Reprinted with permission from AMI HOT NEWS; an
internet publication AMI International, PO Box 40,
Bremerton, Waslrington, 98337.
From the April 2008 Issue
SOUTH KOREA-Project Office Established for KSS-3 Submarine Program
In mid-April 2008, AMI received infonnation that the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) established the project office for the SSX Submarine Program (KSS-3 ). The office was established in February 2008 and will formally run the program until completion. Currently, the KSS-3 program is in the design phase which will run through 2011. AMI estimates that both Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) are involved in the design phase. It is uncertain if the design is based on the H HI 3500-ton design that was under consideration several years ago. South Korea utilized the German Type 209 design for its KSS-1 Submarine program that delivered nine Chang Bogo class submarines from 1993 through 200 I. The German Type 214 design was
selected for the KSS-2 Submarine Program that will deliver up to nine submarines through 2017.
Although South Korea is now building its second class of submarines in-country, it is possible that the ROKN could utilize a foreign design partner (possibly Australia, Sweden, Spain, France, Italy or Russia) as the SSX submarine is expected to be around 3 ,500 tons, much larger than the Type 209 and Type 214 designs already built by South Korean shipyards.
Assuming that the design phase is completed on schedule in 2011, a construction contract could be in place by 2013 for four units of the class. The SSX submarines will be capable of blue water operations with the larger units of the ROKN including the KDX-2 and KDX-3 destroyers and the Dokdo Ham class helicopter carriers. With the South Koreans now experienced in submarine construction and in full development of their own weapon system, including anti-ship missiles and torpedoes, it appears that foreign assistance for the SSX Program will be minimal at best. VENEZUELA-Russian Kilo Submarine Deal Expected in May In February 2008, AMI received information that the Venezuelan Navy (Bolivarian Armada de Venezuela – ADV) was planning to sign a construction contract for three Kilo class submarines in April 2008 when Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez visited Russia. However, it now appears that the trip has been delayed until May when Chavez will visit Moscow on 07 May to attend the inauguration of Russian President-elect Dmitry Medvedev.
The deal for up to four Kilo class (636) submarines (vice three) is now scheduled to be signed during this visit. Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister, Dmitry Pan kin, has confirmed that a loan for US$800M was also approved. The additional US$200M of the estimated U S$1 B deal will be provided by V enezuc la. Two of the submarines will be built at the Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg and the other two in a shipyard in the Russian Far East (probably Komsomolsk-na-Amur). Komsomolsk built Kilo class submarines for export to China until production was shifted to Northern and Western Russian yards earlier this decade (2002). The acquisition of the Russian submarines comes after Venezuela recently began to explore its options on expanding the country’s Submarine Force. The two Sabalo (German Type 209) class submarines in Venezuela’s inventory arc undergoing modernization efforts in Porto Cabello, extending the operational life of the 30-year old submarines.
Various Did You Know?
SOUTH KOREA Jn March 2008, the Republic of Korea Navy’s (ROKN) second Type 214 submarine, ROKS JEONG JI began sea trials. This follows the commissioning of the first unit of the class, ROKS SON WON IL in December 2007.
From the Mav 2008 Issue
INDIA-Moving Forward with Air and Submarine Programs
A. Vertical Launch Missile Submarine (Project 76): In mid-May 2008, AMI received information that the Ministry of Defense had released a Request for Information (Rfl) for a new class of submarines (second submarine line) that includes a Vertical Launch (VL) capability for the Russian/Indian BrahMos missile. The second
submarine line, known as Project 76, was expected by AM I to sec an Rn to be released by the end of 2008.
Since the Rfl has already been released, the MoD will probably make a decision on its design options by early 2009 before releasing a more detailed RfP in order to make a final design selection. When this program was announced in 1998, it was anticipated that the Indian Navy would use a govemmenMogovernment deal with Russia for the 10-cell Humpback Amur design.
However, by 2006 the MoD’s Defense Procurement Policy (OPP) had changed its rules requiring all significant procurement programs be tendered in an open competition format; all but ending any chance of a government-to-government deal. In order to abide by the new rules, the MoD released the Rn in order lo gather information on its design options. Sources indicate that the interested parties include Navantia with its S-80 design, DCNS with
a Super Scorpenc, ThyssenKrupp Marine with the Type 214 and the Russian Amur with Italian assistance. Of these candidates, only the Amur originally had a variant with a VL system. In order to meet the VL requirement, the other three entrants will have to modify their base submarine design in order to be selected. AMI still believes that the 10-cell Humpback Amur will be chosen as it is the most mature design at this time.
B. Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA): In mid-May 2008, AMI received information that the Indian Navy (IN) has made the
decision to procure eight Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MP A). Sources indicate that the contract will be worth around US$2.5B with finalization coming in the next several months. The first aircraft will be delivered by 2012 with the entire force of eight units delivering by 2016. The Poseidon bested the EADS Airbus A-391 with both of these final candidates being chosen in December 2007.
AUSTRALIA – Budget Issues Through the Next Decade
On 13 May 2008, press reporting indicated that the Australian Department of Defense was increasing the current (2008- 2009) budget by AUDl.0368 (US$992M) for Australian Defense Force operations in Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, Iraq and the Solomon Islands. This influx of monies was originally viewed as stabilization funds to allow current procurement programs to continue on schedule and without slippage.
In mid-May 2008, AMI received information from sources in Australia that the defense budget increases that have been reported for 2008-2009 will have little to no impact on procurements as they are slated for operational supplements only.
Although the operational increase will have no effect on procurements, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) is looking to save A$ I B (US$956M) in the procurement/Defense Materials Organization (OMO) budget this year as well as the next ten. Also, they arc sliding an additional A$ l B from this year to next because of program slippages. It must be noted, this is not a savings, merely a movement of monies already allocated to certain programs.
As stated in AMl’s March 2008 Hot News, these A$1B annual savings will continue throughout the next ten years in order to reign in ballooning costs associated with equipment and manpower according lo Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon. The majority of these savings will be seen in the civilian staff by freezing or reducing personnel numbers.
ITALY-Batch II Type 212 Submarines Approved
In late May 2008, AM I received information that the Italian House of Representatives Defense Committee formally approved the second batch of Type 212A class submarines for the Italian Navy. A construction contract for the two submarines will probably be in place by the end of 2008.
The second two units were part of a US$1.45B 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 (SALVATORE TODARO and SCIRE) were built at Fincantieri’s Muggiano Shipyard and commissioned into the Italian Navy in June 2005 and May 2006, respectively. The second two units will also be built at Muggiano and will include technology upgrades in the command and control systems in order to mitigate obsolescence issues. Both of the units will be delivered to the sea service by 2016.
The costs of the two latest submarines will be spread over the 2008-2016 timcframc with the final payment occurring when the last unit is delivered.
RUSSIA-Used Kilos Possibly Available for Sale
On 14 May 2008, AMI received information that Russia may be considering the sale of used Russian Navy Kilo class submarines on the international market. AM l’s sources indicated that the Russian Navy (RN) may be willing to sell decommissioned Kilo class submarines at a base price with no corresponding support package. This would enable all foreign customers the option of purchasing the submarines at a minimal price with all overhaul and modernization efforts being completed at the customer’s shipyard of choice.
This may be an option for customers that arc interested in procuring low cost used submarines in a very limited market, while not committing to a complete Russian solution; which is usually mired in cost overruns, delays or an unreliable through-life supply chain. A Russian hull with systems derived from non-Russian sources would also enable potential customers other finance options through the overhauling/modernization yard.
Although Russia is beginning to reemerge as a major submarine provider on the international market with new construction Kilo and Amur class submarines; there still remains a small niche market for customers that are trying to require submarines or arc attempting to modernize their outdated Submarine Forces with little or no funding sources.
The main reason that Russia may be attempting to gain entry into the used submarine market is that the availability of used diesel submarines from European and other sources has largely been depleted. Available candidates as a result of the general 1990s naval worldwide draw-down have already been resold or scrapped. Although this market appears extremely small, several countries that may be interested could include Thailand, Philippines, Bangladesh, and Egypt.
UNITED KINGDOM-BMT Offers New Submarine Design
In mid-May 2008, BMT Defence Services unveiled a new submarine design, the VIDAR-36. The new, 3,600-ton ocean-going
submarine is the latest design to enter the world market. The VIDAR-36 was designed by BMTs multi-disciplinary research and development team, BMT lnSpira. The new design will be able to fulfill the requirements of blue water navies that operate in the open ocean environment or long distances from home. Additionally, it helps maintain the United Kingdom’s critical submarine design capability.
The VIDAR-36 design can be tailored to meet various mission requirements that include extended range (AIP optional), dry or wet deck operations or the traditional anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare operations. The new submarine is 79 meters (259. I ft) in length with a range of 9,000 nautical miles (snorting) and a
maximum operating depth of great than 200 meters (656.1 ft). It has six 21-inch torpedo tubes for a maximum of 18 torpedoes and missiles, or up to 36 mines.
At 3,600 tons; this submarine design will fill the gap between the smaller diesel submarines in the 500 and 2,500 ton range and the much larger nuclear-powered submarines over 5,000 tons. Currently, there arc several countries that operate submarines in this category including Australia, Canada, India the Netherlands and South Korea or any regional navy that is looking to graduate to a larger, more capable submarine that can operate longer and further
distances from home.
The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) operate a capable modern fleet of frigates, corvettes, fast attack craft (F AC), patrol vessels and amphibious and mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs). The majority of the Malaysian fleet has been built since the 1970s. From I 990 through 1999, the RMN has been expanding its naval capabilities as evidenced by the procurement of two Lekiu class frigates, four Laksamana (Assad) class corvettes, and one used Newport class tank landing ship (LST). These vessels were procured under two Malaysian Government budget plans known as Malaysia Plan (MP) 6 (1990-1995) and MP 7 (1996-2000). Since 2000 (under MP 8 2001-2005), the RMN has been involved in several procurement programs including two Kedah class (Next Generation Patrol Vessels) offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) of which the first two units have been commissioned (four additional units under construction) and the Scorpene submarine program, which will deliver two new-construction Scorpene submarines and one used AGOSTA 708 by 2009. In addition, the naval helicopter force was upgraded with the delivery of six Augusta Westland AS555 Fenncc helicopters.
Additional program that are currently being planned by the RMN that could possibly start in the next two decades under Malaysia Plans 9 (2006-20 I 0), 10 (20 I 1-2015) and 1 I (2016-2020) include: A continuation of the Lekiu class frigate with the acquisition of four additional units, three additional Scorpene submarines, new landing platform, docks (LPDs), a tank landing ship (LST), logistics ships, an ocean surveillance ship (AOS) and mine countermeasures vessels (M CM Vs). In regards to the Lekiu Class Frigate (Batch II & III), a construction contract for the two units of Batch II (units three and four) could be in place by the close of2008. The two optional units under Batch III (five and six) could be funded under MP 10 (2011-2015) with a construction contract by around 2013. A II six units could be commissioned into the RM N by 20 I 8 if there arc no further delays in the program.
The Kedah class OPV program continues to move forward slowly with unit three being launched from Boustead Naval
Shipyard in 2007, and units four through six scheduled to begin by 2009. All six units of Batch I will probably enter service by 2010. Up to six additional units could be funded under MP 10 (2011-2015). Both units of the Scorpenc class submarine will probably enter service with the RM N by 2010. The first unit (being built in France) began construction in December 2003 and was launched in 2007. The second unit began at Navantia in Spain in late 2004 and will be launched in 2009. Up to three additional Scorpene class submarines could be ordered under this program with funding possible by 2016 (under MP 11 2016-2020) since the sea service has a requirement for up to five submarines.
The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) is also planning for the procurement of three LPDs to support an Anny Rapid Deployment Battalion, as well as serve as a command ship. The LPD program will probably begin around 2011 under MP 10 (201 1-2015).
In the longer term, the RMN has a requirement for one tank landing ship (LST) to replace the Newport class LST that was procured from the US, four MCMVs to replace the Mahamiru (Lerici) class MHCs as well as two logistics support ships (AOE) and one ocean surveillance ship (AOS).
In regards to the MMEA, which became operational in mid2005, (fonned from the Police, Customs, and Fisheries Departments) it will continue with developmental plans for various patrol vessels. MM EA requirements also call for ten medium patrol boats in the 55-60 meter range and fifteen high-speed patrol boats in the 35-40 meter range . The medium and high-speed patrol boat programs will probably also begin under MP 9 (2006-20 I 0) and MP 10(2011 -2015).
Various Did You Know?
SOUTH AFRICA-On 22 May 2008, the South African Navy (SAN) took delivery of the third and final unit of the Type 209
submarine, the SAS QUEEN MODJADJI.