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The following has been excerpted with permission from NA VINT. which is published twice monthly by Tileprint, Ltd. Of J 3 Crondace Road, London, SW6 4BB, United Kingdom. NA VINT is edited by Anthony Preston.

From the 15th July 2002 issue

The Franco-Spanish Scorpene Submarine Design

The French submarine-building yard DCN Cherbourg has achieved a remarkable resurgence of activity. Although the French submarine industry at one time held a commanding position with the Daphne design it has in recent years come to concentrate largely on nuclear powered strategic submarines (SSBNs) and attack submarine (SSNs) for the Marine Nationale. The industry was a result rationalized and centred on DCN Cherbourg, relying on the official design bureau Direction Constructions Navales (DCN) for design resources.

All this changed dramatically, following a joint venture with Spanish state-owned yard IZAR (formerly EN Bazan), whose Caragena yard also builds conventional diesel-electric submarines (SSKs) for the Spanish Navy. In fact the Spanish connection goes back to the 1970s, when four Daphne class SSKs were built at Cartagena with technical support from DCN and the independent Dubigeon yard. This programme was followed by another four SSKs, the more modem Agosta design, with support from DCN Cherbourg.

By mere chance the two submarine yards had adopted the same computer-aided design (CAD) system, making collaboration between Cherbourg and Cartagena even simpler than it might have been. The design chosen for the export market was the Scorpene, a 1990s design enamating originally from DCN. The commercial arm, DCN International (DCNI) was quick to see a gap in the SSK market opening up. Laurent Barthelemy, Director of DCN Cherbourg, says that the next ten years will see a proliferation of SSKs as expending minor navies branch out at SSK-owners or replace ageing tonnage. As many small operators have found. submarines have a finite hull life if they are used operationally. Eventually they become unsafe to dive, unless they are maintained for pure prestige, in which case they become non-effective any way. Barthelemy sees DCN Cherbourg as remaining profitable if it achieves only one order a year. The IZAR connection brings with an added advantage in selling SSKs to Latin American navies. The yard currently employs just under 3000 workers, as compared with I 0,000 ten years ago.

The first fruits of the new collaborative arrangement were the sale of two Scorpenes to Chile. Later named O”HIGGINS and CARRERA, they are under construction at Cherbourg, with some steelwork supplied from Cartagena. The Scorpene is a single-hulled design, benefitting from advanced technologies developed for French Navy SSBNs. They include an Albacore type teardrop hullform, use of glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) structures in the casing and fin, and improved piping and power systems


Displacement: 1564t (surfaced/1711 t (submerged)
Dimensions: 66.4m X 6.2m x 5.4m (surfaced)
Propulsion: 3.5 MW EPM Margtronic Jeumont electric motor; Hagen batteries; 4 MTU I 6V 396 SE84 diesels
Speed: 12kn (surfaced}/20kn (submerged)
Armament: 18 Black Shark heavyweight 533mm torpedoes+ option for anti-ship missiles.
Electronics: active/passive bow sonar, Argo AR-900 ESM; Sagem I-band navigation radar, SUBTICS command system
Range: 550nm @ 4kn (submerged)/6500nm @ 8 kn (surfaced)
Diving depth: 300m+
Complement: 6 officers, 25 ratings

Work is well in hand on the Chilean boats, with a Chilean technical mission of 22 officers at Cherbourg. Sea acceptance trials (SA TS) for O”HIGGINS are planned to begin in October next year, with commissioning pencilled in for April 2004. CARRERA will follow her sister into service a year later. The two afte pressure hull sections were shipped from Cherbourg to Cartagena in July 2000 and July last year, respectively. The sections are welded together at Cartagena, and in September or October this year the fully outfitted after section of O”HIGGINS will be returned to Cherbourg. The forward section of CARRERA will be shipped to Cartagena in August 2004.

An important design feature is silencing by means of a number of sections, including the machinery compartments and the operations room, mounted as uncoupled blocks. The operations room is installed as a single 60t module, and all these sections are isolated from the pressure hull by rubberized mountings to reduce low-frequency radiated noise. Although not all the sections are isolated in this way, they play a major part in reducing the acoustic signature. DCN claims that the Jeumont permanent-magnet EPM Magrtonic 3.SKw electric motor is competitive with the German Siemens Pennasyn motor developed for the new Type 212 and Type 214 submarines.

The cruciform rudders aft have a shortened tower rudder to limit damage when resting on the seabed.

The steering console is provided by Alstom and DCN Ruelle. It has two ruggedized PCs, joysticks and flat panel displays. DCN Ruelle supplies the Shipmaster Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS). The Chilean boats have two PCs, four l 8in displays and a single 21 in large display to give the supervising officer an overview of the IPMS status, and if necessary, a damage control assessment. The Shipmaster IPMS is linked to a manage-ment network of control and management sensors via a fibre-optic 1 OMBs Ethernet databus. The version offered to Malaysia will integrate the IPMS and steering consoles, allowing one-man operation.

From the 1st September 2002 issue

UK Government Rejects Navv Plan for SSBNs

According to report in the London Times on 12 August, the UK Government and Ministry of Defence (MoD) have rejected a Royal Navy (RN) proposal to re-arm its four Vanguard class strategic missile submarines (SSBNs) to improve their flexibility. The reason given is that the force of four SSBNs operates on a very tight schedule of refits and post-refit trials to ensure at least one boat on patrol at all times.

The proposed alteration would be to modify the launch-tubes for the 05 Trident II nuclear-armed ballistic missiles to accommodate an unspecified number of Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles. This would give greater flexibility and provide a massive increase in firepower against land targets.

The idea is clearly inspired by the U.S. Navy’s (USN) plan to convert its four oldest Ohio (SSBN 728) class SSBNs to deploy both Tomahawk and Special Forces. The Trident launch-tubes will be modified to launch seven Tomahawks or Tactical Tomahawks, giving each boat a total of 154 land-attack missiles. But the USN has the luxury of 18 Ohio class SSBNs, and has to reduce the numbers to comply with the START Treaty, which came into effect in December last year.

Design-Philosophy for French Barracuda SSN Proiect

The French Marine Nationale has for some years been studying operations for a new generation of six nuclear attack submarines (SSNs) to replace the Rubis and Amethyste classes between 2012 and 2022. The project goes back some years, to the long-forgotten Sousmarin Nucleaire Attaque Futur (SNAF), but has changed dramatically as a result of technical advances in all areas of design.

The Delegation Generate pour l’Armement (DGA), the Armed forces’ procurement agency, formed an integrated project team in October 1998, in collaboration with the Navcal Staff, DCN, Technicatome and the Commissariat a 1 ‘Energie Atomique (CEA), the regulatory body for nuclear powerplants. DCN will be the platform design authority and builder, while Technicatome will be the design authority and builder of the nuclear plant. These two organizations will form a team to act as a single prime contractor, responsible for performance, costs and schedules, and sharing the industrial risk. The cost-target for the whole programme is below €5 billion (US$4.9bn) at today’s prices.

For the first time competition at sub-contractor level will be open to foreign competition, according to the DGA. If this intention becomes reality it will be a remarkable volte face, but there are such things as level playing fields, and it will be very surprising if a foreign sub-contractor wines any significant work from DGA ‘s Service des Programmes Navales or DCN.

The Barracuda design will have a surface displacement of 41 OOt, recognition that the 2400t displacement of the Rub is class was incompatible with adequate silencing or internal volume for advanced sensors and combat systems. Speed will exceed 25kn and a maximum diving depth of 350m is required. Increased automation will cut the crew to 60, as compared with 75 in the Rubis class. Annament will be 18 weapons, using a water-ram discharge system for the four launch-tubes. The weapons will include an advanced variant of the Fl 7 heavyweight torpedo, the SM-39 Exocet anti-ship missile and possibly a tube-launched version of the SCALP cruise missile. Mines will be an alternative payload, and the boat’s layout will pennit the deployment of special forces.

The command system will integrate combat management functions with the sensor suite. Known as the Systeme de Combat pour Barracuda et SNLE (SYCOBS), it will be designed and manufactured by Thales Underwater Systems (TUS); the sensor suite will include a bow sonar, wide-aperture flank arrays and reelable thin-line towed arrays. The new SSNG TERRIBLE will also have SYCOBS, and in effect, will allow TUS to eliminate technical risk before it goes into the first Barracuda.

The powerplant will use a derivative of the K 15 pressurized water reactor (PWR) plant adopted for the Triomphant class SSBNs and the carrier CHARLES DE GAULLE. A hybrid drive system will use electric propulsion for cruising and turbo-mechanic for high speed.

The current timetable is for purchase of critical long-lead items to start in 2004, with production work starting the following years. Sea trials for the first SSN are scheduled for 2011, and entry into service is envisaged for the end of2012. The remaining five boats will follow at two year intervals.

From the 15111 September 2002 issue

Singapore Commissions Second Submarine

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) accepted a second refurbished ex-Royal Swedish Navy submarine at a ceremony held at Changi on 24 August. RSS CHIEFTAIN (ex-SJ0HUNDEN) has joined her sister RSS CONQUEROR in 171 Squadron, and two more will be in service by 2004. They remain in Swedish waters to provide training for the Singaporean personnel (Project Riken). A fifth hull was also acquired for cannibalization for spares.

CHIEFTAIN has undergone refurbishment by Kockums AB, including the provision of air conditioning for operations in tropical waters. She was ordered in July 1997, and renamed and relaunched at Karkskrona on 22 May last year. She arrived at Singapore in March this year. She is armed with Tp 613 533mm heavyweight torpedoes and Tp 431 400mm anti-submarine torpedoes launched from separate tubes. Apart from refurbishment the original outfit of weapons and sensors is unchanged: Ericsson IPS-12 combat system, Terma I-band navigation radar, Hydra medium-frequency sonar, etc.

The RSN finally reversed a policy of not investing in subma-rines in the 1990s, when it became clear that they would provide a deterrent to powerful neighbours who might choose to infringe territorial waters. In that sense the Chieftain class will act as mobile minefields to enforce the country’s neutrality.

From the 15th October 2002 issue

New SSN Sonar Completes Sea Trials

The UK Royal Navy’s latest submarine sonar and its integrated combat system has completed the first sea trials in the nuclear attack submarine (SSN) HMS TORBAY. The SSN is now undergoing a Long Assisted Maintenance Period at Devonport, in effect a post-trials shakedown before undertaking more trials later in the year. Factory acceptance took place at Thales Underwater Systems’ Cheadle Heath site, and the sea trials were conducted off the West Coast of Scotland, including the British Undersea Trials and Evaluation Centre (BUTEC) range between the mainland and Skye.

The second of four Trafalgar class SSNs, HMS TRENCHANT, to receive the Sonar 2076 upgrade is nearing completion of her refit at Devonport. According to the Programme Director of the S&T upgrade programme, Jon Sayer, says that the update involves the whole of the combat system, reductions of noise-signatures, and some specific improvements to the trim and buoyancy and depth control. .. It is a complete rip-out and replacement of the eyes, ears and brain of the boat, and a re-layout of the command deck.

Development of 2076 is halfway through an eight-year pro-gramme, with installation f outboard improvements, the sonar arrays, already completed. The next stage is development of the inboard software precessing capacity of the SMCS command system. The post-refit sea trials of HMS TORBAY afforded the first opportunity to test both inboard and outboard installations in water, as opposed to inboard installation trials at the new Shore Integration facility at Ash Vale in Hampshire (formerly located at Frimley). A complete S&T updated command system is now in place at Ash Vale. Elements of the New Astute class command system, derived from the 2076/SMCS combination, are also being delivered to Ash Vale, ensuring that the operational installation will go as smoothly as possible.

From the 1st/15th November 2002 issue

Lively Euronaval 2002-Report from Paris (excerpted)

The French and Spanish submarine industries are not as well placed as might be expected, following sales of the Scorpene design to India (which is likely to build its ships at Mazagon Dockyard in Mumbai), Malaysia and Chile. Two versions of Scorpene are being marketed: Scorpene Basic for blue water operations and Scorpene Compact for green water missions. The former is 66.4m long with a submerged displacement of I 700t, a submerged speed of 20kn+ and a diving depth of 300m+. It has a crew of 32, through the introduction of extensive automation, and an endurance of 50 days. An Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) version with the MESMA system involves a 9.8m plug which increases submerged displacement to 2000t. The Compact version includes a MESMA AIP (to reduce the danger of snorting in coastal waters) and features major revisions to the weapon compartment, with six tubes reduced to four. The boat is 59.4m long with a submerged displacement of 1450t, a submerged speed of 14kn+, a diving depth of 200m, an endurance of 40 days, and a crew of 22.

The recent success of Scorpene Basic sales in Asia, up to six hulls, has Jed DCN International and the Spanish yard IZAR to examine further prospects, although these seem more distant. Singapore is certain to require boats to replace the four former Swedish Centurion class but these have been recently updated with the UDS SUBTICS combat system and requirements seem unlikely before 2010 although some reports suggest a replacement require-ment seem unlikely before 20 l 0 although some reports suggest a replacement requirement might be issued in 2005. Curiously, it is in Europe where sales prospects, at first sight so certain seem in reality more of a mirage. Portugal requires replacements for the three Albacora class with a requirement for two or three ships from 2005 but the Lisbon Government is having problems meeting its commitments for the Euro and no funding is currently available. It is uncertain when, or if, money will be available for this project for the Portuguese Government may opt to strengthen its surface fleet instead. Spain also has a requirement to replace its four Delfin (s 60) class and four Galema (S 70) class boats but Madrid is reported to be seeking something slightly larger than Scorpene and IZAR has been offering its own design to meet the S 80 require-ment. This is 70m long, and project-definition was completed in October 2000; the Spanish Navy has provided funds to IZAR’s Cartagena yard for research and development of the design.

A failure here would certainly ot upset the German Submarine Consortium, which was conspicuously absent from Euronaval after having been present at Defendory in Greece. The consortium was underlining its success in the Greek and Turkish markets, but it has lost out in several major contracts. The failure is not just the loss of building contracts but often ancillary equipment as well, although the Scorpenes do have MTU I 6V 396 SE84 diesels (rated at 2.2 MW). Sensors, combat systems, communications and control equipment are often driven by the winners. Both Chile and Malaysia have opted for the DCN International/Whitehead IF-21 Black Shark electrically-driven heavyweight torpedo and negotia-tions are under way with India. Yet in this respect it was interest-ing to note that American companies present at Euronaval were underlining their commitment to S 80. Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance are offering their Submarine Integrated Combat System (SUBICS) while Kollmorgen Electro-Optical has offered its Type 76 and Type 86 periscopes and optronic masts.

Pride of place on the central DCN International stand was a model of a concept for a radical future export submarine SMX 21, a twin-hull AIP diesel electric design of 64.5m length with a surface displacement of 2700t, a submerged speed of I 8kn+ and the ability to operate down to 250m. No indication of crew sizes was provided but the designers confidently expected major reductions through the incorporation of automated combat and platfonn management systems. The overall size is similar to two Agosta diesel electric submarines similar to those being buil by Pakistan but the endurance would be 60 days with a range of 9000nm. SMX 21 is designed as a multi-role vessel for land attack, AsuW and special missions with mission modules in two water-filled spaces between the pressure hulls on either side of the fin which have pump-jet propulsors.

Within each pressure hull were two torpedo tubes and a mine chute with 15 weapons carried in each hull, but mission packs installed in the space between the pressure hulls would be the backbone for mission requirements. The packs consist of inter-changeable weapon launchers, each with ten cells, installed between the pressure hulls forward of, and abaft the fin. Whereas U.S. Navy submarines have vertical missile modules, the French have decided to reduce hull height to 5.5m by having the cells inclined. The weapon packs could include heavyweight torpedoes, mines, land-attack missiles, anti-ship missiles or anti-air missiles in dedicated or mixed loads. For special operations a dry dock shelter pack could also be included.

From the 1st December 2002 issue

Pakistan’s Naval Plans Mature (excerpted

Although the threat of a nuclear exchange with India has receded tension between the two neighbours makes tension endemic. Hugely outnumbered by the Indian Navy, with only 27 ships, the Pakistan navy (PN} accounts for about 25 percent of the nation’s US$2.3 billion annual defence budget. According to the PN’s Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Abdul Azziz Mirza, the PN follows a policy of “selective deterrence”, and its major need is more small to medium sized surface warships.

The modernization of the ageing submarine force is well advanced. The French-built KHALID is in service and SAAD will join the fleet soon. When HAMZA is commissioned, she will be the first submarine with the French MESMA Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system in service. The MESMA will then be retrofitted to her two sisters. According to Admiral Mirza, when the re-equipment of the surface fleet is completed, the PN will be able to contemplate building mores submarines.

The upgrading of the PC-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft continues to cause problems. An embargo was lifted to allow work to be restarted in 1996-97, but more have been requested as part f the price for Pakistan’s support for the War on Terror. New weapons in the inventory include the French SM-39 submarine-launched anti-ship missile, the Chinese C-802, and the AGM-84 Harpoon.

Pakistan Navy Order of Battle
2 Khalid class submarines+ 1 fitting out
2 Hasmat class submarines
4 Hangor class submarines

Royal Navv Accepts 200th Spearfish Torpedo

The UK Royal Navy (RN) recently took delivery of the 200th Spearfish heavyweight torpedo from BAE Systems’ Underwater Systems Division. Spearfish is the main heavyweight underwater weapon in the RN’s inventory, and the first deliveries were made in 1999.

In 1976 the Rn began the process of finding a replacement for the Mk24 Tigerfish, which was considered too slow and lacked the running depth to cope with the next generation of Soviet subma-rines. By 1980 Naval Staff Requirement (SNR) 7525 emerged, calling for a dual purpose (anti-surface and anti-submarine) variable speed torpedo. A fierce challenge was mounted by Gould Inc. to persuade the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to buy the Mk48 Mod 5 ADCAP. but in 1981 the MoD decided to adopt a national solution, and in 1982 a development and initial production contract was placed.

The in-service date (ISO) of 1987 could not be met, and it was not possible to issue warshot torpedoes until 1994. The first full load was embarked in HMS TIRELESS in May 1999. In part this delay was due to political interference, but also by a National Audit Office report identified problems of reliability. It was finally decided to incorporate improvements in Spearfish Mod 1, and to make Mod 1 the operational version.

The main electronics section has seven 1412L microprocessors using Coral 66. Spearfish contains a number of homing and tactical computers to control the torpedo. They enable it to select search, detection, and attack modes autonomously.

Advanced Spearfish is under development, with more advanced processing and other improvements.

Spearfish Mod 1
Length: 7m
Diameter: 533mm
Weight: 1850kg (in air)
Speed: ca65kn

From the I Sh December 2002 issue

U.S. Aids Australian Submarine Yard to Win Support Work

The Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC) has signed a US$20 million contract with its American counterpart Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics to help it switch from being a builder of submarines to supporting the Australia flotilla.

The Adelaide-based shipyard is currently completing the last of six Collins class diesel electric submarines for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) under a U.S. $2.8 billion {A$5. l bn) contract. HMAS RANKIN was launched in November last year and will be com-pleted next year. A year ago Prime Minister Mr. John Howard announced that ASC would be responsible for all refits of the Collins class and this could be worth US$570 million (A$ I billion) over the boats’ 25 year life. Full cycle refits, which will include changing batteries, will be required every six years at a cost of US$57 million (A$ l OOm) but the ships will also require upgrading including the installation of the Raytheon CCS Mark 2 replacement combat system from about 2006. Intennediate refits will be conducted at Fleet Base West, Fremantle WA.

The refit agreements will be negotiated with performance incentives, with the first likely to be signed in 2003. The three year agreement signed with Electric Boat on 3 October will see the U.S. company provide technical advice on the maintenance of the hull and machinery, although it might be extended later. A tern of advisors will be based at Port Adelaide and the agreement has provision for annual extensions up to 2009.

Spent Fuel Removed from Russian Nuclear Submarines

The Interfax Military News Agency has reported that on 2 November the state-owned company Zvyozdochka began to unload spent nuclear fuel from a decommissioned Project 941 Typhoon class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) in Severodvinsk.

A complex has been built specifically to unload spent fuel from decommissioned submarines with US$15 million in assistance from the United States under the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. The complex can unload fuel from two Typhoon class or four Delta class SSBNs each year with only a single daily shift of workers. The importance of the complex was underlined by an incident a few days later at the Russian Pacific Fleet base of Pavlovsky Bay, when defective wiring caused a fire in a decom-missioned nuclear submarine; it was quickly brought under control, however.

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