Reprinted with permission from AMI Hot News, an internet publication of AMI International, PO Box 30, Bremerton, Washington, 98337.
From the January 2006 issue
SOUTH KOREA – Timetable for Future Procurement
In early January 2006, AMI received information from industry sources concerning major programs for the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN). The information received updates current and future programs that are identified in AMI International’ s South Korea country report as well as new programs that have been identified as of January 2006. Highlights include:
- The KSS-Il submarine program (Type 214) has been expanded from six to nine units. The first three units will be completed by 20 l 0 with six additional units under later MTDPs 20l0-2015 and 2016-2020.
- A new submarine program identified as KSS-m will be started beginning in 2010 and will end in 2022. Sources indicate this program will run in parallel with the final units of the KSS-TI. Indications are that this is the 3,500-ton SSX submarine program that will be designed ingeniously.
INDIA – Naval Update
In late January 2006, AMI received information that the IN was in final contract negotiations with Ocean Works International of Canada for a Remotely Operated Rescue Vehicle (RORY) system. The RORV was apparently chosen to satisfy the In’s DSRV requirement. It appears that a construction contract would be complete by late 2006 or early 2007 for the acquisition of one RORY although a second unit could be ordered at a later date. The first unit could be ready for service by 2008.
The RORY is tethered to the surface by an optical/electrical umbilical cord with all command and control being done by pilots on the surface. The RORV is a manned pressurized vehicle built to carry two crewman and up to sixteen rescued personnel. The RORV configuration was initially developed for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN)REMORA rescue system delivered in 1995. The same RORV is also being developed for the US Navy, which is called the Pressurized Rescue Module System (PRMS).
INDONESIA-Searching for More Combatants and Submarines
Reporting in early January 2006 indicated that the Indonesian Navy (IN) continues its search for additional surface combatants and submarines in order to modernize its fleet. The IN is currently operating under a US$1.95B ten-year (2004-2013) modernization plan that began in 2003. The first acquisition under the ten-year plan occurred in January 2004 when an engineering and construction contract was signed on 06 January 2004 between the IN and Scheide Naval Shipbuilding forup to fournew Sigma class corvettes with the option contract for units three and four signed on 30 January 2006 with deliveries scheduled in 2008.
Reports also indicate the IN is still investigating the acquisition of additional submarines in order to add to its current Submarine Force of two Cakra (Type 209) class submarines. Naval requirements call for a fleet of at least six submarines. Indonesia considers Germany the premier submarine builder in the world. This follows the logic train for the procurement of Chang Bogo (Type 209) class submarines from South Korea, which was reported in 2003. Although not final, the IN was in negotiations with South Korea for at least two units of the Chang Bo go class when they could possibly begin decommissioning at the end of the decade, when South Korean Type 214s start entering service.
CHINA – Russian Deliveries, Round Two
On 2 December 2005, the third Kilo class (project 636) submarine of an order for eight was officially turned over to the Peoples Liberation Army – Navy (PLAN) at Severodvinsk, Russia. A second submarine was turned over on 30 December 2005 in a similar ceremony. The project 636 submarines are equipped to fire torpedoes as well as the Klub-OS anti-ship missile.
On 03 May 2002. the People•s Liberation Anny-Navy (PLAN) concluded a US$1.5B contract with Russia•s export agency, Rosoboronoexport for eight Kilo (Project 636) class submarines. All eight units of the class are scheduled to be delivered by 2007. This procurement follows a 1994 deal in which four units of the Kilo class (two Project 877EKM and two Project 636) were delivered to the PLAN from 1995 through 1998.
The final four units of the US$2B order are being constructed at Admiralteiskie Verfi FGUP and will be delivered. two in 2006 and the final two in 2007.
The second wave of major surface combatant and submarine deliveries to the PLAN seems to reinforce China’s two-track policy of procuring foreign systems while at the same time developing its own technological base in order to further develop its indigenous capabilities to produce modem warships as well as their associated systems. Acquisition of Russian Sovremenny destroyers and Kilo submarines in conjunction with location production of Yuan class submarines, Type 051 and 052 class destroyers and Type 054 class frigates indicates that the PLAN is beginning to benefit greatly from this policy.
VARIOUS~ Did You Know?
- PORTUGAL – On 07 December 2005, the Portuguese Navy decommissioned the Albacora (Daphne) class submarine FELFIM (S 166).
- UNITED KINGDOM – On 21 December 2005, the Royal Navy (RN) decommissioned the Swiftsure class submarine SP ART AN (Sl05).
ATLAS ELEKTRONIK PURCHASED
On 30 December 2005, it was reported that both European aerospace group EADS and Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Technologies would acquire sonar equipment maker Atlas Elektronik from BAE Systems. It is reported that the companies will purchase Atlas Elektronik for a total of US $172M. ThyssenKrupp will hold a 60% stake in the company, with EADS acquiring the remaining 40%.
BAE Systems had put Atlas up for sale in early 2005. with bids coming from EADS, ThyssenKrupp. and Thales. However. Thales encountered some political objections to a foreign firm obtaining a majority stake in the company. The sale comes at a time when Europe’s shipbuilding industry is being forced to consolidate in response to stiff global competition.
ThyssenKrupp had already purchased the German submarine manufacturer HDW in 2004. This latest acquisition of Atlas is a further step in the consolidation of Europe’s shipbuilding industry. This is further evidenced by the fact that Thales acquired a 25% stake in French shipbuilder DCN in early December 2005.
With the recent release of the UK’s Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS) in December 2005, it is evident that the European shipbuilding industry is also realizing the need to consolidate in order to better compete on a global scale. It can be expected that in the coming years, the shipbuilding industry as a whole will continue to consoli- date with companies such as EADS, ThyssenKrupp, Thales, and BAE Systems leading the way.
From the February 2006 Issue
THAILAND – Naval Requirements Revealed
In early February 2006, AMI received information concerning the Royal Thai Navy’s (RTN) equipment requirements through 2016. The requirements include surface vessels, submarines, aircraft and missile systems that are being planned by the Thai Naval Staff. However, due to the limited funding that is expected over the next decade, it can be anticipated that some of these programs will not occur in the window identified by the sea service. It is also possible that some of these requirements will be met by the used international market even though the RTN typically procures new equipment.
- Two submarines from 2012 through 20 I 7. This requirement has come and gone with the change of Navy chiefs. The current requirement calls for two diesel submarines displacing up to 2,500 tons with the ability to attack surface and subsurface targets as well as perform mine-laying and special forces operations. Assuming that the two frigates and four OPVs are fully funded and near completion, it is possible that the RTN could procure two submarines toward the end of the time frame and will probably require a special funding package, similar to the frigate program. The RTN could also utilize the used international market to meet this requirement and has considered used submarines in the past.
PAKISTAN – Looking for New Submarines
Press reporting in early February 2006 indicates that the Pakistani Navy (PN) is in consultations with Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) of France for the design of up to five new construction submarines. Pakistan has a requirement for a new submarine class to follow the third Khalid class (AGOSTA 90B) that will be commissioned in 2006. The requirement is for up to five submarines that are Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) capable.
The PN has an immediate requirement for additional submarines as the sea service decommissioned all four units of the Hangor (Daphne) class (HANGOR, SHUSHUK, MANGRO and GHAZI) submarines in December 2006. The PN Submarine Force now consists of two HASHMAT (Agosta) and two KHALID (Agosta 90B) class submarines in commission with a third KHALID expected to commission by the end of 2006.
Sources have identified the new design as the MARLIN. Although details on the MARLIN design are not public, it could possibly be an offshoot to the successful SCORPENE design, which has resulted in two export sales (Chile and Malaysia). DCN appears to the latest stop for Pakistan in its quest to obtain new-construction submarines. AMI has received information that the sea service has also approached Navantia of Spain, ThyssenKrupp Marine (HOW) of Germany and China concerning new construction submarines.
In the case ofDCN, Navantia and HDW, reporting indicates that there may be several sticking points that could very well stall any near-term construction program. First and foremost is funding. Fresh off an April 2005 contract for four F22P frigates from China, the PN financed the entire US$750M program through Chinese sources. In order to procure new construction submarines in the near term, Pakistan would again require an extremely attractive financing package.
A second sticking point in regards to DCN is the transfer of weapons to Pakistan. Sources indicate that DCN has yet to receive permission from the French Government to offer the MARLIN submarine to Pakistan. Apparently most recent applications to transfer weapons to Pakistan have been vetoed by the government’s high-level defense sales panel (Commission Interministerielle pour I’ Etude des Exportation de Materiel de Guerre) on the grounds that such sales could heighten tensions between Pakistan and India.
Although the press reports cannot be confirmed, it is evident that Pakistan is in the market for new and used submarines to bolster its fleet following the commissioning of the third and final unit of the Khalid class in 2006. AMI received information in January 2006 that Pakistan was also looking into used-ship possibilities to fulfill its near-term submarine and surface combatant requirements.
For submarines, Pakistan was apparently considering the German Type 206A submarines as an interim replacement for the four Hangor class that were decommissioned in 2005. Although the German Type 206A submarines and Pakistani Hanger class were built in the same time frame, the German Type 206s are probably in much better material condition than the Pakistani submarines, and could provide the sea service with a dependable platform until new submarines could be procured.
From the April 2006 Issue
IRAN – Various Capabilities Demonstrated
In April 2006, the Iranian Navy (IN) conducted the naval exercise Holy Prophet in the Arabian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz. During the exercise, the Iranian Government made a point of televising portions of the exercise in order to highlight its newest hardware to the world. Likely geared at showing the US and its allies that Iran truly is a force to be reckoned with, press coverage was provided for the following systems:
- NAHANG Class Coastal Submarine: First introduced on Iranian national television on 07 March 2006, the first indigenously built submarine was unveiled in Bandar Abbas. The submarine NAHANG I (Farsi for whale) is approximately 20 meters (65.6ft) in length, displaces around 100 tons and will be manned by a crew of four.
Although relatively small, the submarine is reportedly able to launch both torpedoes and anti-ship missiles. The likely load out for the NAHANG 1 is two weapons. The submarine is said to be diesel-electric and “fully adapted to the Persian Gulf’ according to Iranian Admiral Sajjad Kouchaki. The small size makes it an ideal weapon for use in the shallow and restricted waters of the Strait of Hormuz as well as in the Arabian Gulf.
It is likely that following successful sea trials, the IN will build up to 5 additional units of the class.
- “Hut” Rocket Torpedo: Two tests in early April oflran ‘s newest underwater weapon show a conical shaped rocket powered torpedo similar to Russia’s Shkval torpedo.
The weapon, fired from a test barge was said to have reached speeds of over 100 meters per second (200 knots) and carries a significant warhead. Footage from the test showed the torpedo entering the water and travel at extreme speeds toward a target vessel. Within just a few seconds, the weapon hit the target, which was destroyed.
From the Mav 2006 Issue
ALGERIA-Russian Submarines ordered
On 18 May 2006, press reporting indicated that the Algerian National Navy (ANN) had agreed to procure two Kilo class (636) submarines from Russia for an estimated US$400M. The deal between the ANN and Russia’s Admiralty Shipyard is scheduled to be concluded by the end of June. The first submarine will begin construction by the end of 2006 followed by the second unit in 2007.
Part of the agreement includes the modernization of two Kilo class (877EKM) submarines currently in service with the ANN. The submarine agreement follows the mid-March 2006 announcement by the new Navy Commander General Malek Necib (assumed command in Aug-Sep 2005) that the sea service would soon begin acquiring new equipment for its maritime force (frigates, corvettes, F AC and submarines) as well as the modernization of existing units .
Although the source for the new naval equipment was not announced in March 2006, it was known that Russia made an off er to General Necib upon assuming command of the ANN in late 2005. The Russian offer included new construction Kilo class submarines, Steregushchiy class corvettes and up to fifteen new F AC.
It appears that the new Navy Commander’s plans to re-equip the sea service is beginning to move forward although the total package will primarily depend on how long Algeria’s oil and natural gas windfall lasts. As an example, it was anticipated that the ANN would only modernize its existing Kilo’s in the near-term with a new construction replacement in the next decade. With a new Commander combined with oil and natural gas revenue, the ANN is procuring two new construction units immediately while moderniz- ing its two existing units at the same time.
From the June 2006 Issue
PAKISTAN – French Gov’t Clears Armaris Submarine Offer to Pakistan
Press reporting in June 2006 indicates that the French Government has cleared Direction des Constructions Naval es (DCN) (under Armaris) to offer three new construction submarines to Pakistan. In February 2006, DCN offered its newly designed Marlin class submarines (based on the Scorpene design) to Pakistan, however, the French Government would not approve the sale.
The sticking point in February was the French Government’s disapproval of DCNs and other recent requests to transfer anns to Pakistan. Apparently most recent applications to transfer weapons to Pakistan have been vetoed by the government’s high-level defense sales panel (Commission Interministerielle pour l’Etude des Exportations de Materials de Guerre) on the grounds that such sales could heighten tensions between Pakistan and India. However, it appears that the French Government has had a change of heart in regards to the transfer of weapons to Pakistan and will now allow the sale to go through. This change is probably related to the completed contract between Armaris and India for the procurement of six Scorner class submarines for the Indian Navy. With that contract now complete, the French Government and Armaris now likely feel it will not offend India, although this is still a possibility.
DCN received its official invitation to bid from Pakistan on 10 May and is now the latest supplier to compete for the Pakistani Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) capable submarine program. Reporting indicates DCN will join Navantia of Spain, ThyssenKrupp Marine (HOW) of Germany, Fincantieri of Italy, China and Russia as potential suppliers concerning new construction submarines.
Pakistan has historically utilized France as its supplier of submarines receiving the Hangor class (Daphne) in the early 1970s, the Hashmat (Agosta) class in the late 1970s and the Khalid (Agosta 90B) since 1999. These submarine deliveries were prior to the testing of a nuclear warhead by Pakistan in 1999 and the subsequent stringent French Government reviews on the export of weapons to Pakistan and India by French companies.
Since DCN has now been cleared to offer its Marlin design to Pakistan, they will more than likely be the leading contender for the program since France has been the leading developer of the Pakistani submarine service since its inception. However, other contenders may still be in the running if they can offer an extremely attractive price and financing package or can take advantage of potential sticking points in a DCN-Pakistan deal.
Even considering French Government approval, there are still several potential sticking points that may arise, with the first being an objection by India. India, although just completing the Scorpene deal with DCN, still has several major arms acquisitions in which French companies are contenders. India in retaliation, could select alternative suppliers rather than the French solution. A second point could be if Pakistan requests a technology transfer agreement for the Marlin class. DCN would probably not look favorably on transfer- ring technology on its latest submarine design.
A third yet small sticking point for Armaris could be the announcement by the Pakistani Navy that it prefers to utilize the US- built Harpoon anti-ship missiles (ASM) in the Marlin class rather than the French MM 40 Exocet. Annaris will attempt to utilize an all-French solution in this program although it may have to accept an almost all-French solution. Earlier in 2006, Pakistan requested up to 130 Harpoons from the US including 30 units of the submarine launched version .
Based on the official release date of May 2006 for the invitation to bid in the program, a design selection could be made by 2008 with a construction contract for the program by 2009 assuming there are no more sticking points.
BANGLADESH-Submarine Procurement Close to Fruition?
Press reporting continues to indicate that the Bangladeshi Navy (BN) is in the process of acquiring submarines. Reporting from late June 2006 indicates that Pakistan may be the source of the submarine procurement, and two of the recently decommissioned Pakistani Hanger class (Daphne) submarines are being offered to Bangladesh.
Comments by the Bangladesh Ministry of Defense (MoD) since 2004 indicate that the sea service was considering a multi- dimensional fleet that included the procurement of submarines. In early 2006, MoD officials publicly acknowledged that the BN was in the process of acquiring a single submarine and that a crew was already being trained to operate the vessel. The most recent press reporting in June 2006 suggests that two units of the Hangor class were offered to Bangladesh when the Bangladesh Prime Minister visited Pakistan in early February of this year.
Although the price and term of agreement have not been made public, it is known that the Pakistani’s will refurbish the two units (more than likely the ex-MANGRO and ex-GHAZI) at the Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Ltd (KSEW) prior to transfer to the BN. Both submarines were built in the 1960s and considered antiquated by any standard.
However, Bangladesh’s options for a Submarine Force is extremely limited due to historical budget shortfalls and the fact that the sea service has no experience in operating submarines. Bangladesh probably considers the offer to good to pass up, with Pakistan providing the submarines, the refurbishment and the training at probably little to no cost to Bangladesh. Additionally, Bangladesh probably believes that there are literally no other options to realize a Submarine Force other than the offer that is already on the table.
Pakistan may also be the source for lower cost new construction submarines in the event that the BN is able to successfully operate the Bangor class and eventually migrate to new construction units (if funding ever becomes available)
VARIOUS – Did You Know?
SOUTH KOREA – 09 June 2006, the first Type 214 submarine was launched from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) Ulsan Yard in South Korea.
UNITED KINGDOM – On 26 May 2006, BAE Systems of the United Kingdom announced 08 June 2007 as the launch date for the first Astute (HMS ASTUTE) class submarine.
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