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Reprinted with permission from AMI HOT NEWS; a11 internet publication of AMI International, PO Box 40, Bremerton, Washington, 98337.

From the September 2012 Issue

INDIA-Vertical Launch Missile Submarine (Project 751):

Approval for the six submarine of Project 751 is apparently in the final stages of approval by the CCS and the Defense Acquisition Council (DAC). A design could be chosen by early 2013 and followed by an RfP by the end of 2013. The RfP will be released to the foreign designer and builder of two units, Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL) which will build three units and Hindustan Shipyard (HSL) for the remaining unit.

It appears that India has changed the requirement from an entirely Indian build to allowing two units to be built at a foreign location; no doubt due to the slow construction rates and cost overruns occurring at Indian yards.

Assuming that the design is chosen in early 2013 and the RfP is released by the end of 2013, a final design and construction contract could be in place by 2014. The first unit could commission by 2018.

EGYPT-Discussion Concerning New Construction Submarines

As of mid-September 2012, press reporting continues to indicate that the Egyptian Navy (EN) ordered two Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems (TKMS) HDW Type 209 submarines. On 31 August, Egypt’s new navy chief, Vice Admiral Osama El Gindi, also publicly made the announcement concerning the submarines that the EN had ordered (also on 31 August) as part of a general modernization effort for the sea service.

AMI source reporting from Germany in September suggests the Egyptian and German governments have discussed in general terms possible submarine acquisitions, there has not been any concrete agreement to transfer Type 209s. Reports of a confirmed contract appear to be speculation at this time.

Further, any new submarine sale to Egypt would have to be approved by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and would likely see considerable pressure from Israel. Israel is currently procuring Dolphin Type II submarine from TKMS and would likely consider the sale of modem submarines to Egypt as a major security threat.

Although there is no impending sale of Type 209s by TKMS to Egypt, it does appear that the EN is continuing its search for sources to replace its four aging Chinese-built Improved Romeo (Project 033) class submarines that were built in the 1960s. In March 2012, AMI reported that Turkey had offered to supply two of its type 209s to the EN. However, nothing further about this reported proposal has developed. Turkey’s Type 209s (Atilay class) were also offered to Indonesia as part of a package deal of new and used submarines. However, since then, Indonesia has accepted a Korean solution.

Egypt will continue to scour the market for new and used submarines although AMI believes that the political and historical environment between Israel and Egypt will make it difficult to find a solution without considering the political ramifications from both countries as well as for the potential supplier.

UNITED STATES/UNITED KINGDOM-Missile Compartment Specs Finalized for USN/RN Ballistic Missile Submarine Programs

On 06 September 2012, the US Navy announced that is had formalized key specifications for the Common Missile Compartment (CMC) that will be utilized in the US Navy’s (USN) Future Nuclear Powered Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN-X) Program and the Royal Navy’s (RN) Successor Nuclear Powered Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) Program. The formalization of the CMC is a major design and construction milestone for both programs as both are in the design phase with construction expected to start around the end of the decade.

The specifications document formalizes the First Article Quad Pack Ship Specification for a common design and the technical requirements for the four missile tubes as well as all associated equipment within the quad pack. The quad packs will be able to host four Lockheed Martin UGM-133 Trident II (D-5) Missiles currently found in the US Ohio class SSBNs. It will also be able to adapt the follow-on missile to the Trident II when replaced around 2040.

The number of quad packs for each of the USN’s 12 SSBN-X hulls is projected as four (for 16 tubes) and the RN’s 3-4 Successor hulls will be determined when the overall hull design is complete, around 2016 or 2017 for the RN.

The CMC is being developed by General Dynamics Electric Boat under a 2008 contract worth around US$SOOM if all options are exercised. Construction on the first USN SSBN-X is expected start in 2021 and the first RN Successor SSBN in 2019.

INDONESIA-South Korean Type 209 Contract Now Official

On 02 August 2012, AMI received information that a contract was signed between the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) and South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) for the construction of three Type 209/1400 class submarines. This follows the 23 December 2011 announcement that DSME had won the competition and bested the French, German, Turkish and Russian competitors for the program. One of the keys to the win was the technology transfer agreements that will allow Indonesia to develop its submarine building capabilities at PAL Shipbuilding.

The Type 209/1400 is essentially a lengthened version of the Chang Bogo class and is 61.2m (200.7ft) in length displacing 1,586 tons submerged and manned by a crew of 40. It has a top speed of 22 knots submerged and 11 knots surfaced or snorting.

The estimated US$1.1B contract (US$367M per submarine) marks the beginning of the construction phase of the program with the first unit to be entirely built in South Korea. Follow-on units will be built, unit two as a shared construction between DSME and Indonesia’s PAL Shipyard and unit three, entirely built in Indonesia.

Based on the signing of the contract as anticipated, AMI anticipates that the first unit will begin construction immediately and should commission by 2017. Unit two, shared between DSME and PAL, will begin construction by mid-2013 and will likely commission in late 2017. The third and final unit, being built entirely at PAL will likely begin construction in 2013 and commission in 2018.

The construction of the third Type 209 will give Indonesia the experience to build additional units if it desires or move forward with other submarine designs. Additionally, the TNIAL will be able to better maintain its Submarine Force in the future with less outside assistance.

The three units of the class will eventually replace the two units of the Cakra class on a three for two basis, increasing the TNIAL ‘s Submarine Force by one.

UNITED STATES-Long-Range Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Developments

The surface-based long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability gap appears to be closing due to the continuing developments of Lockheed Martin’s Anti-Submarine Rocket (ASROC) family of weapons. The latest concept improvement, the Vertical Launch ASROC Extended Range (VLAER), increases the range in which a surface ship can engage hostile submarines.

The latest surface ship developments allow ships to engage submarines at greater ranges, after detection using organic assets or Net Centric Warfare systems. The greater engagement distance provides the surface ship time to attack a submarine before the submarine can determine a fire control solution and fire its torpedo. The ship will, in other words, kill the archer rather than avoid the incoming arrows.

The VLAER essentially extends the range 3-4 times the existing VLA range by adding a wing glide kit to the original VLA. The majority of the world’s submarines utilize torpedoes with a maximum range of 18-22 nautical miles or less, giving the VLAER an advantage of -8-12 nautical miles beyond the submarine’s firing range. The VLAER is stored and launched from the MK41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) which uses the existing VLA canister and fire control systems. VLAER reuses 90% of the original VLA components (including the rocket motor). The reuse of components saves new missile development cost.

The VLA and VLA-ER are rocket-propelled, three-stage weapons consisting of a guided rocket motor and a MK54 or MK46 torpedo. A sealed MK I 5 canister serves as a launch tube and shipping container. The VLA and VLA-ER are inserted into the Lockheed Martin MK41 VLS for storage and launching. VLA can be found on US Navy Arleigh Burke class destroyers (DDG-5 I), Ticonderoga class cruisers (CG-4 7) as well as Japanese ships employing the MK41 VLS. These ships could also support VLA-ER in the near future. In addition to launching from the MK41 VLS, it is feasible to launch VLANLA-ER from MKl 12 box launchers, in use in surface ships around the globe, with minor modifications. Further, the VLA-ER concept may be used in an air drop version known as the High Altitude Anti-Submarine Weapon Capability (HAA WC).

Since 1993, more than 1,000 VLAs have been delivered to the USN and to Japan through Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) and Foreign Military Sales (FMS). The increasing number of new submarine programs around the globe, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, suggests an increasing need for capable and affordable ASW systems. AMI is currently tracking six active submarine programs in Asia consisting of 53 hulls, with an additional 60 hulls slated for the next two decades, for a total of 113 hulls. The USN recently (July 2012) purchased another production Jot of VLAs to increase its inventory against this threat. AMI estimates that the USN will soon move forward with the extended range upgrade, followed by international navies.

It appears, that VLA-ER could become the weapon of choice for surface warriors. Its versatility combined with the latest sonar technologies being developed for surface ships, helicopters and unmanned maritime systems (UMS) make it a premier low cost system. It will enable navies to engage their submarine threat at deliberate-attack ranges three-dimensionally: from on the sea, under the sea and in the air. The shared targeting information will allow a fast – supersonic – ASW missile to engage the submarine before it can evade.


Unmanned Snippets: 16 August 2012: The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a contract for Phases 2 through 4 of its Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), McLean, Virginia. As part of this contract, the ACTUV program will attempt to design (Phase 2), construct (Phase 3), and demonstrate (Phase 4) an unmanned vessel that tracks diesel electric subma-rines for months at a time spanning thousands of miles of ocean with minimal human input. An operational prototype for at-sea testing is expected in mid-2015.

VIETNAM: On 28 July 2012, the first Vietnamese Peoples’ Navy (VPN) Kilo 636 submarine was launched from Russia’s Admiralty Shipyard.


RUSSIA-Oscar II Class Nuclear Powered Guided Missile Attack Submarine (SSGN) (Project 949A) SMOLENSK:

On 05 August 2012, AMI received information that the Oscar II SSGN SMOLENSK was refloated at Russia’s Zvezdochka Shipyard in Severodvinsk. The submarine began its overhaul in September 2011 and is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2014.

Highlights of the overhaul include:

  • Nuclear reactor refuel
  • Turbine replacement.
  • Overhaul of main generators.
  • Replacement of SS-N-19 Granit cruise missiles with the SS-N-26 Onyx.
  • Hull maintenance.
  • Combat Management System (CMS) overhaul
  • Sonar systems and anti-torpedo defense software upgrades.

UKRAINE-Foxtrot Class (Project 641) Submarine ZAPOROZHYE:

On July 2012, the Ukrainian Navy (UKN) began sea trials on the submarine ZAPOROZHYE following a major refit lasting several years. The submarine was largely non-operational since the 1990s.

The refit package included the following:

  • Hull, mechanical and electrical (H,M&E) work.
  • Replacement of batteries.
  • Sonar software upgrades.
  • Torpedo tube repairs.

Built in 1972, the UKN will have to either procure a used submarine from the international market or a new construction submarine if it intends to stay in the submarine business. ZAPOROZHY will more than likely only remain in service several more years in order to retain the submarine operations expertise.


ITALY: On 04 September 2012, AMI received additional information concerning the decommissioning schedule for the Italian Navy (IN) and is as follows:

  • 3 Sauro III Class Submarines: LEONARDO DA VINCI (S520), GUILIANO PRINI (S 523) and SALVATORE PELOSI (8522); date not yet determined.
  • From the October 2012 Issue

    PHILIPPINES-IS Year Development Plan

    On 12 September 2012, AMI received additional infonnation from industry and press sources regarding the Philippine Navy’s (PN) 15-Year Development Plan (15YDP). Details of the program include the following mix of assets for the PN’s future fleet force mix:

    • Six frigates configured for anti-air warfare
    • Twelve corvettes designed for anti-submarine warfare
    • Eighteen Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV)
    • Three submarines
    • Three Mine Countenneasures Vessels (MCMV)
    • Four Strategic Sealift Vessels (LSL}
    • Eighteen Landing Craft Utility (LCU)
    • Three Logistics Support/Replenishment Ships (LSS)
    • Three Ocean tugs
    • Six Yard/Fire Tugs
    • Twelve Cyclone Class Coastal Patrol Interdiction Craft (CPIC)
    • Thirty Patrol gunboats
    • Forty-two Multi-Purpose Assault Craft (MPAC)
    • Twenty-four Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB)
    • Eight Amphibious Maritime Patrol Aircraft (AMPA)
    • Eighteen Naval Helicopters embarked aboard frigates and corvettes
    • Eight Multi-Purpose Helicopters (MPH) embarked aboard the LSL

    It must be noted that some of the smaller craft (such as the MPAC) are already being procured and in the process of being built in shipyards within the Philippines. However, the larger more sophisticated vessels such as submarines, surface combatants, large OPVs and amphibious ships will have to be procured on the international used-ship market, due to continuing budget constraints of the PN.

    In an attempt to supplement the traditionally low procurement budget for the PN, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) received a request from Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III to increase the defense budget for 2013 by 12.5%; amounting to P 121.68 (US$2.91 B).

    Although this seems to be a considerable amount of funding, this is the total amount allotted to the entire Department of National Defense (DND). According to AMI sources, the PN requires around PSOOB (US$ 11.9B) in order to fulfill the desired fleet force make-up from the 15YDP.

    Looking at the current make-up of the PN and comparing it to the fleet force make-up above, the following must still be acquired in order to complete the PN’s wish list:

    • Four frigates (allows for the decommissioning of the 70 year-old Cannon class FF)
    • Nine corvettes
    • Eighteen OPVs
    • Three Submarines
    • Three MCMVs
    • Three LSLs
    • Fourteen LCUs
    • Three LSS
    • Three ocean tugs
    • Eleven Cyclone class CPIC
    • Thirty MPAC
    • Eight Amphibious Maritime Patrol Aircraft
    • Eighteen Naval Helicopters
    • Eight Multi-Purpose Helicopters

    Additionally, the PN will need to evaluate the mission worthi-ness of its patrol gunboats as well as its RHIBs and make a determination when to replace them. When considering hull numbers alone, the PN has sufficient numbers to meet the 15YDP. However, many are old and at the end of their effective service lives and will require replacement in the near term.

    The above fleet mix will see the PN introduce vessels and capabilities not previously in the sea service. This will require extensive assistance from foreign suppliers and navies in order to conduct new missions with the required training and maintenance to operate effectively. These include underway replenishment (UNREP), vertical replenishment (VERTREP), submarine operation, ship-borne helicopters, and anti-submarine warfare (ASW).

    Current operations in the disputed island areas in the South China Sea has become a major driving factor pushing for a more robust surface combatant capability as well as the ability to remain at sea for longer periods of time through UNREP and VERTREP operations. The three LSS will allow for this capability that is currently installed on the two Hamilton class cutters (planned to be upgraded to frigates with addition of surface-to-surface (SSM) and surface-to-air missiles (SAM)), the one Cyclone class CPIC and some of the planned used acquisitions including additional Hamilton class cutters as well as Italian Navy Minerva class corvettes and Maestrale class frigates.

    Due to the cost involved with new construction units as well as the limited availability of used vessels on the international market, the PN will certainly need a mix of new and used vessels to fulfill these requirements.

    New construction units will likely consist of tugs, MPAC, LCUs and LSLs; all of which can easily be built in the Philippines, taking advantage of the reduced labor costs as well as receiving the economic benefit from the work.

    Used vessels will probably include the submarines, frigates, corvettes, and MCMVs. The United States (US) and Europe are the likely suppliers of the vessels, with the submarines being the most difficult to come by in the near future. Possible suppliers of the submarines will include Greece, Turkey and South Korea.

    OPVs and patrol boats will probably be a mix of new and used vessels, some with very lucrative financing or granted from Japan; as were the two former Japanese Coast Guard 1,000-ton OPVs (possibly Shiretoko class), offered in March under an Official Development Assistance (ODA) program along with up to ten 180-ton Mihashi class patrol boats.

    The helicopters and AMPA will likely come from US suppli-ers and could also be a mix of new and used aircraft under both Foreign Military Assistance (FMA) and Excess Defense Articles (EDA) programs. If other than US suppliers are selected, the likely list of suppliers for the new aircraft will be Sikorsky, Agusta Westland and Aerospatiale. Maritime patrol aircraft are another story. If indeed the aircraft are amphibious as desired, the only real supplier will be Japan that continues to build and operate numerous amphibious aircraft.

    If the funding levels are achieved as desired, the 15 YDP is scheduled to be complete by 2022. AMI believes that although this is a very bold plan and will certainly require intense planning and funding, it can be achieved assuming increased funding levels from the DBM in conjunction with special financing arrange-ments, barter deals as well as foreign assistance. Many nations in the region as well as the US have interests in assisting the PN. While it goes without saying, the 800-pound gorilla in the room continues to be China and their aggressiveness in the region, more or less bringing the other nations together in a loose alliance to help defend contested areas.

    BRAZIL-Slowdown in Scorpene Submarine Program?

    As of late September 2012, AMI continues to receive infonna-tion from various sources concerning cost overruns in the fledgling Brazilian Scorpene submarine program. Recent press and industry reports in Brazil are beginning to highlight the submarine projects importance in relation to job creation and its correspond-ing economic stimulus effect on the economy; further justifying the Scorpene programs existence; a sure sign that there may be trouble ahead.

    Construction began on the first unit in May 2011 with the front section being built at DCNS. The rear half is to be built at Brazil’s ltagual ConstrU1;oes Navais when the facility is completed and becomes functional.

    Sources indicate that the Brazilian Navy is already experienc-ing cost overruns at this very early stage in the program indicating that the construction schedule and delivery timeline will also be affected. Submarine construction at a new yard with a wholly new design accompanied by a new supply chain are probably attributing to some of these overruns. Combine that with Brazil’s historically slow shipbuilding rates (7-8 years for a submarine); it does not take long to realize that this program is falling behind and will require further funding above and beyond original estimates.

    This also comes at a time when budget shortfalls are begin-ning to kick in. These shortfalls are associated with the economic downturn and a political decision to slowdown the Brazilian Anned Force’s major modernization efforts. This is probably one of the reasons that press and industry officials are beginning to accentuate the positives for the program; an effort to receive additional funds to move construction forward at a reasonable rate.

    The Brazilian sea service has very aggressive plans for its conventional and nuclear Submarine Forces as well as its surface forces over the next 25 years (under Fleet Renewal Program (FRP) 2008). With the first of these programs already facing cost overruns in its first year is not a good sign of things to come in regards to the FRP.


    UNITED KINGDOM: On 30 September 2012, the second Astute class submarine for the Royal Navy (RN), HMS AMBUSH (S95), was launched at BAE Systems.


    IRAN-Kilo Class Submarine TAREQ (901): In early September 2012, AMI received infonnation that the Iranian Navy (IN) submarine T AREQ had completed a major overhaul and was re-launched at Bandar Abbas. This was the first Iranian upgrade to the Kilo class.
    Work included:

    • Hull, mechanical and electrical (H,M&E) maintenance and repair.
    • Replacement of pneumatic and compressed air systems.
    • Upgrades to the communications system.
    • Upgrades to the Snoop Tray radar.

    The overhaul at Bandar Abbas took approximately one year with Russian technical assistance.


    COLOMBIA-Type 206A Submarines: On 28 August 2012, the Colombian Navy commissioned two fonner German Type 206A submarines in Kiel Gennany. The two submarines were named INTREPIDO (former U23) and INDOMABLE (fonner U24) and will double the Colombian sea service’s Submarine Force, which consists of two German Type 209s, PIJAO and TAYRONA.

    The two submarines were procured in February 2012 and were delivered following an upkeep effort and training period. The submarines were last overhauled in the early 1990s which included the installation of the Atlas Elektronik DBQS-21 sonar as well as a new weapon control system, electronic support measures system and periscopes. It is estimated that the submarines were transferred with the DM2A I torpedoes, the predecessor to the DM2A3.

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