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Reprinted with permission from AMI HOT NEWS; an Internet publication of AMI International, PO Box 40, Bremerton, Washington, 98337.

From the July 2011 Issue

PAKISTAN- Khalid Class Submarine: on 21 June 2011, AMI received information that the second of three MESMA Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) modules for the Pakistani Navy (PN) will be shipped from DCNS in the near term. The MESMA AIP system will be installed in one of the two remaining Agosta 90B class submarines in Pakistani naval service during its next refit in 2012.

The likely candidate is the PNS KHALID (S137), which was delivered to the PN in 1999 and is entering its mid-life overhaul window in 2012, which would be the prime opportunity to install the 8.7 meter (28.4ft) plug. The third AIP system is scheduled for delivery in 2014 and would be inserted in the PNS SAAD (S 138) when it begins its first major overhaul. The third unit of the class, PNS HAZMA (S 139) was built with its AIP plug already installed. PNS HAZMA entered service in 2008.

The mid-life refit and plug insertion will take place at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) in Pakistan.

From the August 2011 Issue

INDONESIA-Another Entrant in the Submarine Race

In early August 2011, AMI International received information that Turkey has entered the fray for the Indonesian submarine program. Source indicates that Turkey is offering the Indonesian Navy (IN) two new construction hulls (probably Type 209/ 1400 Preveze class) in addition to one used Atilay class (Type 209/1200) as a grant or lease. The new construction hulls would be built in Turkey’s Golcuk Naval Shipyard. Turkey’s offer is the latest in what originally appeared to be a two horse race consisting of South Korea and Russia.

A major drawback in Turkey’s offer is that both new construction units would be built in Turkey and Indonesia is looking for licensed production at its own shipyards. South Korea through Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) is offering three units of the Chang Bogo (Type 209/1200) class build under license in Indonesia. South Korea offered the three-hull deal for US$1.08B.

The last serious contender was Russia, which offered the Kilo 636 and Amur designs under a US$1.2B deal accompanied by a 15-year finance package with a 5.6% interest rate. Like Turkey, the submarines would be built in Russia as no Russian submarines have ever been built under license in a foreign yard.

In addition to the South Korean, Russian and now Turkish offers, Indonesia’s Defense Minister in April 2011, did state that other designs were still being considered; probably a reference to the latest two designs available on the international market, the DCNS Scorpene and the ThyssenKrupp Marine Type 214.

With the program scheduled to begin in 2014, it appears that there is still time for other submarine builders to make their case for the Indonesian program that is calling for ten new submarines by 2024. Indonesia would most certainly entertain any offer at this time although the key will be technology transfer, shipyard modernization and finance programs; all of which Indonesia will need in order to carry out submarine construction in country. AMI believes that South Korea may be in the best position at this point due to its price offer of US$1.088 for three new construction units and a willingness to meet the technology transfer requests for Indonesian construction and shipyard modernization. South Korea also has experience with the Indonesian Navy through the mid-life modernization of its two Cakra class (Type 209/1300) submarines in South Korea in 2006 and 2009.


Submarine RfP to be Released in 4th Quarter 2011

On 03 August 2011, AMI received information that the Philippine Navy (PN) intends to release a Request for Proposals (RfP) for two submarines in the 4th quarter of 2011. The estimated US$18 program (cost estimated by PN) is for two units, either new or used. The sea service has left open the criteria of new or used hulls in order to explore all options and costs.

The submarine requirement derives from the PN’s long-term acquisition plan, Sail Plan 2020. It specifically calls for two units by 2020 with the estimate US$1B in funding occurring in the Capability Upgrade Plans (CUP) 2011-2016 and 2017-2022. AMI still believes that this program must be considered very ambitious by the PN, which has never operated a Submarine Force nor has tried to finance a project of this magnitude.

When added to the PN’s shopping list under Sail Plan 2020, this program appears to be very unrealistic. Currently, the PN is considering three new build platform landing docks (LPDs) in 2012, two new construction 1,000-ton offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) beginning around 2014, up to eight used US Coast Guard cutters (possibly Hamilton class High Endurance Cutters) as Excess Defense Articles through 2016 and the two diesel submarines by 2020.

When considering historical funding streams to the PN over the past several decades, one has to look no further than the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program (AFPMP) that ran from 1996 through 2008. In that time span, the PN did not procure any new construction or significant used platforms due to shifting priorities. There does appear to be a glimmer of hope as newly elected President Aquino in May upped the priority of the PN and authorized US$220M for procurements in the 2011-2012 timeframe. This was probably in reaction to the increasing rift with China over the Spratly Islands. The question is, will this type of commitment be maintained as the price for the shopping list gets much larger than the US$200M authorized for 2011-2012.

If the PN is able to acquire the funding for the submarine purchase, it will have to consider the entire package of acquisition, training and basing which could cost significantly more than the estimated US$1B. The Philippines has no basing or support structure for submarines and no historical background in regards to operating such vessels. Any deal will need to include the construction of a basing structure, through life support for the submarines and long-term training assistance for the crews.

AMI believes that the list of prospective candidates to fulfill the PN’s requirements will be very small. The top candidate could very well be South Korea with its type 209 construction, operations and maintenance experience with the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) and Indonesia. The PN also has historical ties with South Korea though the procurement of used patrol vessels over the past several years as well as links in the shipbuilding industry. South Korea, looking to export submarines to Indonesia, could do the same for the PN, probably at reasonable cost in conjunction with an attractive financing package or a barter deal.

Other international candidates include the DCNS/Navantia Scorpene design, the ThyssenKrupp Marine Type 214, and the Turkish Type 209. AMI believes that the likelihood and timeline of a submarine purchase are probably now being driven by emotions related to the latest disagreements with China even though there is a requirement under Sail Plan 2020. The first step is to see if an RfP is released in the 4th quarter.


FRANCE: On 24 July 2011, the French Navy named the fourth Barracuda class submarine TOURVILLE.

From the September 2011 issue

Deal Reported for Six Yuan Class Submarines

Information received in late July 2011 indicates that Pakistan may be very close to inking a deal with China for the procurement of six Yuan (type 041) class diesel-electric attack submarines (SSK), equipped with air-independent propulsion (AIP).

Coming on the heels of a deal between the two nations for the procurement of the four Sword (F22P) class frigates in 2007 (three Chinese-built units delivered as of September 2010) and a reported deal for the lease of two type 054 (Jiangkai I) class frigates in early 2011 , it now appears that China may indeed be continuing to increase its foothold in the region with yet another arms deal with the nation.

Pakistan has been in the market for a modem submarine to replace their aging Hashmat (Agosta 70) class submarines that were commissioned in 1979 and 1980. In November 2008, it appeared that the Pakistani Navy (PN) was close to a deal with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) of Germany (a deal that reportedly bested DCNS’s offer of the Martin) for the acquisition of five Type 214 submarines. Continuing to leverage the recent ship building deal with China and originally believed to put pressure on TKMS and DCNS, the PN announced in April 2010, that is was also considering the Chinese Yuan class SSK.

Although the Chinese solution will undoubtedly be less expensive and with a much more lucrative financing package than the European solutions, other aspects to consider will be the logistic support chain as well as integration into the existing French-supplied Submarine Force. The PN may indeed view the integration problem as minimal considering the variety of foreign built vessels in their inventory.

Furthermore, according to an AMI in-country source, the PN has concerns about the quality and reliability of technical documentation from the Sword class procurement citing the Chinese documentation as incomplete and of insufficient detail. Such omissions could have potentially devastating consequences if the PN decides to acquire the Yuan class with similar technical documentation shortfalls.

While this deal is not complete, it seems to be moving ahead and will likely see a construction contract by the end of 2012. AMI anticipates that the PN will probably decide on the Yuan class AIP SSK as their replacement submarine. The advanced design and array of deployable weapons coupled with the lower initial cost for the Yuan class makes it a perfect solution for the PN’s submarine requirements.

Should a contract be finalized by the end of 2012 as anticipated, the first unit will likely commission by 2015, followed by one unit each year through 2019, completing the class of five submarines.


Submarine Deal with South Korea Close

With new SOF a planned September 2011 visit by Republic of Korea’s (ROK) Defense Minister to Indonesia, a deal worth US$l.08B may be secured for the procurement of up to three submarines. Reportedly, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) is poised to become the primary bidder if Indonesia signs a memorandum of understanding with Minister Kim Kwan-jin. If this deal is made, it will edge out Turkeys recent offer to provide two new type 209/1400 Preveze class in addition to one Type 209/1200 Alitay class for grant or lease, and the Russian proposal to build either the Kilo (Project 636) or the Amur (Project 1650) designs.

Previously, the Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Laut (TNI-AI)) had shelved plans for a new submarine program until 2012, but due to a quick recovery from the global economic crisis, it seems the country is green-lighting the procurement.

As a result of the TNI-AL’s 2006 announcement that is was pursuing a replacement program for its aging Cakra (Type 209) submarines, a fierce bidding war began that encompassed the German (including a recent German/Turkish partnership), French and even Russian providers, as well as South Korea.

AMI estimates the deal will involve the construction of three new Chang-bogo (Type 209/1200) submarines. The first unit will likely be delivered in 2016 and the other two by the end of 2018. Furthermore, AMI also believes that the TNI-AL’s other type 209 received service-life extensions by DSME, to keep them operational until the new submarines are fully operational. The Chang-bogo (Type 209/1200) design is an improvement over the Carkra (Type 209/1300). Not only is it an improved hull design, with the capability of diving to 250-meters (820.2ft); it has a more efficient diesel-electric power plant and battery storage that gives it greater range and underwater endurance. ROK had plans of incorporating an air-independent propulsion (AIP) plant into the design and AMI believes this may appear in the Indonesian variant. The Chang-bogo also includes an anti-ship missile (ASM) capability (the Type 209/1200 is capable of supporting the submarine-launched UGM-84B Harpoon ASM and it is also likely the TNI-AL will request this capability in the final design.

Additionally, AMI believes that as the global economic condition stabilizes and navies seek to upgrade their Submarine Forces, South Korea may use this sale as an opportunity to broaden its export market in the Asia-Pacific region. While, like many other nations, the ROK felt the effects of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, South Korea’s strong defense industry sector helped to cushion the blow to its economy and recover quicker than most analysts expected. As a result, AMI sees South Korea as a future hub for naval exports.


Naval Program Update

Since the last complete rewrite of current Indian Navy (IN) project reports, a number of developments warrant discussion. A summary of these developments follows.

SCORPENE (Project 75) Submarine: The IN, facing a significant force structure shortfall in its submarine fleet, has challenged Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL) to expedite delivery of the six Scorpene submarines currently under construction. This shortfall is due largely to the country’s lack of progress in creating a force structure of 24 new conventional submarines (as defined under its 1999, 30- Year Submarine Construction Plan). Previous delays in the construction of the six Scorpene submarines under Project 75 and the anticipated decommissioning of older Type 209/1500 and Kilo 877 class boats continue to make the 24 SSK force structure goal unachievable. AMI estimates, the IN will only have 15 conventional submarines in service by 2018, of which six will likely be the new Scorpenes.

Under Project 75, MDL and the French Shipbuilder, DCNS are currently expected to deliver all six units of the first batch of Scorpene submarines between 2015 and 2019. Unit I is expected to launch as early as 2013 with delivery expected to be around 2015. Under this timeline unit two should be delivered in 2016 and the remaining four units by the end of 2018. Based on the program’s history, this seems aggressive, but that is certainly what is needed to progress toward the force structure objective.

In 2010, the Indian Government released a request for information (Rfl) for the procurement of up to six additional conventional submarines under Project 751. This new submarine design is expected to carry surface-to-surface missiles (SSM – likely Brahmas) as well as incorporate an air independent propulsion (AIP) system. AMI expects a request for proposals (RfP) to be released by the end of 2011 (see the April 2011 edition of Hot News at

Potential candidates include:

  • France DCNS and the Scorpene design
  • Russia Rubin Design Bureau Amur design
  • Germany HOW Type 214 design
  • Italy/Russia Fincantieri and Rubin SI 000 design.
  • Spain Navantia S80 design.

At least two of the Project 75I submarines are expected to be built at a foreign yard. AMI expects a second production line will be established in India, possibly at Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL) with Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T). This second production line could allow both MDL and HSL to construct Project 751 boats concurrently.


UNITED ST ATES: On 08 August, the US Navy took delivery of the Virginia class submarine USS CALIFORNIA (SSN781), eight-months earlier than originally scheduled.

AUSTRALIA: On 23 August, the Collins class submarine HMAS FARNCOMB reportedly suffered a main engine malfunction while at periscope depth. It was able to surface and return to port under its own power.

RUSSIA: On 31 August, tests for the fourth-generation nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine RFS YURI DOLGORUKY, have been successfully completed.

From the October 2011 Issue


UNITED STATES: On 02 September 2011, construction began on the United States Navy’s (USN) thirteenth Virginia class submarine, SSN 787 (no name), at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HIJ) at Newport News, Virginia.

UNITED KINGDOM: On 16 September 2011, the Royal Navy (RN) formally announced the name of the 5th Astute class submarine, HMS ANSON.

UNITED KINGDOM: On 21 September 2011, assembly began on the RN’s newest aircraft carrier, HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH (R 08), at Babcok’s shipyard in Rosyth.

RUSSIA: On 05 October 2011, Russia’s first Yasen (Project 885) class nuclear powered attack submarine (SSN), RFS SEVERODVINSK, completed sea trials.

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