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Reprinted with permission from AMI HOT NEWS; internet publication of AMI international. PO Box 40, Bremerton 98337.

From the June 2008 Issue

UNITED STATES–Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) RfP in 2008

On 10 June 2008, the US Navy (USN) announced that the Defense Acquisition Board had granted approval for the issuing of a Request for Proposals (RfP) for the design of the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP).

In accordance with the FY-08 Shipbuilding Plan, the USN will begin acquiring the class of three MLPs beginning in 2010 with unit one, followed by one additional unit in 2012 and one in 2013. Based on this acquisition plan, an RfP will likely be released by the end of 2008, followed by a design selection in 2009.

Likely respondents to the RfP for the US$450M program (USS I SOM each) arc Bath Iron Works (BIW), Northrop Grumman Ship Systems and NASSCO. Because of current construction schedules and work-loads, AM I believes that B IW could be given priority consideration for the contract as they will be lacking steady work once the final Arlcigh Burke class destroyer is commissioned in 2010. It is also possible that Northrop Grumman and BIW could form a work share agreement similar to that of the Arleigh Burke destroyers and San Antonio class LPDs in order to keep BIW actively involved in naval construction until more definitive answers are known concerning future programs such as DDG (or additional Arleigh Burkes) and CG (X).

The MLP is envisioned essentially as a floating pier that troops and equipment will be offloaded onto in preparation to embark in smaller craft which will then carry them to shore. The new M LP will be similar to the heavy-lift ship BLUE MARLIN. According to the US Naval Sea Systems Command (NA VSEA), the new MLP will resemble a cut-down tanker that would have a ballasting capability that would allow the platform to raise and lower itself in the water.

Based on these assumptions, it can be expected that the M LP will have a length of approximately 217 meters (7 to 2 feet), a beam of 42 meters (137.8 feet), and a draft of JO.I meters (33.1 feet). Additionally, the MLP will be powered by two diesel engines and will have a range of 25,000nm at 14 knots.

INDIA-Commando Sub Tenders Will be Re-floated Internationally

In mid-June 2008 , AM I received information that the Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) intended to renoat tenders for the acquisition of four Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (SDVs). Although the timeline for the US$320M program was not announced publicly, AM I estimates that the tender release could occur by the end of 2008.

A tender was initially floated in 2007 to India’s Mazagon Docks Ltd (MDL) and Larsen & Toubro (L&T), of which L&T had already developed its own indigenous design. The sticking point with the first tender was that MDL could not meet the Navy’s qualitative requirements leaving L&T as the only qualified bidder. Since single-vendor contests arc no longer allowed under India’s procurement policies, the MoD has no choice but to reopen the competition to all yards, including both domestic and foreign.

The re-bidding process will effectively delay the procurement timeline by an additional two years. The MoD has also requested that the Indian Navy (IN) modify its requirements in order to draw foreign bidders. Since L&T already has its own design, MDL will most assuredly seek a foreign partner in order to qualify in the re – bid. It can be expected that builders with recent SDV /mini submarine design experience will also enter the competition as a partner with MDL or as an independent entity. SDV /mini-submarine builders such as Northrop Grumman and Columbia Group of the US and Fincantieri of Italy will likely respond to the tender.

Assuming the Rfp is released by the end of 2008, responses will probably be due by mid-2009, a preferred supplier selected by the end of 2009 with a construction contract in place by 2010.

The IN has levied the requirements for a vehicle that can transport divers and their equipment from their mother craft to attack anchored vessels as well as coastal and offshore installations. The vehicles should be able to operate at a depth of 60 meters and capable of carrying up to 250 kilograms of explosive charges. The SDVs will have a 20-year service life and be transportable by all Indian submarines (externally).

FRANCE-Less FREMMS and Delayed Aircraft Carrier Program

In mid-June 2008, French President Sarkozy announced his plans for the future of the French Armed Forces. The plans are based on the latest defense policy changes that resulted from Sarkozy’s request for a bottom up review of the services when he took office in May 2007.

With the completion of the latest white paper, it appears that the armed forces will face a 20% reduction of personnel as well as a consolidation in its base infrastructure to create a slimmer, more deplorable force over the next 15 years. Although personnel and the basing structure will be reduced, French defense budgets will actually remain at current levels through 2012 with I% increases (over inflation) through 2014 . Large investments will be made in the intelligence and the technology fields with funding deriving from savings associated with the reorganization. In addition, France is also expected to rejoin the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NA TO) alliance, possibly at the end of France’s six-month EU Presidency later this year.

In regards to the French Navy, it appears that the FREMM program will be scaled back from 17 units to 12 and the decision on the PA2 aircraft program will be delayed three years to 2011. In regards to technology, the new white paper also calls for France to develop its own cruise missile that will be fired from submarines, probably the Barracuda class that will be commissioned from 2016 through 2026 .

Although the PA2 aircraft carrier program has only been delayed, one must question if this is the unofficial decoupling with the British CVF program, which is to begin this year. This shared program with the British was expected to yield savings through shared industrial co-operation and joint procurement, and it now may be in jeopardy.

One must also question if it will ever be built assuming that new cruise missiles will be deployed with the submarine fleet, in essence taking over some of the long-range strike capability. If the cruise missiles do in fact replace some of the carrier strike capabilities, could this result in a strengthened Submarine Force for France?

Assuming that the five-unit reduction in the FROM force takes effect and the PA2 carrier program is delayed and possibly cancelled at a later date, it would be considered a big hit for French yards. These decisions will make it even more important for firms such as DCNS to remain strong in the export market.

INTERNATIONAL-World Missile Developments


On 29 May 2008, the German Navy successfully test-fired the fiber-optically controlled Interactive Defense and Attack System for Submarines (!DAS) missile from U33 in the Baltic Sea.

The IDAS missile was developed jointly by Howaldtswerke- Dcutsche Werft (HOW-part of ThyssenKrupp Marine), Diehl BGT Defense and Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace (KDA) as the replacement for the now defunct Polyp hem that was scrapped when it was realized that it would not be ready for the U-212 class in time.

IDAS is fired from a standard submarine torpedo tube. A few seconds later the wings and fins deploy and rocket motor ignites propelling the air frame through the water allowing it to break the surface and continue its flight to the intended target. During its flight, it is controlled via fiber-optic wires that send a video picture back to the submarine and correction controls to the missile. The 2.45 meter (8.1 ft) air frame carries a 13 kg (28.7lb) shaped- charge warhead. It flies at nearly 400 knots and has an estimated range of about 8 nautical miles. .

One unique characteristic of the missile is its three-stage burn of the motor; 25 percent for underwater maneuvers, 25 percent for acceleration after it breaks the surface and 50 percent for sustained night.

This successful test firing was a crucial step in preparing IDAS for service. It can be anticipated that the consortium will begin preparing to develop and finalize an international development program in the near future. The first operational IDAS missiles will likely enter service around 2011 if all agreements can be reached and further tests are as successful.


SOUTH KOREA-On 04 June 2008 , the third Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) Type 214 class submarine was launched from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in South Korea.

MALAYSIA- On 06 June 2008, the Royal Malaysian Navy’s (RMN) first Scorpene class submarine, KD TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN, completed sea trials at Lorient, France.

From the Ju fr 2008 Issue

TURKEY-Down-select in New Type Submarine Program

In late July 2008, AMI received information that Turkey had chosen a preferred supplier for its New Type Submarine Program . The Turkish Navy has apparently selected Germany’s ThyssenKru- pp Marine (Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft- HDW) Type 214 submarine. The preferred supplier selection follows the 12 Novem – ber 2007 announcement by the Turkish Undersccretariat for Defense Industry (SSM) that it had down -selected to the three final candidates, which included France’s DCNS, Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine and Spain’s Navantia.

The SSM is currently in negotiations with HDW concerning the final details and pricing for the six submarine procurement that is estimated to cost around €2.58. The program involves the construction of all six Type 214 Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) submarines at Turkey’s Golcuek Naval Shipyard, which also built eight of the TN’s Type 209/1400 submarines. Negotiations could be complete by early 2009 followed by a construction contract in mid-2009 in order to have the first unit in commission by 2015.

A major determinant in the selection of the preferred supplier, Turkish industry will satisfy 80% of the contract value in Turkey. Up to 20 of the major systems and subsystems will be produced by Turkish industry including the Integrated Underwater Command Control System (IUCCS). The entire class will be in service by 2020 and will replace the Atilay class that was commissioned from 1976 through 1984.

INDONESIA-Still Pitching for Barter Agreement on South Korean Submarines

In late July 2008 , AMI received information that the Indonesian Navy was still considering the procurement of submarines from South Korea. AM l’s source indicates that the deal proposed consists of South Korea assisting Indonesia in the construction of two Chang Bogo class (German Type 209) submarines in Indone- sia. The construction assistance also includes modifications of the selected Indonesia yard (PAL Indonesia Shipyard) that will build the submarines. The use of the Type 209 design will most assuredly require the assistance of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineer- ing (DSME) as well as Germany’ s Howaldtswerke-Deutche Werft (ThyssenKrypp Marine), the designer of the submarine.

In return, South Korea will receive eight EADS CN-235 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) built under license at Indonesia’s PT Dirgantara. The US$ 1B counter-trade agreement (although not finalized) follows a strategic partnership between the two countries that was announced in December 2006.

This partnership follows the US$ 1.2B deal that was struck by Russia and Indonesia in 2006. This deal includes the procurement of Russian systems including 22 helicopters, 20 tanks and two Kilo class submarines (with options fo r six additional Kilo class submarines and two Amur class) under a 15-year finance package with a 5.6% interest rate. A construction contract for the first two Kilo submarines was anticipated by the end of 2008.

However, it now appears that Indonesia has not made a decision on which submarine to procure, Russian-sourced or Type 209s. Indonesia currently operates two German-built Type 209 (Cakra) class submarines, of which one unit was overhauled by DSM E in South Korea from 2004 through 2006 . On the surface, it appears that the South Korean deal appears more likely due to Indonesia’s familiarity with Germany, South Korea and Type 209 submarines. A key factor in this deal is building submarines in Indonesia for the first time. Indonesia has experience in building patrol vessels in- country but has had trouble in moving forward with its own National Corvette Program , let alone a submarine design. AMI believes this option would lead to huge cost overruns and long delays.

With timing of delivery fast becoming an issue, the Kilo program could well be the better alternative as Russia will probably make delivery in three years. It is also possible that Indonesia could move forward with both options and get some Russian units in the near term while developing its own indigenous construction capabilities. However, the downside would be two distinctly different platforms and supply chains that would make it difficult at best to integrate and operate.

Various Did You Know?

INDIA- In early June 2008, the Indian Navy named the Russian- leased Akula class submairne, INS CHAKRA. The submarine is scheduled to be delivered to India in the second half of 2009 .

RUSSIA- On 08 July 2008, the Russian Navy Typhoon class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) TK-13 was decommissioned at Zvezdochka shipyard. TK-13 will be scrapped by March 2009.

UNITED KINGDOM – On 10 July 2008, the Royal Navy (RN) Vanguard class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) HMS VICTORIOUS completed a 39-month overhaul at the Devonport Royal Dockyard.

PORTUGAL On 15 July 2008, the first Portuguese Navy Type 209PN class submarine, NRP TRIDENTE, was launched at ThyssenKrupp Marine’s Howaldtswerke-Deutsche W erfl shipyard in Kiel, Germany.

From the August 2008 Issue

UNITED KINGDOM-Future Programs Taking Shape

With the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier, DARING (Type 45) class destroyer and Astute class submarine progrnms firmly underway, the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) is now progressing in its planning for the next generation of new construction pro- grams. These programs include the Military A float Reach nnd Sustainability (MARS) project, the Successor Submarine (Future Ballistic Missile Submarine), Future Surface Combatant project, a Future Mine Countermeasures Capability (FMCMC), and the Future Amphibious Task Group 2035 project. Highlights of these projects arc as follows:

A. Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) Project:

This project began in early 2004 when the Royal Navy (RN) began to formalize the concept of its future sea-based naval logistics support structure, identified as the Military A float Reach Sustainability Program. The MARS program will consist of 11 new vessels which will include six fleet tankers, two fleet support ships and three joint sea-based logistics vessels.

The first vessels lo be built will be the six tankers. On 21 May 2008, the UK MoD announced that candidates for the MARS Fleet Tanker had been short-listed to four candidates down from 20 prospective builders. The final four include Fincantieri of Italy, Hyundai Heavy Industries of South Korea, Navantia of Spain and the BAE Systems/BMT/Daewoo Team of the UK and South Korea. An Invitation to Participate in Dialogue (IPD) to the short-listed bidders was issued in June 2008. Final bids will be submitted in the second quarter of 2009 with a contract in place by late 2009 or early 20 I 0. The first unit will enter service in 2013 and all six units by 2016.

The fleet support ship and joint logistic ship phases will probably begin by 2013.

B. Successor Submarine (Future Ballistic Missile Submarine – SSBN):

This project is intended to replace the four Vanguard class SSBNs beginning in 2024. The Successor Submarine project is currently in the concept phase, which began in 2007 following Parliamentary approval for the replacement of the Vanguard class.

The design phase is being conducted by a team from the MoD, BAE Systems Submarine Solutions, Babcock Marine and Rolls Royce at the Future Submarines Integrated Project Team office at the Barrow-in-Furriness shipyard. The concept phase will be completed by September 2009 and pass through its Initial Gate Milestone. With the first submarine entering service in 2024, the Main Gate approval will probably occur by 2012 with a construc- tion contract in 2017 . At least three units will be built under this program.

C. Future Surface Combatant (FSC):

The FSC program is intended to replace the majority of the RN ‘s surface fleet through 2035 (four Broadsword (Type 22 Batch 3) class frigates, 13 Duke (Type 23) class frigates, eight Hunt class mine hunters MHCs) and eight Sandown class M HCs). The program will consist of three types of ships consisting of the Force Anti-Submarine Warfare (AS W) Combatant (CI), a Stabilization Combatant (C2) and an Ocean-Capable Patrol Vessel (CJ).

By late 2006, the MoD began releasing information concerning the Sustained Surface Combatant Capability (S2C2) Program, the blueprint for the future of the RN ‘s surface fleet. Currently, it is estimated that the CI Combatant will displace around 6000 tons and be utilized as part of a maritime strike group or amphibious task group offering ASW, land attack and coastal suppression capabilities. In addition each CI will have its own organic mine countermeasures (MCM) suite. The design team, known as the Naval Design Partnership (NOP) was established in 2007 and utilizes resources from Thales, BAE Systems, VT Group, Babcock, QinetiQ and BMT Defence Systems. Current scheduling calls for the initial Gate Milestone in mid-2009 and Main Gate approval in 2011. The first unit should enter service by 2019 indicating a construction contract by 2014. Up to eight of these units could be procured under this program starting construction at the rate of one per year from 2014 through 2020.

The C2 Combatant will probably be around 5000 tons utilizing the same generic hull as the CI although it will be more lightly armed. It will be capable of supporting small-scale stabilization operations, sea line protection and choke point escort. Assuming that eight CI vessels arc built, possibly as many as ten or eleven C2 units could be built. Construction on the first unit could begin by 2018 or 2019 following the launching of the last CI unit.

The C3 Ocean-Capable Palrol Vessel is envisioned as an ocean patrol vessel with MCM capabilities (mother ship for portable MCM assets) to replace the Hunt and San down class MCMVs as well as legacy survey vessels and offshore patrol vessels (OPVs). This vessel will probably be based on an existing hull from VT Shipbuilding. Up to eight C3 vessels could be built possibly beginning in 2019 in order to have the majority of hu tis in service by 2023 when the remaining MCMV force is decommissioned.

D. Future Mine Countermeasures Capability (FMCMC):

MoD sponsored studies began in 2006 to plan for the replacement of the legacy mine countermeasures forces (MCM). It is anticipated that the future MCM force will consist of two type of systems, portable and organic unmanned systems. The organic systems will be built into existing assets (other than MCMVs) such as the FSC (CI element) and will begin entering service by 2013.

The portable assets will be operated by a mother vessel such as the FSC (C3 element) and could begin entering service in the 2022- 2023 time frame. All of the legacy MCMV assets such as the San down and Hunt classes will be decommissioned with virtually no dedicated MCMV hulls remaining in naval service.

E. Future Amphibious Task Group 2035:

Initial analysis under- taken by the MoD indicates that the future amphibious force will consist of one Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier, two general purpose amphibious assault ships (LHDs) and up to five dock landing ships (LSDs). These units would replace the one Ocean class helicopter landing platform (LPH) which will decommission in 2024 without replacement, the two Albion class landing plat- form, docks (LPDs) and the four Bay class LSDs. The Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier that is not assigned strike role duties will alternately perform amphibious roles with the amphibious force.

With the Albion class LPDs and Bay class LSDs entering service from 2003 through 2006, the first replacement will need to commission by 2035 indicating main-gate approval by around 2025 and a construction contract in 2030.


Fincanticri Buys Manitowoc Marine Group, Gains Foothold in LCS Program

On 04 August 2008, Fincantieri Cantieri Navali S.p.A. signed an acquisition agreement to acquire the Manitowoc Marine Group (MMG) from its parent company, the Manitowoc Company, Inc. The transaction is valued at around US$ I 20M and is an all cash deal with Lockheed Martin a minority investor in the acquisition.

MMG is one of the leading mid-sized shipbuilders in the US for both commercial and government clients and is comprised of Marinette Marine Corp., Bay Shipbuilding Company (both in Wisconsin) and a repair yard in Cleve land Ohio.

This strategic partnership will allow Fincantieri to participate in the US Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program, which is expected to consist of as many as 55 vessels being built for the US Navy (USN). In addition, MMG has historically been the supplier of various craft for the US Coast Guard including small icebreakers and buoy tenders and will probably be a big provider of such vessels in the future. Not only will Fincantieri benefit from the ability to acquire US contracts in the domestic mid-size ship market, but also the US export market.

MMG will also derive great benefits from Financier’s vast experience in naval as well as commercial ship construction and repairs. Fincantieri is anticipating a US$ 1OOM investment in construction and technical improvements to MMC in the coming years that will increase both efficiency and productivity.

Other Italian system houses such as Mechanical (electronic equipment and components) and lsotta Maraschino (diesel engines) will also benefit from this new market.

ITALY-Contract for Two Additional Submarines

On 01 August 2008, AMI received information that the Italian Navy Directorate General for Naval Armament had ordered the second batch of two Type 2 I 2A submarines from Fincantieri. This follows information received in late May that the Italian House of Representatives Defense Committee formally approved the procurement. With the construction contract in place, construction on the first unit will begin in 20 I 0 at Finacantieri’s M uggiano yard and the second in 2011. Both units will be commissioned into the Italian Navy in 2015 and 2016.

The second two units were part of a USS 1.458 contract, which called for construction of the first two units of Batch I and options for two additional units of Batch II at a later date. The Batch I units were commissioned in June 2005 and May 2006, respectively.

The second two units will include technology upgrades in the command and control systems in order to mitigate obsolescence issues. The costs of the two latest submarines will be spread over the 2008-2016 time frame with the final payment occurring when the last unit is delivered .

INTERNATIONAL-World Missile Developments

A: INDIA: On 01 August 2008, BrahMos Aerospace announced that they have successfully developed air and underwater launched versions of its BrahMos supersonic missile and arc currently working on hyper sonic missiles that could reach speeds of up to Mach 7.

In February 2008, the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) tested a submarine launched ballistic missile from a mobile submersible platform. It is believed that this same vertical-launch platform was readied and used for the test of the BrahMos as well.

It is likely that the underwater version will be fired from a new class of submarine with vertical launch missile tubes as AMl’s sources indicate that BrahMos will only be vertically launched and not tube launched.

As for the air launched version of the missile, it will likely be a few years before full-rate production and fleet integration will occur due to the requirement for structural modification to the Russian-built Su-30 MKI aircraft that the missiles arc going to be deployed from. Currently, tests of the missiles have been done from on modified Su-30M KI as well as a Tu-142 Bear aircraft.

In addition to the announcement of the successful test of the BrahMos, company officials stared that the new hypersonic BrahMos II will likely begin the development stage under a major expansion plan in the near future.

B: RUSSIA: On 04 August 2008, AMI received information that the Russian Navy (Rosiyskiy Vocnnomorsky Flot – RVF) was continuing its plans to revitalize its ballistic missile forces when it tested an SS-X-26 missile from the Delta III class submarine RYAZAN in the Northern Pacific.

The missile was fired in the Barents Sea and reportedly hit its intended target on the Kura test ground in Kamchatka. Igor Dygalo, a senior public affairs spokesman for the R VF stated: “The regular check-up of the nation’s naval strategic nuclear forces has been conducted successfully.”

The SS-X-26 is a modernized version of the Tender missile system, now re-designated Iskandcr (vice lskanderE which is the export version). It has been upgraded with an inertial guidance integrated with GPS/GLONASS and with alternative terminal seekers. CEP is better than 8m (26.2ft) using terminal guidance. Guidance is achieved by gas-dynamic vanes at launch, then by aerodynamic surfaces (vanes) later in flight. lskander has a reported range of 400km (216nm) and can be equipped with either a 700kg ( 1544 lb) high explosive warhead or sub-munitions. There have also been indications that the missile could be equipped with electromagnetic pulse (EMP). fuel/air explosive (FAE) or nuclear warheads.

This test is likely a continuation of missile development for the Project 955 (Borey class) SSBN and may indeed be testing an even longer-range missile than the reported 400km reported range of the lskander.

From the September 2008 Issue

SOUTH KOREA-Competition for Butch II und Export Type 214s

In mid-September 2008, AM I received information that South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) finalized an agreement in August with ThyssenKrupp Marine’s Howaldtswerke Deutsche-Werft (HDW) for their contribution of the second batch of six Type 214 submarines (KSS-2 program). The entire deal, including construction with either Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSM E) or Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), is estimated to be worth US$3B.

The Batch II order will enable the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) to meet its force level of nine Son Won-II class Type 214’s by 2018. The Batch I order consisted of three vessels, all manufactured by HHI.

Under the new deal, H DW has agreed to offsets associated with weapon systems. Under the previous contract for the Batch I units, HOW is known lo have agreed only to technology transfers associated with hull construction. AM I has learned South Korea will receive, among others, design and manufacturing technologies associated with the torpedo system, a technological capability desired by South Korea in order to indigenous develop an underwater ordnance launch system for the 3,500 ton KSS-3 submarine, which is currently under the design phase.

Additionally, HOW has also reportedly agreed with DAPA to permit an as-yet designated South Korean shipyard to manufacture two Type 214’s to be exported by HOW to an unnamed third country. Progression in the ROKN KSS-2 (Type 214) Program follows DAPA’s reconsideration earlier this year over reported problems with the propeller shaft of the first vessel, ROKS SON WON-IL. While AMI has been informed of satisfactory resolution to the reported problems, earlier problems with ROKS SON WON- ll contributed to rumors that DAPA may have reduced the Batch II order to three vessels instead of the initially considered six. When considering the USS3B estimated price tag by DAPA and the nine- unit class in service target date of 2018, it appears that all six units of Batch II will be procured.

While HHI manufactured all three units of Batch 1, both HHJ and DSM E arc expected to bid for the Batch II contract, with the winner announced by the end of 2008. DSM E manufactured eight of the ROKN’s nine Chang Bogo (Type 209) class submarines under the KSS-1 program, with the first unit constructed in HDW’s shipyard in Kiel, Germany. Both shipbuilders have also been designated as joint lead contractors for the KSS-3 program, the ROKN’s new 3,000 • 3,500 ton indigenous submarine program.

RUSSIA-Defense Budge Increases Through 2011

In mid-September 2008, AM 1 received information that Russia would continue increasing its defense budget through 2011. In 2009, the budget would increase to US$50B with subsequent increases as part of the state budget. Although the 2009 budget is around 20% higher than in 2008, the majority will be offset by higher inflation rates that have been averaging between 11 and 14 percent annually.

This essentially leaves the overall increase at 6-9 percent. While this is a substantial increase, it seems insufficient when considering the massive requirements to rebuild the infrastructure and weaponry of the outdated Russian forces. These rebuilding plans did not include lessons learned from the recent Georgian conflict in which Russia apparently showed weakness in many areas, areas in which improvement is needed.

The major issue that Russia faces is the outdated military industrial complex that continues with massive cost overruns, inefficiencies and long delays. AM 1 believes that many of the inefficiencies and reduced capabilities reside in the second-tier suppliers to large shipyards. Jn regards to the Russian Navy, AMI believes that the budget increases from 2009 through 2011 will do little for the sea service as the high priced Borey class nuclear- powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) will absorb the majority of the funding along with the slow rate of construction continuing with the remaining active programs including the Yasen class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN), St. Petersburg class conventionally-powered attack submarines (SS) and Steregushchiy and Admiral Gorshkov class frigate programs.

The only way for Russia to make any headway with its larger projected defense budgets is to hope that inflation begins to drop to a manageable level enabling the Russian forces and industrial complex to begin investing in real improvements in its second-tier suppliers over the long-term.

IRAN-More Submarine Programs

On 25 August 2008, the Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammed Najar announced Iran was opening a domestic submarine line for a new class of 1000-ton submarines, known as the Qaeem class, that will be capable of firing torpedoes, missile sand Shkval rocket torpedoes.

The Iranian Navy (IN) probably began planning for the new class of submarines around 2005 in order to augment first, then eventually replace the three Tareq (Kilo) class submarines currently in service. A construction contract for the new 1,000-ton Qaeem class was likely signed in 2007 with construction beginning immediately there after.

Unit one is currently being constructed at Persian Gulf Shipbuilding Co. (PGSC), likely with Russian assistance as models of the Qaeem appear to be based on the Russian Amur 950 class. Unit one will probably commission in 2011 followed by up to four additional units through 2018. All sensor and weapon systems will likely be Russian-built.

Similar to the Amur 950, the Qaeem has the Amur standard hull design and an echoic coating to reduce the overall acoustic signature. Propulsion will be provided by two diesel engines connected to generators to power the large permanent magnet electric motor driving a single seven-blade screw. Due to its primary potential operating area being so close to its own ports in the Arabian Gulf Region, the IN probably does not have a requirement for the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system, allowing for additional weapons and more simplified construction.

The new submarines probably have four 21-inch (533mm) torpedo tubes for sixteen torpedoes. In lieu of torpedoes, the Qaecm class will probably be able to carry a mixture of mines, Shkval rocket torpedoes, Novator Stallion (SS-16), Novator Klub (SS- – 27) or newly designed SSMs. Iran has recently begun to construct their own small submarines (the Nahang and Ghadir class mini-subs), and the Qaeem class appears to be the next step in their submarine building evolution.

INTERNATIONAL-World Missile Developments

Russia: On 18 September 2008, the Russian Navy (Rosiyskiy Voennomorsky Flot RVF) test-fired a Bulava submarine- launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from the DMITRY DONSKOI, a Typhoon (Akula) class nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), in the White Sea to the Kura test-site on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

The multiple-warhead missile (up to I 0 warheads) was launched at 1505 GMT with each of the warheads hitting their targets, according to a defense ministry official. (Although according to the Russian Kommersnat news, the warhead bus failed and if it had been a wartime shot the warheads would not have detonated). The test firing, at a range of 5,600 km (3,500 miles) was still far from the missile’s reported maximum range of 8,000 km (5,000 miles).

Originally tested in 2005, the Bulava is the submarine version of the Topol-M ballistic missile, and was developed to arm the new Borey class SSBNs, the first of which is scheduled to commission into the RVF in 2009, followed by six additional units through 2020. This test is yet another crucial step in the development of the new Borey class.

This test comes on the heels of last-month’s test of a Topol RS- l 2M missile (reported in AMI’s August 2008 Hot News) and is being viewed as the action Russian President Dmitri Mcdvedev’s promise during his military response to the US-Polish agreement for a US interceptor missile base in Poland that was signed last month.•

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