Reprinted with permission from AMI HOT NEWS; an Internet publicatio11 of AMI International, PO Box 40. Bremerton, Washington, 98337.
From the March 2013 Issue
CANADA-Victoria Class Submarines (SS)
In 21 February 2013, Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems Inc (UEMS) announced that it had been awarded a contract to provide ongoing services for the maintenance of the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) submarine towed array sensors. The towed arrays of the four units of the Victoria class are the principal long range underwater sensor for the submarines.
The UEMS contract has a value of around US$7M and provides for the repairing and refurbishing of the towed arrays as well as updating obsolete components and technologies.
AUSTRALIA-Collins Class Submarine Modernization
On 17 February 2013 the Nikkei Weekly, an English-language business newspaper, published an article that once again raises the possibility that Japan may be willing to transfer the design and technology for their Soryu class diesel-electric attack submarine (SSK) to Australia. Visits throughout 2012 by high-level Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and scientific personnel to Japan to inspect the Soryu class have been related to the Soryu ‘s engineering system as a possible solution to modernize the Collins class, which have been operationally questionable at best.
A new engineering plant would also extend the service lives of the Collins class by a decade and could delay the Collins replacement (SEA I 000) which is estimated to cost upwards to US$26B. The RAN has admitted that it is reviewing the possibility of replacing the entire drive train including the diesel engines, electric motors, batteries and propellers. Any changeover in the engineering system would probably take place during each submarine’s next major refit and could occur in either Australia or Japan.
Japan is relaxing its constitutional ban on exporting military equipment possibly paving the way to transfer the technology to Australia. Discussions concerning a defense technology transfer pact between Australia and Japan are currently underway. Japanese naval authorities appear to favor the transfer.
Assuming that a technology transfer agreement is reached, the RAN could begin procuring the same engineering system as found on the Japanese Soryu class, which includes two Kawasaki 12V25S diesel engines, two Kawasaki diesel generators and four Kawasaki/Mitsubishi (Kockums) Stirling V4-275R Mk 2 engines for AIP. The RAN may not utilize the AIP system.
If the RAN does in fact utilize the Soryu engineering solution and is satisfied with the results, it could very well be chosen as the engineering system for new submarines under the SEA 1000 program.
This would be the second major rework since the Collins entered service in the 1990s when the entire class had its Combat Management System (CMS) replaced. The last remaining problem with the Collins program is its engineering system.
Spending Plan 2012-2022 Funds All Major Projects, Is It Enough?
In January 2013, the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (MoD) released Defence Equipment Plan 2012. The plan was developed to bring all Armed Forces equipment programs back into balance following years of neglect and underfunding. As the force restructures for the future, the plan is to provide a stable and well managed budget to keep the programs affordable and deliverable.
More specifically, it authorizes £ 159B (US$240.5B) for the ten year period 01 April 2012 through 31 March 2022 and an £8.4B (US$12.7B) risk provision within individual projects. It also has a contingency provision of £4.88 (US$7.2B) and unallocated headroom totaling £88 (US$ l 2.1 B). This is expected to put all Armed Forces departments in an affordable core equipment plan and flexibility (due to cost growth) that is required to meet Future Force 2020 objectives.
In regards to the Royal Navy (RN), all major current and future programs are expected to be funded (£ 17.48 -US$26.3B) and include the following projects:
Completion of the two Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers with Lightning II aircraft.
- Completion of the six Daring (type 45) class destroyers.
- Design and development of the Type 26 class frigate to replace the Type 23.
- Development of the Maritime Afloat Reach and Sustain-ability Program, which now has five AORs under contract. This will include a sixth AOR and two AOEs.
An additional investment of £35.88 (US$54.1 B) will be made for the completion of the Astute class nuclear powered attack submarines (SSNs) and the development of the Successor class nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) (assuming Main Gate approval in 20 I 6) and its strategic weapon system.
It appears that with DEP 2012, the MoD is once again attempting to address the persistent mismatch between shipbuilding program requirements and available funding. This issue has left the RN (and UK forces overall) with unsustainable and unaffordable force structure, leading to repeated rounds of cancellations or descoping of approved programs, and resulting in predictable increases in per unit acquisition costs. This can be witnessed by cost overruns resulting in the scaling back of major programs (Type 45 as an example, and possibly Type 26) as well as late deliveries.
The full version of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) Equipment Plan 2012 and the National Audit Office (NAO) Equipment Plan 2012-2022 can be found on AMI’s Worldwide Naval Projections Report (WMPR) -Downloadable Documents at:
http://www.amiinter.com/wnpr/download docs/united%20kingdo m/uk docs.html
BRAZIL–indigenous Submarine Construction Yard Opens
On 04 March 2013, the Brazilian Government announced the completion and opening of the country’s latest naval facility at Sepetiba Bay. The facility will be involved in Brazil’s two submarine programs under ProSub, the submarine portion of fleet Renewal Plan 2008. Prosub encompasses the construction of indigenous Scorpene submarines as well as the first nuclear powered attack submarine (SSN) for the Brazilian Navy (MdB).
The new naval facility is a key component in the forward progress of both submarines, of which the first diesel electric Scorpene is under construction at France’s DCNS and Brazil’s legal construroes navais. Following unit one, the remaining Scorpenes and the first SSN are expected to be shifted to the new facility.
Both programs were originally scheduled to deliver up to eight Scorpene diesel electric boats through 2031 and six SSNs through 2028. It now appears that both programs are beginning to slip as mentioned in AMI’s Hot News in September 2012.
Information received in September 2012 indicated that the MdB was already experiencing cost overruns in the diesel electric Scorpene program and the delivery timeline would be affected. AMI believes that the Scorpenes could take up to 7-8 years per hull, which has been the historical building rate of previous submarines in country.
In regards to the SSN, it appears the Brazilian Government may have delayed this program as recent press releases indicate that the first submarine will deliver around 2025 around three years behind the anticipated 2022 commissioning date.
Although it appears that the MdB is facing some funding and construction issues early on in both of these programs, one of the key components, the new facility did open close to schedule. The naval facility was built by the DCNS/Odebrecht joint venture.
It is now a matter of whether Brazil can overcome its historical funding and slow shipbuilding rates that have affected most of the sea service’s previous major indigenous construction endeavors.
VARIOUS DID YOU KNOW?
UNITED KINGDOM: On 04 March 2013, the Royal Navy (RN) commissioned its second Astute class Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarine (SSN), HMS AMBUSH (S95), at Naval Base Clyde in the United Kingdom.
From the April 2013 Issue
TAIWAN-Planning Begins for Indigenous Submarine
In March 2013, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MoND) began feasibility studies for an indigenous submarine in the 1,000-2,000 ton range. The study is being conducted by the National Defense Industrial Development Foundation. It appears that in many circles within the Republic of China Navy (ROCN), MoND and Taiwanese Government, there is a growing consensus that the procurement of submarines from the US will not happen and therefore is a foregone conclusion.
Taiwan was offered up to eight diesel-electric submarines in 2011 by former President George W. Bush; a promise that has gone unfulfilled for various reasons related to design and building location issues on both sides of the Pacific.
At this time, the ROCN has authorized upwards to US$300M in its 2013 budget to fund the studies which are expected to conclude in 2015. Although this program will be indigenous, the ROCN has indicated the sea service will surely need US assistance in an indigenous program and does not realistically expect support from any other foreign suppliers.
The number of indigenous hulls has not been expressed publicly; however, one can anticipate that the requirement is also for eight hulls, similar to the 2011 requirements. When all is said and done, the ROCN will have to build its own Submarine Force and China Shipbuilding Corporation (CSBC) will be the builder. Assuming that this program moves forward in 2015, CSBC wilt begin the design phase by 2016 with construction on the first unit beginning around 2020.
AMI estimates that the ROCN and CSBC will request design and construction advisory services from US companies as well as the purchase of all major engineering, sensor and weapons system from US sources. Whether those requests would be fulfilled is questionable.
It appears that this is the last resort for the ROCN to obtain a modern Submarine Force and it faces a monumental task in building and integrating such specialized vessels for the first time. Unlike South Korea, turkey and Pakistan; Taiwan will most likely not be receiving material packages from the foreign supplier (US), essentially building the hulls from scratch.
TURKEY-Feasibility Studies for Submarine 2030
In early March 2013, an AMI source indicated that the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) began feasibility studies for a new Indigenous Submarine that would enter service after 2030. It appears that the Turkish Naval force (TNF) is taking the next step in indigenous submarine development by designing and building its own new class independent of outside sources.
This new submarine class will be the replacement for the eight units of the Preveza (Type 209f1400) class that entered service from 1994 through 2008. The six older units of the Atilay class commissioned from 1976 through 1990 will be replaced by six Type 2 l 4s that will enter service from 2015 through 2020.
The Type 214 is now the third class of submarines to be built in Turkey with assistance from Germany’s HDW. The Type 209/1400, Type 209/1200 and now the Type 214s were/are being built from kits delivered from Germany. Golcuk Naval Shipyard will be designer and builder of the new submarines as Golcuk is the only builder of submarines in Turkey.
In the very early stages of the program, technical specifications will probably be developed beginning in 2017 and Golcuk will begin the design phase in 2021. A construction contract could possibly be in place by 2026 allowing for a first-of-class submarine to enter service in 2031. It is estimated that each unit would cost around US$550M, or US$4.48 for the entire procurement of eight units.
Design and construction considerations are speculative as of this writing due to the infancy of the program. However, the new design will probably be similar to the Type 214 and will be Air ndependent Propulsion (AIP) capable. It will probably be around 70 meters (229.6ft) in length with a submerged displacement of 2,400 tons.
No doubt the majority of the weapon and sensor systems will also be built in turkey as Turkish firms are now major contractors for the Type 214 program and are gaining valuable experience for the Indigenous Submarine. Currently, Havelsan is teamed with Atlas Elektronik for the CMS and sonar systems on the Type 214 and Tubitak/Roketsan is developing the Akya indigenous torpedo that will more than likely be on the new submarine as well. Turkey may require assistance for the AIP system as the Type 214 is the first program that the sea service has utilized this type of engineering system.
RUSSIA-Studies for 5th Generation Submarine
In early March 2013, the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced that it was developing its fifth generation (5G) nuclear-powered and diesel submarine at the Rubin Central Design Bureau in conjunction with the Malakhit Design Bureau and the MoD. Preliminary work is expected to be completed by the end of 2013 with the design phase beginning in 2014.
AMI estimates that two different designs will be developed, one a diesel-electric/AIP hull (SS) at around 3,500 tons to replace the Kilo (Project 877 ,636 and 636. l) and St. Petersburg (Project 677) classes and the second being a nuclear powered hull (SSN) around 9,000 tons to replace the Oscar II (Project 949B), Akula (Project 971) and Victor III (Project 671 RTMK) classes.
The 5G submarines will feature lower noise levels, automated control systems, reactor safety (for SSN) and longer range weapons than the submarine found in today’s Submarine Force. AMI expects Rubin is studying the application of hybrid metal-matrix materials for hull or component application. Also expect more developments in Rubin’s AIP solutions for the conventional SSK. The MoD is also advertising a 50-year life span so one can expect space and weight margins for a host of modernization efforts over the life of the hull. The Russian Navy (RVF) will also address information integration issues in order for the 5G Submarine Force to share information and possibly targeting information with other surface, land and air platforms.
Currently, the RVF has stated that up to US$15B will be invested in the 5G Submarine Force although this is probably only the initial investment as the sea service has to replace 20 SSNs and up to 25 diesel boats estimated to cost closer to US$30-32B.
Assuming a 2017 start date, the first SSN will probably enter service around 2023 and the first diesel boat around 2022. The diesel electric design will probably also be made available for export.
It appears that Russia is becoming increasingly concerned about its antiquated Submarine Force and is beginning to reinvest in new construction and modernization efforts of laid up hulls as seen over the past several years. No doubt, the RVF is beginning to feel a capabilities gap as just about every nation on the Eurasian peripheral either has a modem submarine program underway or planned one within the next decade.
DID YOU KNOW?
ISRAEL: On 05 March 2013, the Israeli Navy’s second Dolphin II class submarine, INS RAHA V, was rolled out of the building hall at Germany’s HDW Shipyard. It is scheduled for delivery in 2014.
UNITED STATES: On 16 March 2013, the keel was laid for the l21h Virginia class nuclear-powered attack submarine, USS JOHN WARNER (SSN785), at Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipyard.
RUSSIA: In late March 2013, Russia announced that it would lay the keels for the 5th and 61h Borey (Project 955) class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), ALEXANDER SUVOROV and MIKHAIL KUTUZOV, at Sevmash Pedpriyatie.
MODERNIZATION & SHIP TRANSFER NEWSLETTER COLOMBIA-Pijao (Type 209/1200) Class Submarines: In early March 2013, Cassidian Optronics announced that it had received a contract from the Colombian Navy (ARC) to provide two SERO 250 search periscopes for the Pijao class submarines. This follows an earlier order for the refurbishment of the submarine’s to two attack periscopes. The SERO 250 will be delivered and installed at Colombia’s COTECMAR Shipyard by the end of 2014.
USSIA-Sierra I (Project 945) Class Submarines: In early March 2013, AMI received information that the Russian Navy (RVF) was planning to refit its two laid up Sierra I (Project 945) class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs). Information received suggests that the KARP (K 239) and KOSTROMA (K 276) will be refurbished and reenter service by 2017.
The engineering plant (single VM-5 PWR nuclear reactor, single GT3A turbine and emergency motors), sonar and navigation systems will be overhauled as an extensive dry-dock period for refurbishment of the hulls. The modernization contract was apparently signed in December 2012, however, work has yet to commence at the Zvezdochka Shipyard.
USED SHIP TRANSFER/RECEIPTS
INDIA-Akula (Project 971) Class Submarine Lease: In early March 2013, the Indian Navy (IN) expressed an interest in the lease of a second Akula (Project 971) class submarine from Russia. This follows the lease of the ex-RFS NERP A (Now INS CHAKRA) from Russia under a ten-year lease for US$970M, which arrived in India in 2012.
Sources indicate that the Indian sea service is interested in leasing the second unit, the RFS IRBIS, an incomplete Akula that is still on the building ways at Amur Shipyard. Apparently the JN is in negotiations with Amur concerning the completion of the Submarine and the subsequent ten-year lease, both of which will cost over US$ I B.
This information coincides with the JN’s original plans in 2005 to lease two units of the class. However, the delays and price increases for the first unit, INS CHAKRA, have precluded the finalization of the second unit. However, with INS CHAKRA now operational in the Indian sea service, it appears that progress is being made for the second unit.
If a deal for the second unit is completed, the RFS IRBIS will probably take two more years to complete and transfer to the IN at a cost of over US$IB for completion and ten-year lease. It could enter service by 2015.
From the May 2013 issue
AUSTRALIA-Whitepaper 2013 Highlight
On 03 May 2013, the Australian Department of Defence released Defence White Paper 2013. The new document was developed as a result of significant international and domestic developments since Defence White Paper 2009 was released four years ago. Defence White Paper 2013 compliments the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper released on 28 October 2012 and can be found in its entirety on AMl’s website at http://www.amiinter.com/wnpr/download docs/ Australia/australia docs.html.
Defence White Paper 2013 addresses the new international setting which influence Australia’s national security and defense environment including their impact on force posture, future force structure and defense budget. These include the ongoing economic shift to the Indian Ocean/Pacific region and Australia’s operational drawdown from Afghanistan, Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands.
The document also outlines the capabilities that the Australian Defence Force will need in the coming years to address the strategic challenges. These capabilities will require a budget of at least 2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP); which is the preferred target of the Austrlian government (around 1.8% today).
Highlights of the white paper that pertain to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) include the following programs:
- Commitment to replace the six Collins class with an expanded fleet of 12 new diesel-electric submarines (SEA 1000) (nuclear power ruled out). The submarines will be built at ASC, of a modified Collins class design or wholly new design developed in country. This decision has ruled out any chances for an off the shelf solution that had been under consideration since the program began. The first unit is scheduled to be ordered in 2017.
The latest defense white paper indicates that the RAN will replace its fleet with similar numbers and on a similar time schedule (give or take a few years) as Defence White Paper 2009 and DCP 20 l 2. The two biggest changes are that all speculation concerning a fourth Hobart class destroyer (SEA 4000) have been put to rest as the new Defence While Paper 2013 does not mention any further investment in the programs and the Collins replacement continues to be solidified as a home grown/home built investment.
The key to the success of the recapitalization obviously rests with the Australian Government’s long term commitment to maintain a defense budget at 2% of GDP. And, this is based on the premise that economic growth will be sustained with no major downturns over the recapitalization period. It also assumes that the next government retains the same security priorities and recapitalization efforts (no new white paper).
FRANCE-Repercussions from Whitepaper 2013
In late April 2013, AMI received a copy of the latest French White Paper on defense, Livre Blanc Defense et Securite National 2013 (LB-2013). A copy of the white Paper can be found on the internet at: http://www.defense.gouv.fr/actualities/articles/livre-blanc-2013 (French language only).
Naval focused highlights include the following:
- Confirmation that there will be no second aircraft carrier to join FS CHARLES DE GAULLE. This officially ends the joint program with the UK that resulted in two British Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers being built.
- The Submarine Force will remain as is; four nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) and six Barracuda class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN).
Although cuts will be made in ship numbers, additional savings will be made in reducing the number of at sea days as well as reducing the number of personnel through attrition rather than outright cuts, resulting in the reduction of nearly 34,000 defense ministry jobs.
This strategy will allow the current budget of €I 79.2B (US$233.44B) for the period of 2014 to 2019 to remain stable and avoid any major cuts in defense capability. AMI will continue to follow these planned changes and provide updates as we receive them.
VARIOUS DID YOU KNOW?
RUSSIA: On 02 April 2013, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced contracts for the resumption of the St Petersburg class (Project 677) submarine. Units two (Kronshtadt) and three (Sevastopol) stopped construction in late 2012 when the program was terminated. However, the MoD has overturned its decision and will continue with the class.
From the June 2013 Issue
PERU-Frigate and Submarine Programs Progressing
In May 2013, AMI received information that the Peruvian Navy (Marina de Guerra de! Peru-MGP) was moving forward with its Future Frigate and Future Submarine projects. AMI’s source indicates that the MGP is in discussions with South Korea and Turkey in regards to both programs.
For the submarine program, it was anticipated that the program would start around 2016 and the initial submarine requirements development had begun in 2012. AMI’s latest information indicates that Peru is looking at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) design options, which include the Type 209 and the Type 214. As a reminder, the MGP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with DSME for submarines in April 2012 in the event that a South Korean solution was selected for the program.
Source also indicated that Turkey was being considered a candidate for the program with the Type 209 being the primary design being offered. The Turkish Type 214 program is just now beginning and it would be a difficult sell for Istanbul Naval Shipyard (INS) to offer that design as it has yet to assemble its first unit, where South Korea has already built several Type 214 hulls. The MGP already operates six Type 209s built in the 1970s and 1980s and is familiar with the German designed boats.
he MGP will surely consider all international offers for both of these programs, it appears that Peru is beginning to narrow its supplier options to Turkey and South Korea. Both have had recent wins, Turkey with its Fleet Replenishment Ship (AOR) to Pakistan and South Korea with its DW3000H frigate to Thailand and the MARS Tanker Program to the Royal Navy (RN). DSME will also build the Makassar class LPDs for the MGP beginning next year.
With Peru’s economy now growing at around 5% annually, there appears to be a window of opportunity for the MGP to move forward with these two long anticipated programs, although cost and financing initiatives by the prospective suppliers will still be the most important aspect. South Korea may be in the best position due to their lower cost labor rates in the ship construction industry while at the same time delivering a high quality product; a pattern increasingly seen at Turkish shipyards.
MALAYSIA-Submarine Force Desires
In late May 2013, AMI received information that the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has a desire for a force level of six total submarines to effectively perform its missions. This follows the RMN’s Chief, Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar, May 2012 announcement to the press that the sea service needed additional submarines to supplement the two Scorpene submarines received from DCNS in 2009. Although five submarines were mentioned at the time, it appears that six would be required to have three operational at any given time.
The Admiral did state that in May 2012 this would be a long term requirement as budget constraints would not permit procurement in the near term and those conditions have not changed, the procurement of four additional submarines is still considered a Jong term requirement.
The budget constraints are due to other higher priority programs such as the Second Generation Patrol Vessel (SGPV) that will probably start in 2013 and other anticipated projects such as new amphibious transport docks (LPDs), mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) and new support ships. These programs will probably run through the mid-2020s indicating that a new submarine program will probably not begin until around 2025.
The original submarine requirement was for five units (increased to six) but eventually the program delivered only two hulls. Then, as is the case now, funding curtailed the program. Assuming funding is available in 2025 (around US$2B), the RMN will probably move ahead with additional submarines. The big question will be who will supply the new submarines to the RMN?
The first two units are the French DCNS Scorpene and if the RMN orders four additional units it would make sense to procure either additional Scorpenes, Modified Scorpenes or the Marlin since the RMN already has the infrastructure and training regimen in place for French-built and quipped submarines.
As an alternative, the RMN could choose other foreign de-signs such as the German Type 213 or Type 212 or a myriad of other new designs that are being considered for future submarine programs in Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden. And finally, South Korea and Turkey now produce the Type 209 and the Type 214s, and could be considered viable candidates for this program.
If new hulls are ordered by 2025, all four will be built at a foreign yard with the RMN taking possession by 2033.
INDIA-Arihant Class Nuclear Powered Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN): Press reporting in early May indicated that the nuclear reactor on board INS ARIHANT was activated.
VARIOUS DID YOU KNOW?
GERMANY: On 15 May 2013, the German Navy named its sixth and final Type 212A class submarine, U36. It will be commissioned in 2014.