- Jane’s Defence Weekly, October 9. 1993
“Project 88S, the new fourth generation advanced Russian nuclear powered attack submarine. will make its first appearance in the later 1990s, the USA believes.
Little is Icnown about the submarine which will succeed the AKULA Class. Three uniquely shaped keel plates were recently observed at the Severodvinsk shipyard, leading the USA to conclude that development is being completed and initial construc-tion may be underway.
The plates were narrower than those for the AKULA or OSCAR Class but a maximum beam of 10.5 m to 11.5 m is believed to be part of the new design. Some intelligence sources believe the new design must be larger than the AKULA to accommodate advanced quieting capabilities.
The hull is expected to be laid down next year with an initial operating capability in the year 2000. All nuclear powered submarines are now constructed at Severodvinsk. Rear Admiral Edward Sheafer. Director of US Naval Intelligence, told Congress earlier this year to expect Russia to build a new attack boat to maintain a credible sea-based nuclear deterrent.”
“There are also indications that Russia continues to market the Amur Project, a design for a follow-up to the KILO Class export submarine. The USA believes Moscow does not yet have orders for it.”
- Inside the Nayy, December 13, 1993
“Navy officials are in the process of scrubbing all of their acquisition programs to see which ones are potential contributors to the recently announced Defense Counter Proliferation Initiative. The initiative is aimed at protecting troops from nuclear. biologi-cal, and chemical weapons. A senior defense official last week told Inside tbe Pentai<)n that John Deutch, the Pentagon’s top acquisition executive, is prepared to take money away from existing service programs that support Cold War era missions and put that money toward the new counter-proliferation initiative.”
“One area the Navy may play a significant part in is attacking buried targets. The senior defense official said the services are being asked to put forth weapons that can fulfill this mission. “[We need] non-nuclear penetrating munitions for attack on buried targets, because many of these countries’ proliferators are using hardened underground structures as a refuge, either to build or to operate special weapons arsenals from,” he said.
The Navy has two programs that may meet this need: the Tomahawk cruise missile, and a submarine launched ballistic missile equipped with an earth penetrating warhead, according to service briefing documents and Navy sources. The Tomahawk baseline improvement program includes plans to develop a hard-target warhead that would have deep penetrating abilities, a Navy source said. This option is listed in the Tomahawk’s operational requirements document as a capability but the work is in the “let’s think about it stage,” the source said. In addition, the Tomahawk could be used to deliver surveillance sensor packages that would contribute to intelligence gathering.
The use of a conventional submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) with an earth penetrating warhead may be one of the best assets the Navy has. The submarine’s inherent stealth capability makes the launch platform highly survivable. The Navy recently tested a conventionally-armed SLBM and has publicly stated that its TRIDENT submarine fleet could carry a mix of conventional and nuclear SLBMs.”
- Nayy News and Undersea Technoloo, December 27, 1993
“If you never toot a cruise aboard a Navy submarine, but always wanted to, know you have another chance. An Anacortes, Washington company is advertising a new wrinkle in pleasure boating-the submersible yacht.
U.S. Submarines Inc. offers a civilian skipper with deep pockets the chance to buy his own submarine. Looking like an Italian-designed yacht when on the surface, the sub can go down to a 1,000 foot test depth.
Of course, the luxury sub will not remind a Navy veteran of any sub be ever served on. The Nomad 1000-the larger of the two models being designed-is 65 feet long with a beam of 12 feet. It sleeps six and provides showers, wool carpets, wood trim, and plenty of headroom.
The ship could stay down for 10 days without surfacing. “The joke here is that we fun out of food before we run out of air,” said Ellis Adams, U.S. Submarines’ vice president.”
- Defense News, January 17-23, 1994
“Washington – Delaying development of the Navy’s New Attack Submarine (NAS) seriously jeopardizes plans to begin building the first submarine by 1998 and could result in construc-tion of additional SSN-21 SEAWOLF Class submarines later this decade, military and industry sources said.
In a January 12 meeting of the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB), John Deutch, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, rejected the Navy’s plans to begin developing NAS and instead raised critical questions over the submarine’s cost and future performance, defense sources said.
The delay could range from several weeks to six months or even up to a full year, defense industry sources said. Deutch is chairman of the DAB, the Pentagon’s high-level body that reviews and approves all major acquisition programs for development and production.
With the delay, “The 1998 start date is somewhere between at risk and virtually out of the question,” Ronald O’Rourke, a naval analyst with the Congressional Research Service, said January 14.
The estimated $4 billion to $5 billion cost to design and develop the first NAS is a key hurdle that Deutch is questioning, defense sources said.”
- New York Times, January 20, 1994
“Tokyo, January 19- North Korea has quietly begun purchasing 40 aging attack submarines from Russia’s Pacific Fleet through a small Japanese trading company, according to Japanese, South Korean and American officials tracking the movements of the subs through the North Pacific.
Military and intelligence experts have offered conflicting explanations for why North Korea would want leftover hulks of the Russian Navy. Some experts raised the possibility that North Korea could try to restore the submarines to bolster its fleet, or cannibalize them for spare parts; Russian officials insist that the vessels are being sold to the Communist government of President Kim n Sung solely for use as scrap metal.
Skeptical about the Russians’ explanation, the Clinton Administration has pressed the Russian Embassy in Washington for more details.”
“In an interview today, the president of the Japanese company acting as the intermediary in the deal, Toen Trading Company, said the submarines were being towed intact from Russian naval bases in Vladivostok to the nearby North Korean port of Najin, a major naval base on the Sea of Japan.
“Everything is left as it is” on the submarines, the executive, Ariyoshi Shibata, a Japanese citizen of Korean descent, said today. “Nothing is removed.” But he said his North Korean partners, whom he declined to identify, had no intention of adding the submarines to the North Korean fleet and were already cutting them up for scrap.”
- Underwater News & TechnoloK)’, January/February 1994
“A team of international experts have inspected and surveyed the area in the Barents Sea where the Russian 8,000 ton titanium-hulled submarine sank five years ago. The Russians had planned to raise the sub from its resting place more than 5,000 feet deep. However, experts devised that if the sub broke up during recovery the risk of nuclear contamination could be great. The Norwegian service company Sonsub has offered to seal the hull, reactor and torpedo tubes preventing any radioactive leaks from occurring. The cost of this approach would be about $6 million versus the possible $200 million for recovery.”
- Defense Week, February 7, 1994
“The Pentagon’s top acquisition executive is calling for an unusual, independent review of the Navy’s newest multi-billion dollar nuclear submarine program, a move that suggests the Pentagon may have serious concerns about the fledgling effort. John Deutch, the Undersecretary for Acquisition and Technolo-gy, has asked for a non-partisan panel of ” outside technical experts to review the [new CENTURION submarine] baseline design’s ability to perform its military missions from the view of its major characteristics of speed, quieting, payload, combat system and cost represented in the baseline design.”
“This review should provide an independent check that we have asked all the right questions, and I anticipate it will help equip us for questions we will face later in the spring during congressional budget hearings,” he wrote January 24.
Deutch made the request to Nora Slatkin, the Navy’s Assistant Secretary for Research, Development, and Acquisition. The letter was obtained by Defense Week.
Undescoring the Pentagon’s resistance to the Navy’s preferred CENTURION design, Deutch also directed the Navy to consider six alternative submarine building programs and schedules.
The two-page note helps flesh out the reasons behind Deutch’s January 12 Defense Acquisition Board decision to delay sending the CENTURION into the demonstration and validation phase of the acquisition cycle.”
- lnsjde the Pentagon, February 8, 1994
“The Clinton Administration Monday sent Congress an FY95 defense budget request of $252.2 billion that reflects the continuing shift in defense priorities the President is advocating.
The Pentagon is asking about $300 million for potential peacekeeping activities; $400 million for aid to the former Soviet Union; and $30 million for the defense-wide Counter Proliferation Initiative, which is aimed at halting and responding the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
Procurement funding is down from previous years because the Pentagon “can live off [of] stocks we bought in the ’80s,” a senior Pentagon official said during a February 5 background briefing. The budget cancels the production of four Navy helicopters, the Air Force’s F-16 fighter, and the Follow-on Early Warning System. The Army’s Multiple Launch Rocket System and Avenger programs are also killed.
When the budget was put together, the number one priority was the readiness of the three services, the DOD official said. To guard against a drop in the readiness level, the Clinton defense budget increases operation and maintenance funding 5.6 percent over FY94, an increase of $5 billion for a total O&M request of $92.9 billion.”
- Navy News & Undersea Technoloi}’, February 28, 1994
“Sydney, Australia- Sea trials for the lead ship of Australia’s COLLINS Class submarine will be delayed about six months due to software problems in the ship’s sophisticated combat system.
Because the combat system is on a $715 million fixed-price contract, the delay will not cost the government additional money. Sources close to the program indicate the delay was anticipated because the Ada computer language software compiler was late, as were revisions to the original software.
“We recognized from day one we would have problems with software,” said an industry source. “The trials program will start about six months late.”
The late start of sea trials marks the first delay in a program that was conceived in 1982, with contracts awarded in 1987. Rockwell Systems of Australia is the prime contractor for the combat system, overseeing the work of 26 subcontractors.
However, the source indicates work is proceeding well on the remainder of the contract. The keel of the fifth boat in the six-ship class was laid earlier this month.
The software-induced delay caused a small tempest in the Australian press because the program was widely believed to be on time and budget. Sources close to the project indicate the entire effort is proceeding exceptionally well, and anticipate the final ship will be delivered about one year ahead of schedule, with the total program running about 3 percent below budget.”