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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 Mav 2011 Issue
INDIA-Shishumar (Type 209/1500) Class Submarine: In early April 2011, AMI received information that the Indian Navy (IN) is considering further upgrades to the four Shishumar class submarines built in Germany and India from 1982 through 1992. This will be the second modernization effort for these submarines as the IN will need to retain this four-unit force in service as a result of the continuing delays of their replacements the Scorpene class that is currently being built in India.

Source indicates that the IN is in consultations with Germany (probably ThyssenKrupp Marine and Siemens) for the modernization effort that will probably take place in Germany and India’s Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL). The IN is currently considering the following work package for all four units of the class:

  • Addition of a Siemens Air Independent Propulsion System (AIP).
  • Overhaul of diesel engines and generators.
  • Hull maintenance.
  • Replacement of batteries.
  • Installation of a new or modernization of the existing periscope system.
  • Complete the installation of the Thales TSM 2272 sonar.
  • Installation of the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) active towed array sonar (A TAS).

If this program moves forward, and it probably will, the first unit could enter dry dock as early as 2013 with all four units being complete by 2017. The second modernization effort will extend the service life of the Shishumar class to around 2024 when the Scorpene class should be in service in appreciable numbers.

TURKEY-Ay Class Submarine: In mid-February 2011, AMI received information that Savunma Teknolojileri Muhendislik (STM) was selected as the prime contractor for the modernization of the two Ay class submarines, DOGAN A Y (S351) and DO LUNA Y (S 352).

On 30 March, STM signed an agreement with Carl Zeiss Optronics for the delivery and installation of two SERO 250-A attack periscopes, two SERO 250-S search periscopes, an inertial navigation system (INS) and electronic support measures (ESM) system. The first unit could begin its overhaul by the end of 2011, followed by the second unit in 2012. The weapon control system will also be upgraded to work with the Mk48 ADCAP torpedoes as part of a separate contract.

STM’s contract with the Turkish SSM also calls for the option for two additional submarines at a later date. However, the four remaining units of the class were commissioned from 1976 through 1981 and will be the first units replaced by the new construction Type 214s, indicating the options may not be exercised.

BRAZIL-Tupi (Type 209/1400)/Tikuna (Type 209/1450) Class Submarines: In March 2009, the Brazilian Navy (BN) signed a contract with Lockheed Martin (LMCO) for the modernization of the Tupiffikuna classes. The Foreign Military Sale (FMS) contract was for LMCO to upgrade the combat management, sonar, fire control and weapon launch systems.

A total of six Integrated Combat Systems will be delivered to cover the four Tupi class, one Tikuna class and one shore based trainer.

Major modifications will include:

  • Hull, mechanical and electrical (HM&E) work
  • Replacement of the batteries
  • Upgrade to the Atlas Elektronik CSU-83/1 sonar
  • Installation of a new communications system
  • Installation of an indigenous fire control system
  • Upgrade to the Thales DR 4000 electronic support measures (ESM) system
  • Upgrade of the navigation system
  • Replacement of the BAE Systems Tigerfish torpedoes with the Raytheon Mk 48 Mod 6 ADCAP Torpedo

Work began on the first unit, TAPAJO (S33), at Arsenal de Marinha Naval Shipyard in 2009 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2011 and followed by the remaining three units of the Tupi class and one Tikuna class through 2016.

From the June 2011 Issue
UNITED KINGDOM-Initial Gate Approval for Future Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) Program

On 18 May 2011 the United Kingdom’s Defense Secretary Dr.Liam Fox, fonnally announced Initial Gate Approval for the Successor Nuclear Deterrent Submarine Program (AMI Program Title: “Future Ballistic Missile Submarine- SSBN”). The approval included up to US$4.9B in authorized spending for further design development work for the future submarine.

Although additional design work has been approved the decision to build or not to build (Main Gate Approval) is not scheduled until 2016. It must be noted that the UK and the US are currently collaborating on the design of a Common Missile Compartment (CMC) for their respective Future SSBN Replacement Programs. Main Gate Approval would include approval for a more detailed design and as well as authorizing procurement of long lead construction items to enable the first hull to enter service by 2028.

Currently, the UK is planning for at least three new SSBNs to provide a Continuous-At-Sea Deterrence (CASO). An option for a fourth hull will be reviewed at the Main Gate decision in 2016. There appears to be current support for the 4th SSBN hull in most UK government departments concerned with the program.

In late February 2011, press reporting indicated that Fox supports a four-SSBN force, with a fall-back option of a three hull program depending on funding. A CASD will require at least one unit to be on continuous patrol with the others in varying stages of overhaul and training. If the hull count is reduced to three, it would probably be difficult over the long-term for the UK to maintain a CASD, suggesting a near continuous capability may be an acceptable posture for the UK SSBN force, especially in light of continued pressure to cut defense spending.

At any rate, Main Gate Approval in 2016 means that the final decision on the number of SSBN hulls to be built will be made on someone else’s watch.

Regardless of the hull count, each of the successor SSBNs will have fewer missile tubes, probably 12, compared to the 16 on the current Vanguard class. The smaller missile bays envisioned for the future SSBN is also consistent with anticipated reduction of the total at-sea warhead count from 200 to 160- that reduction is already underway. The UK will continue using the Lockheed Trident II (D5) slated to remain in service until around 2042.

The UK’s successor SSBN program schedule is dovetailed with that of the US Ohio class SSBN Replacement Program (AMI program title: .. Future Nuclear Powered Ballistic Missile Submarine – SSBN-X”), which passed Milestone A on 04 February 2011. Milestone A approval enables the program to enter the Technology Development Phase (TDP). The TOP is expected to deliver a final design for lead ship construction beginning in 2019. The US version will replace the 14 Ohio class SSBNs with only 12 units and each unit have only 16 missiles vice 24 found in the Ohio class.

With Main Gate Approval in 2016, the UK (first of class (FOC) commissions 2028) and US SSBN (FOC 2025) replacement programs continue to share a common timeline that will enable both navies to execute acquisition strategies that will rely on a CMC developed for both sub designs. The CMC will house the Trident II (05) as well as the follow-on submarine-launched ballistic missile that is scheduled to enter service after 2042.

BRAZIL – Submarine Force Requirements Growing
In late May 2011, AMI received information that the Brazilian Navy (BN) has established a long term Submarine Force structure goal of 20 total units in service by 2040. This goal is ambitious considering Brazil currently operates a sub force of only five units.

Within the 20-unit force, the BN has indicated a requirement for six nuclear powered attack submarines (SSN) and 14 conventionally powered submarines (SS). These force levels are based on the BN’s vision of becoming the largest, most sophisticated and capable Submarine Force in South America by mid-century.

The Brazilian Navy’s current in-service inventory, plus the programmed new subs in the PROSUB program through 2025 include the following:

  • Five Tupiffikuna (based on the German Type 209) class in service. All five will be modernized in a program currently underway.
  • Four PROSUB Scorpcne design submarines projected to be in service by 202 l. One PROSUB nuclear-powered submarine (SSN) based on a French/Brazilian design to be completed around 2025.

Considering the current BN sub force level and projected acquisitions under PROSUB, the BN will still need to build five additional SSNs and five conventional boats to meet its minimum 20-hull requirement by 2040. This is an ambitious, yet achievable goal if the original PROSUB program delivers its four Scorpene hulls and single SSN on schedule and budget.

The PROSUB units will be completed and operated from the new facility under construction at ltaquai (around 30 miles south of Rio de Janiero ). The facility will be able to operate up to six nuclear-powered and four conventional submarines. The yard will be divided into the construction sector, where two submarines can be built simultaneously and a maintenance sector, which includes two dry docks.

Assuming the building schedule for the PROSUB Program remains on track, five additional SSNs could be ordered immediately following trials of unit one if funding is readily available. AMI estimates that the nuclear versions could cost between US$1B and US$1.3B per unit (Brazil claims follow-on units at US$500M) requiring US$5-6B from 2025 to 2038. In regards to the five additional conventional units, the BN could continue with the Scorpene design for a class of nine total units.

As an alternative, the sea service could modify the Scorpene hull or design a new conventional submarine as it will also have to begin replacing the Tupi/Tikuna classes immediately following the acquisition of the nine unit Scorpcne (or alternative design) class by around 2035. The five additional units for the conventional hulls could cost an estimated US$600M per unit or around US$3B for the entire program.

It appears that the BN has set a lofty goal of building and maintaining a Submarine Force of six SSNs and 14 conventional boats. In a perfect world, the new facility being built at ltaquai appears to be capable of building and maintaining a large Submarine Force. In reality, an uninterrupted funding and construction flow lasting up to three decades, will be much harder to attain.

PHILIPPINES-Increasing Activity in Naval Procurement Programs
In light of the recent public disputes between the Philippines and China on Chinese maritime activities in areas of the South China Sea where sovereignty is in dispute, the Philippine government is giving greater emphasis to expanding its Navy. AMI continues to receive information from various sources indicating that the Philippine Navy (PN) is again working to advance a series of new and used naval procurement programs under the existing Sail Plan 2020.

PN sources indicate that these programs are to be funded under the Capability Upgrade Plans (CUP) 2011-2016 and 2017-2022. In early April 2011, President Aquino authorized US$220M for additional equipment purchases beyond the recent acquisition of the US Coast Guard cutter HAMILTON (WHEC-715). The US$220M funding is probably for 2011 and 2012 with additional funding annually for the rest of the current CUP (2016) and the next (2017-2022).

Programs currently being discussed by the PN are:

  • Three new build platform landing docks (LPDs) in 2012.
  • Two new construction 1,000-ton offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) beginning around 2014.
  • Two diesel submarines (likely used), with the first delivering by 2020.
  • Up to eight additional used US Coast Guard cutters, possibly Hamilton class High Endurance Cutters, coming available as Excess Defense Articles from 2012 through 2016.

In April and May 2011 , senior officers of the PN indicated that the sea service would spend up to US$ 100M for the acquisition of three LPDs from Indonesia. PN officers have inspected the Indonesian Makassar class LPD built by Indonesia’s PAL naval shipbuilding based on a Daesun/DSME design. However, Philippine officials indicated that the LPDs would need to be significantly different compared to those delivered to the Indonesian sea service. PAL Shipbuilding did develop a smaller LPD design that is similar to the Makassar and is probably the design being offered to the PN.

Assuming negotiations are completed in the near term, it appears the PN has the funding and high level political support to move these programs forward. And for the LPDs, building space is available at PAL following the delivery this year of the last Makassar to the Indonesian Navy.

In regards to the new construction 1,000-ton OPVs, the PN is currently considering the procurement of these vessels through a US Foreign Military Sale (FMS) Program. The US Naval Sea Systems Command (USNA VSEA) released a Request for Information (RfI) in May 2011 in order to conduct market research for interested parties in building two new construction vessels in the Philippines. The complete Rfl can be found on the Federal Business Opportunities Website at: Solicitation Number: N0002411R2217.

The OPV program is in the very early stages and could be several more years before details of design and construction are determined. It could be at the end of this CUP (2011-2016) before funding is available, although the PN could receive some of the OPV funding through US military assistance.

The PN is also interested in procuring up to eight Coast Guard Hamilton Class High Endurance Cutters through the FMS Excess Defense Articles (EDA) process. The PN took delivery of the first Hamilton (WHEC-715) on 0 l June at a cost of US$24M for refurbishment. The sea service is also considering the USCGC DALLLAS (WHEC-716) and the USCGC GALLATIN (WHEC721 ), both scheduled for decommissioning by the end of 2011 and probably available under the same terms.

AMI believes that the PN will attempt to go beyond the DALLAS and GALLATIN and procure as many Hamilton class WHEC as possible due to their low cost.

The submarine program for the PN will not occur until around 2020, although PN officials are calling submarine procurement sooner than that. The submarine acquisition is listed in Sail Plan 2020, but it will be difficult at best for the sea service to obtain new construction submarines. Like the Royal Thai Navy (RTN), the PN is likely to turn to the used submarine market for its initial capability. A Submarine Force will entail significant commitments for training and maintenance as the PN has never operated submarines and has no infrastructure to support them. A new build sub program would cost around US$ l B (including infrastructure), putting it virtually out of reach for the Philippines.

AMI believes that these programs are again at the forefront due to continuing friction with China in the South China Sea, continuing battles with the Abu Sayef terrorist group in the country’s southern islands and lack of preparedness for natural disasters that plague the archipelago. There now appears to be a commitment from President Aquino to move forward with new equipment for the PN, however, one must be reminded that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) began its overall modernization effort under the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program (AFPMP) that began in 1996. Since that time, procurement funds, more times than not, have shifted to other priorities to the detriment of the PN.

GREECE-Programs and Shipyard Update
Throughout May and June 0211, AMI sources in various European locations have provided the following information to update the ongoing naval shipbuilding situation in Greece as well as the prospective financial viability of Greek naval shipyards.

The sale of Hellenic Shipyard (HSY) to Abu Dhabi MAR (ADM) has not been completed; various disputes between the parties involved make any final conclusion of the arrangement unlikely in the short term.

Elefsis Shipyard has received temporary support from the Greek Government in order to prevent bankruptcy. However, if the Government intends to recoup its investment, it is possible that the shipyard will need to be sold at a later date and/or additional work will be needed to keep the yard solvent.

These developments have put every Hellenic Navy (HN) shipbuilding program in jeopardy. Below is a synopsis of the three major programs and their current status:

TYPE 214 Submarines: On 16 May 201 I, the Greek Minister of National Defense, Prof. Dr. Evangelos Venizelos, announced that German shipbuilding group Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HOW) has pulled out of the program to build two follow-on units of the Type 214 class submarine at HSY.

Venizelos explained that HDW bowed out of the subcontractor deal due to major disagreements concerning broader project co-operation in Germany between ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) and ADM. The contract called for the construction of two new Type 214 diesel-electric submarines and the overhaul of an older Type 209 submarine at the Greek shipyard in Skaramagka, located a few kilometers west of Athens.

It is believed that there will be new discussions at some point and these deliberations will address payment and appropriate security clauses that are agreeable with all parties involved. Without TKMS involvement (German licenses and material packages) HSY and ADM will not be able to proceed with the construction of the Type 214s at the yard let alone coming up with a final solution for ADM’s purchase of HSY.

United States- On 20 May 2011, the keel for the USN 10th Virginia class submarine, USS MINNESOTA (SSN 783), was laid at Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipyard in Virginia.

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