that they will christen the new boat as Kamikaze.
They have various other divine names they can select like Byako(白虎), Houo(鳳凰), Shoukaku (翔鶴),Suzaku (朱雀) etc.

Why would the JMSDF take a name with such negative incantation with it?
Shoukaku or the Rising Crane has been used christen to an WW2 aircraft carrier so I believe it has a better chance to be used considering the present naming format.

Tri-ring said...

One more thing if it's going to be laid down in the mid to late 2020's then MHI may consider adopting Low-Energy Nuclear Reaction for power;

https://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/nuclear/scientists-in-the-us-and-japan-get-serious-about-lowenergy-nuclear-reactions

Sebastien said...

Hello Pete,
Granted you are more immersed in this subject, but I'm surprised you're so dire about the effectiveness of AIP/LIB subs.

First, the endurance limitations seem not as much of a problem, as the Japanese subs will be basically operating in Japan's backyard (they do not have to range across Pacific Ocean like in World War II.)

Second, running on battery, with the pumpjet, they coud be quieter than SSNs--especially, Chinese SSNs. So they could expect to detect and get the first shot, then head for home which would hopefully not be far away.

Of course, after the ambush phase of an engagement, they are at risk of being outrun and outmaneuvered by SSNs.

It's interesting the Japanese aren't interested in combing LIB with AIP to help take the edge off the long-distance endurance problem. Probably it takes up too much space and adds to great an expense to be worth it.

Another thing I noticed researching a piece on ASW in the Falkland Wars is that British SSNs were constantly surfacing to receive/transmit intel, scan with periscope, at the expense of their theoretical stealth/endurance advantage. Of course that may reflect context-specific technology and doctrine.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Sebastien said...

Hello Pete,
Granted you are more immersed in this subject, but I'm surprised you're so dire about the effectiveness of AIP/LIB subs.

First, the endurance limitations seem not as much of a problem, as the Japanese subs will be basically operating in Japan's backyard (they do not have to range across Pacific Ocean like in World War II.)

Second, running on battery, with the pumpjet, they coud be quieter than SSNs--especially, Chinese SSNs. So they could expect to detect and get the first shot, then head for home which would hopefully not be far away.

Of course, after the ambush phase of an engagement, they are at risk of being outrun and outmaneuvered by SSNs.

It's interesting the Japanese aren't interested in combing LIB with AIP to help take the edge off the long-distance endurance problem. Probably it takes up too much space and adds to great an expense to be worth it.

Another thing I noticed researching a piece on ASW in the Falkland Wars is that British SSNs were constantly surfacing to receive/transmit intel, scan with periscope, at the expense of their theoretical stealth/endurance advantage. Of course that may reflect context-specific technology and doctrine.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Anonymous said...

That is not a good name. The wind may be divine but it did not change the final outcome, even in desperation. Are the writings on the wall?

There are some press reports, to be confirmed, that China did actual tests of ballistic anti ship missiles (DF21D?) in the Spratly naval exercises that are going on.
KQN