The following is reprinted with permission fonn NAVINT, which is published twice monthly by Tileprint Ltd. of 13 Crondace Road, London, SW6 4BB.
From NAVINT issue 15111 March 2001.
India to Get Another SSN from Russia
According to Vremya Novostyei of Moscow, the Indian Navy and the Russian Navy are close to finalising an agreement to transfer a nuclear powered attack submarine (SSN) to India. The agreement will, it is said, be signed by the Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Vladimir Kureyedov, quoting Viktor Komardin, the Deputy Chief of the Rosoboronexport arms export agency.
The SSN, of a type still unspecified, will be leased, suggesting that a serving SSN such as a Project 971/971 U Akula I/II, Shchuka-B class, will be transferred, either from the reserve fleet or from the active strength. The Russian Navy is hardly likely to release its most modem SSN to another navy, however friendly. The Indians started negotiations some years ago, and this was rumoured to be the acquisition of an Akula; the Project 670A Skat class (Charlie I) INS CHAKRA was leased (minus her cruise missiles) in 1991-96.
Clearly this acquisition, if it goes through, will be seen as checkmating Pakistan’s new Khalid class SSKs, but it raises doubts about the viability of the Indian Navy’s ambition to design and build its own SSN. The CHAKRA lease was intended to give experience in SSN operating procedures, but that SSN had already sunk twice in Russian service, and was apparently unreliable.
Russia has also agreed to sell the Indian Navy four Tupolev Tu-22M3 bombers, Viktor Komardin said on 10 February. But because of their high price, Russia will first lease four aircraft to India and subsequently sell them at residual cost, he said, according to Interfax.
BDW and Kockums Outline Joint Submarine Portfolio
Kockums and HDW now share a joint product portfolio, marketed by their combined Submarine Division and outlined last month. The portfolio includes the German Submarine Consortium’s Type 214 and the Swedish Navy’s Gotland class submarines, as well as both air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems, fuel cell and Stirling. A Stirling section is currently under development for the Type 209 series.
The joint portfolio comprises the following products:
- Type 209/1400 submarine, with AIP systems-both fuel cell and Stirling
- Type 214 submarine, with fuel cell AIP system (already ordered by two navies)
- Type A-19 Gotland class submarine, with Stirling AIP system (in service with Royal Swedish Navy)
- URF underwater rescue system (used by the Royal Swedish Navy). (See Kockums Launches New Submarine Rescue Vehicle on pg. 108.)
Many Type 209 submarines have been sold throughout the world, and many are soon due for upgrades. “Customers are therefore likely to be interested in inserting Stirling AIP sections, enhancing the operational efficiency of their submarines, ” the companies say. The Stirling system will be promoted for this market. Kockums’ URF underwater rescue system is said to be “highly effective, capable of rescuing an entire submarine crew in a single lift”. The URF has attracted considerable interest, they say, “further fueled by the tragic accident with the Russian nuclear submarine KURSK.”
Collaboration between HDW and Kockums is starting to bear fruit. As a sub-contractor to HOW, Kockums in Karlskrona has been commissioned to build three stem sections for the German-designed Type 209/1400 submarines order by South Africa. The order is estimated to be worth about SEKlOO million. The work starts next month and will continue for several years. A total workforce of some 50 people will be engaged on the project, which involves engineering workshop production. The companies collaboration will no doubt also include work on Sweden’s two future Viking type submarines.
From the NAVINT issue 1 April 2001.
Work Starts on Greek Type 214 Submarines
By pushing a button, the Greek Minister of Defence Apostolos-Athanansios Tsochatzopoulos started the welding of the first frames for the construction of the first submarine of the new Type 214 at HOW on 28 February. This boat is the first of HDW’s submarines equipped with a fuel cell for air-independent propulsion (AIP) for an export customer. HDW’s executive vice president Hannfried Haun said that about 500 employees of HOW will be engaged in the building of these submarines for five years. There will also be work for nearly 2000 employees in the components industry over the same period. HOW, Ferrostall and Hellenic Shipyards signed the contract for the construction of three submarines of this new class in Athens in February last year. The value of the order exceeds DM2 billion. The first of the three submarines will be constructed in Kiel, and the next two by Hellenic Shipyards at Skaramange, near Athens. Thyssen Nordseewerke also participates in the design and construction of the submarines.
The delivery of the first submarine is scheduled for 2005. The order also includes an option fourth boat, to be built in Greece. Ferrostaal and HOW will implement considerable offset business. “So, among other things, Hellenic Shipyards will be extended to become a submarine yard”, HOW says. The Type 214 was developed by HOW and combines the advantages of the Type 209 and Type 212. Type 214 submarines feature fuel cell technology and these oceangoing submarines will be 65m long, and displace about l 77t. The armament will consist of eight 533mm torpedo tubes and there will be a crew of about 35.
From NA VINT issue 15 April 2001.
Progress on Astute Propulsion System
Power Magnetics & Electronics Systems (PMES) Ltd. has been awarded a contract worth over £1 million by BAE Systems Marine Ltd. to supply the Emergency Propulsion System (EPS) for the new Asrute class submarines. The newly designed EPS replaces the DC motor drive system in previous nuclear submarines. It incorporates an innovative AC variable-speed induction motor drive using the latest Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) technology. The first system is to be delivered in the last quarter of this year.
Rolls-Royce had delivered the largest single component of the propulsion system intended for the Astute herself, to BAE Systems Marine. The reactor pressure vessel (RPV) for the PER 2 pressurised-water reactor has been delivered a month ahead of contract date, despite the stringent quality-and performance-testing mandated by the prime contractor.
The RPV houses the reactor core, also made by Rolls-Royce in Derby, and is the heart of the nuclear steam-rising plant. Early delivery assists the shipyard in the installation of pipework. In common with earlier nuclear propulsion designs, the Asrute class power plant has a design-life of more than 25 years, but the new submarines’ plant will have the new long-life core, which will outlast their operational life, and eliminate the need for costly refueling.
From the NAVINT issue 15 May 2001.
France Tem M4S Missile
The French defense procurement agency Delegation Generale pour I’ Armament (DGA) and the French Navy carried out a successful test-firing of an M45 nuclear submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM), to test and assess, under operational conditions, measurement and test equipment that will be used on the next generation of M51 SLBMs. The test also verified systems in the nuclear submarine INFLEXIBLE. The test took place on 21 April, when INFLEXIBLE, positioned off the Quimper naval base, launched the missile across the Atlantic to its impact area off the coast of Guyana. DGA scientists monitored the missile and its environment throughout the flight.
Technicians from Directions des Constructions Navals (DCN), Centre d’Essais d l’Atlantique (CEA), European Aeronautic and Defence Systems (EADS) and the French navy used radars at different locations on the west coast of France and close to the impact area to gather telemetry for further analysis and study. According to the DGA, the test was designed to test new technolo-gies under real conditions and to help select the best materials and equipment for the M51 strategic missile, for which the French Government signed a Eur2.85 billion development contract at the end of last year.
The crew of the damaged UK Royal Navy (RN) Trafalgar class attack submarine HMS TIRELESS began to make preparations for her return to service following the successful completion of repair work in Gibraltar, it was announced last month. An exhaustive series of safety checks have been conducted to ensure that the repair of her reactor coolant circuit was satisfactory. These culminated in a hydrostatic pressure-test of the system on 16 April. The crew then underwent a standard training programme before the subma-rine left Gibraltar early this month.
From the NAVINT issue 1 June 2001.
Australia Awards Submarine Care Package to Rolls-Royce
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has awarded a £ 1.5 million (approximately A$4.5m) contract to Rolls-Royce to provide systems and service expertise for its Six Collins class diesel electric submarines. The contract will run for three years, with an option for two more, and covers the complete submarine, including hull, propulsion, electric generators, weapons and auxiliary systems.
Rolls-Royce will develop and implement processes for the review. validation and reduction of maintenance. It will also help the RAN in other important activities, including project-and risk-management and configuration-control. All these measures will increase operational availability and reduce through-life cost. The company has a proven record in submarine maintenance services. providing a similar service to the UK Royal Navy for the Vanguard class strategic submarines (SSBNs).
Work on all six boats will be carried out by the Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC) at its Adelaide, SA shipyard. and at the RAN’s Fleet Base West at Garden Island, WA.
Kocknms Launches New Submarine Rescue Vehicle
Kockwns announced at IMDEX Asia on 3 May that 1t 1s launching a new submarine rescue vehicle. The new vehicle is a further development of the Royal Swedish Navy’s existing URF submarine rescue system. Using an already proven system offers a whole range of operational benefits, says Kockums. “We have what is probably the most effective submarine rescue system in the world. The URF can rescue an entire crew of 35 men in a single lifting operation. a capability that can be decisive when time is short. Our system also makes it possible to transfer a crew from the pressurised environment of a sunken submarine via the URF direct to the decompression chamber of the mother ship.” said Lars Larsson of Kockums, part of the HOW Group.
The second generation URF, which is known as an S-SRV. can rescue an entire crew of 35 men in a single lift from depths down to 700m. Compliant with the new NATO standard. the URF’s navigational aids include advanced sonars and underwater cameras. The system can be transported by rail, road, various types of ship, and air. It can then be deployed from different types of surface vessels, and even submarines.
The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) was reported by the Kuala Lumpur Business Times early last month to be negotiating with DCN International for the supply of two ex-French Navy Agosta class diesel electric patrol submarines. The two boats, presumed to be the former LA PRA YA and OUESSANT, would be refitted before delivery to the RMN. A deal would put DCN International in an ideal position to supply between two and four new Agosta-90B boats over the next five years, the newspaper said. Malaysia plans to buy four submarines, Navy Chief Admiral Abu Bakar Jamal said last month. “Acquiring the submarines is the top priority of the Navy now.” he said, adding that Defence Minister Najib Tun Razak would soon announce the type of submarine to be bought. He pointed out that in preparation to operate the subma-rines, RMN personnel have been sent to France, Pakistan, Austra-lia, and Turkey in the past few years for training.
An Indian Navy Project 877 Kilo type diesel electric submarine now being moderinised at the Admiralteyskiye Verft shipyard in St. Petersburg has entered the final stage of modernisation. the company said on 23 April. The shipyard is also upgrading a second Indian boat, and is building a Project 677 Lada boat that is also likely to be handed over to India, the yard says. Designated the Amur 1650 (the export version of the Lada), this new design displaces l 756t, and is armed with eight weapon launch tubes.