Reprinted with permission from AMI HOT NEWS; an internet publica1ion of AMI/International, PO Box 40, Bremerton, Washington, 98337
From the July 1013 Issue
INDIA-India Continues to Struggle with Domestic Submarine Programs-Vertical Launch Missile Submarine (Project 751) Delayed Again
As of mid-June 2013, AMI continues to receive information regarding further delays to the Vertical Launch Missile Submarine (Project 75I) Program. Although this project is still valid, it appears that further delays will be experienced as the India Finance Ministry is beginning to question the estimated US$12B investment.
A Request for Proposals (RfPs) was expected to be released to international and local yards by the end of 2013. However, routine inquiries from Finance continue to slow this program with an RfP probably being delayed until 2014 at the earliest. This program was initially approved by the Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) in 2010 but has since languished at the Ministerial level rather than proceeding forward.
When the RfP is released, it will be made available to the foreign designer and builder of two units, Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL) which will build three units and Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL) for the remaining unit. The release of Defence Procurement Procedures (DPP) 2013 may or may not change the procurement strategy for this program. DPP 2013 states that the highest priority is for an outright purchase from India vendors. However, AMI believes that this program could follow the “Buy and Make with Technology Transfer” category (similar to Project 75) or possibly the “Buy Global” category of an outright purchase from a foreign supplier since the Indian Navy (IN) is in a very precarious position regarding its Submarine Force levels based on its lack of success in replacing them through indigenous sources.
The IN’s Submarine Force levels will continue to drop through the next decade as the Project 75 and Project 75( continue to face delays. Project 75, which began in 2002, has yet to deliver a submarine with estimates now calling for the first Mazagon Dock built submarine delivering in 2018. Project 75( has been under consideration since 2003 and the release of the RfP is now being delayed once again due to Ministerial level questions that continue to slow down the procurement process.
If and when this program moves forward, the following sup-pliers will receive the RfP:
- DCNS of France with its Super Scorpene variant.
- ThyssenKrupp Marine (HOW) of Germany with the new Type 216 design.
- Rubin of Russia with the Amur 1650.
- Navantia with the S 80 variant (may be dropped due to weight problems with first Spanish units).
As mentioned above, AM I believes that the IN may well have to reconsider the construction site for this program. Although professing to want two indigenous construction lines, AMI believes that with the Scorpene program slipping considerably, in conjunction with aggressive plans for other submarine programs, this new class could very well be built at a foreign yard, similar to the Fleet Replenishment Ship (AOR) program.
As of mid-July 2013, the following are highlights of the Asia Region:
INDIA: Scorpenc Class Submarine: On 09 June 2013, AMI received information that the first Scorpene submarine being built at Mazagon Docks (MDL) will not be launched until November 2016 further setting back the program. Assuming a late 2016 launch date, commissioning will not occur until 2018 at the earliest. The first unit began construction in April 2006 .
MODERNIZATION & SHIP TRANSFER NEWSLETTER AUSTRALIA-Collins Class Submarine: On 14 June 2013, the Australian Department of Defense (DoD) allocated the first AUD65M (US$59.7M) for the first stage of the Collins submarines Integrated Ship Control Management and Monitoring Systems (IMCS). This effort is first stage of SEA 1439 Phase 3.1 Collins Obsolescence Management, which already has Combined Pass approval.
The current IMCS was designed in the 1980s and will be replaced by ASC and Saab Systems, which are currently engineering the new system. The first will be tested ashore before being installed on the first Collins under Phase I. The first unit has been identified as the HMAS FARNCOMB (74), which will begin in 2014.
Phase 2 will begin in 2017 and entails the installation of the IMCS on the remaining five units of the class. All IMCS will be installed through 2021.
CANADA-Victoria Class Submarines: On 20 June 2013, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) signed a contract (price undetermined) with Canada’s Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems (UEMS) for the procurement of four Submarine Towed Array Sonar Systems (Sub TASS). The new SubT ASS will be fitted into the four Victoria class submarines as part of the Victoria Class Submarine Capability Life Extension (SCLE) program.
The Sub TASS will replace the existing CANT ASS towed array. All four units will be integrated by 2015.
RUSSIA-Kirov (Project 1144) Class Nuclear Powered Cruiser (CGN): In June 2013, a spokesman for Sevmash Pedpriyatie (Severodvinsk) Shipyard announced that the Kirov class CGN RFS ADMIRAL NAKHIMOV was being modernized and will be re-commissioned into the Russian Navy (VMFR) by 2018.
Commissioned in 1988, the ADMIRAL NAKHIMOV will undergo a five-year work package as it essentially has to be transformed from an 80’s vintage platform to meet the modern day threats. The package could include:
- Overhaul of the two KN-3 PWR nuclear reactors and replacement of the two GT3A0688 gas turbines with four new turbines. The boilers will probably be removed.
- Surface-to-surface missile systems SS-N-12 and SSN-19 will probably be replaced by the SS-N-27.
- Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missiles SS-N-15 will probably be replaced by the SS-N-29.
- Layered surface-to-air missile (SAM) system consisting of SA-N-20, SA-N-9 and SA-N-4s will probably be replaced by a combination of S-300, S-500 and the SA-N-27 SA Ms.
- All air, surface, navigation and fire control radars will be replaced.
- Sonar and ASW weapon systems will be replaced.
From the August 2013 Issue
UNITED ARAB EM IRA TES-Considering a Submarine Capability
In July 2013, AMI received information that the United Arab Emirates Navy (UAEN) was again considering the procurement of submarines. This follows information received in 2012 that suggested that the sea service was already considering the procurement of an undersea force.
The UAE is now part of an emerging list of Middle Eastern and African countries that are now considering a submarine service. No doubt that the unrest in the Middle East (Arab Spring), the Iranian threat and terrorist threats in general are beginning affect the way these regional countries view their undersea territory.
Although there are no firm details available concerning a UAEN submarine procurement timeline, sources have indicated that the sea service is considering German and Italian solutions, probably the Type 214 (1700 tons) and Type 212 ( 1500 tons) designs. For Italian designs, the UAEN may also want to consider the S 1000 which was jointly developed by Russia and Italy is currently being updated by Rubin and Fincantieri to meet the requirements of the future.
Although the UAE is familiar with business relations and defense production from German and Italian companies, it will surely scour the rest of the market for a submarine. No doubt the UAE will consider the French Scorpene as the sea service has already worked with CMN in the Al Baynunah corvette program. It may also wish to consider the popular Type 209 ( 1200-1400 tons) which can be built in Germany, Turkey or South Korea. Due to the restricted waters of the Arabian Gulf and North Arabian Sea, a smaller submarine hull would probably be better suited for operations.
With the majority of the UAEN’s procurement programs now underway (two corvette designs, two F AC designs and patrol vessels) or near completion, it is now considering the next step in its naval development, new frigates and possibly new submarines. A new frigate program is expected to begin in the next several years and may be followed by a new construction submarine program.
AMI estimates that the frigate will take priority and if the UAEN decides to move forward with submarines, the requirements definition phase could begin by around 2016. The sea service will probably procure up to four submarines, two based in the Arabian Gulf and two based in the North Arabian Sea near Fujairah. It is possible that the UAEN could join with Saudi Arabia and now possibly Morocco as both are considering submarine programs.
MOROCCO-Submarine Fleet Being Contemplated?
On 05 July 2013, AMI received information that Russia offered its Amur 1650 design to Morocco in early 2013. Although the offer was probably unsolicited, it could indicate that Morocco may be considered the procurement of submarines. Sitting astride the strategic Straits of Gibraltar, the Royal Moroccan Navy (RMN) may have decided to move forward with a three dimensional navy in order to better protect the waterway as well as its long Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean coastlines.
Similar to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the RMN is currently completing its frigate and corvette procurements and will need to fund three additional 70-Meter offshore patrol vessels (OPV) prior to moving forward with its next major naval procurement project. AMI believes that if the RMN does move forward with a submarine program, it could begin its requirements definition phase as early as 2015.
As mentioned in the UAE article, Morocco may also be part of an emerging list of Middle Eastern and African countries that are now considering a submarine service. No doubt that the unrest in the Middle East (Arab Spring), the Iranian threat and terrorist threats in general are beginning to affect the way these regional countries view their undersea territory. Morocco can also add the security of the Straits of Gibraltar as a major concern going forward.
As mentioned earlier, Russia offered the Amur 1650 and Morocco has done business with Russia in the past although primarily in ground systems. Traditionally the RMN has been supplied by Spain, France and the Netherlands.
If Morocco does indeed decide to procure a Submarine Force, it would probably need up to four hulls to protect is long sea border and the Straits of Gibraltar. In regards to suppliers, the RMN will probably take a similar stance as the UAEN with Germany (Type 212 and Type 214), Italy (Type 212), France (Scorpene or Scorpene variant), Turkey (Type 209/214) and South Korea (Type 209/214) being considered. In the case the Amur 1650, AMI believes that Russia would have to offer a very attractive pricing/financing scheme to break the RMN’s decidedly Western European supply chain.
Like the UAE, Morocco could also join that country and Saudi Arabia as they both are now considering submarine programs.
VIETNAM: Kilo Class Submarine: In September 2013, Admiralty Shipyard will officially hand over the first two Kilo class submarines to the Vietnamese People’s Navy (VPN). The submarines, HA NOi (HQ- 182) and HO CHI MINH CITY (HQ-183) will be commissioned by the end of 2013. The four remaining units will be commissioned into the VPN by 2017.
INTERNATIONAL: Shipyard Consolidation/Merger/Reorganization Highlights
AMI is currently tracking shipyard consolidation, merger and reorganization highlights within the defense industry. The following are the highlights for the months of July and August 2013:
CATEPILLAR: On 22 July 2013, Caterpillar announced that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Johan Walter Berg, including its core brand of Berg Propulsion, a manufacturer of mechanically and electrically driven propulsion systems and marine controls for ships.
Headquartered in Ockero Islands, Sweden, Berg has been designing and manufacturing heavy-duty marine thrusters and controllable-pitch propellers since 1929. Its systems are employed in maritime applications throughout the world that require precise maneuvering and positioning.
The acquisition will allow Caterpillar to expand from supply-ing marine engines and generators to entire propulsion systems. Berg’s thrusters, propellers and controllers will be rebranded as Caterpillar soon after the close of the deal, which is expected to be completed in the 3rt1 quarter of 2013.
Combat, Sensor and Integration System Developments
LOCKHEED MARTIN ALEX: Since Lockheed Martin (LMCO) acquired Sippican in 2004, the ALEX countermeasure system was selected to replace the Danish Soft-Kill Weapon System (SKWS) found on the first two Freedom Class Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), as well as all of the General Dynamics (GD)/Austal LCS.
Currently ALEX is the only US-built decoy launching system (DLS) and is currently being aggressively marketed to upgrade vessels in Greece, Egypt, New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam.
ALEX provides a semi-automatic/automatic DLS with man-ual-override option that incorporates the launchers, system processor, master control panel (located in CIC) and the bridge control panel. The system processor receives environmental, threat and ship maneuvering data from onboard sensors in order to compute the proper decoy launching sequence and recommended course to steer to def eat a threat missile.
The system utilizes either 130mm SRBOC or 112mm RBOC launchers and is compatible with all Sippican passive decoys including RF, IR, RF-IR and anti-torpedo decoys.
HYDROGEN FUEL CELLS:
AMI has been following the increasing interest world-wide in hydrogen fuel cells to power submarines as an alternative to standard batteries for electrical power.
Germany and the United States are the most prominent sup-porters of hydrogen fuel cells and their application in the military environment due to their high electrical output and zero noise emission. Already proven in industrial applications as well as the telecommunications industry, it seems the military will be the next logical step.
Germany already has the fuel cells on their Type 2 I 2A class submarines and is looking to expand the capability even more while within the US military, the interest remains largely in the naval realm, primarily in submarines, offering an alternative renewable energy source.
INTERNATIONAL NAVAL VESSEL DESIGN DEVELOPMENTS
AMI is currently tracking new naval design developments. The following are the highlights for the months of July and August 2013:
RUBIN/FINCANTIERI S-1000: In mid-July 2013, Russian officials stated that Rubin Design Bureau and Fincantieri have decided to upgrade the original design of the S-1000 submarine in order to optimize its export viability to potential clients in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
The new, modified S-1000 class will keep in line with the original missions envisioned of anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, reconnaissance missions and transport of up to 12 special operations forces. It will remain the original size of 56.2m (I 84.4ft) in length with a top speed of 14 knots.
The main changes will be on the interior of the submarine, according to a Rubin spokesman, because “Countries that are actively looking for new submarines are setting some totally unexpected demands for those ships.”
DID YOU KNOW?
UNITED KINGDOM: On 18 July 2013, the keel for the sixth Royal Navy (RN) Astute class nuclear powered attack submarine (SSN), HMS AGAMEMNON, was laid at BAE Systems Barrow-in-Furness.
MODERNIZATION & SHIP TRANSFER
CANADA – Victoria Class Submarines: On 04 July 2013, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) exercise a five-year extension option for in service support for the Victoria class submarines. Babcock Canada Inc will continue supporting the four submarines through 2018. The contract is worth US$530M and will provide long-term performance managed maintenance activities as well as technical support.
All four submarines will receive extended docking work periods on a cyclical basis with the goal of having three operational submarines at all times beginning in 2014.
USED SHIP TRANSFERS/RECEIPTS /DECOMMISSIONINGS
INDIA-Akula (Project 971) Class Nuclear Powered Attack Submarine (SSN): In early July 2013, the Indian Government announced that it was ready to begin negotiations with Russia concerning the lease of a second Akula class SSN. This follows the commissioning of the first Akula transferred to the Indian Navy (In) in December 2011.
The first submarine, renamed INS CHAKRA III, was leased under a l 0-year US$650M lease. Sources indicate that the second Akula will probably be the Russian hull lribis, which was never completed as funding was cancelled due to the collapse of the former Soviet Union. lribis is 60% complete and remains at the Amur Shipyard. Assuming negotiations are completed by the end of 2014; the Iribis could be completed by 2017 and delivered to India in 2018. The hull completion and subsequent l 0-year lease will probably cost around US$800M.
From the September Issue
UNITED STATES-Virginia Submarine Class May Grow Past 30
In late August 2013, the US Navy (USN) formally announced that it is planning to extend the Virginia class nuclear powered attack submarine (SSN) past the current 30 ship buy. The USN intends to fund US$600M in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 for the 31st hull that will begin construction in FY 2020.
Although the sea service has yet to flush out the new acquisi-tion program baseline that will occur once the centerpiece of future SSNs, the Virginia Payload Module (VPM), is developed and formalized into the program. The VPM will include a four pack of large diameter tubes capable of firing Tomahawk cruise missiles as well as planned follow-on weapons. The VPM may also be used in any future submarine designs in the event that the USN moves past the Virginia class.
However, it appears that the USN plans to continue with the Virginia class well past the 30th unit as it will need to replace the remaining Los Angeles class and the four Ohio class guided missile submarines (SSGNs) while trying to stay above its 55-hull attack submarine hull. Current force levels show the force dropping to 48 units by 2023.
Although the Virginia class extension (with VPM) appears to be the logical choice, there is still a lot of head wind going forward with the most immediate being the Budget Control Act (Sequestration in FY2014 and beyond) as well as the Senate Appropriations Defense Committee markup of the FY 2014 defense budget which recommended the cancellation of the VPM due to what is termed by the committee as high cost, risk, and a lack of a validated requirement.
INDIA-Arihant Class Ballistic Missile Submarine Demon-strator (SSBNX): On I 0 August 2013, the SSBN ARIHANT’s nuclear reactor was activated. ARIHANT will now commence sea trials in order to prepare for a 2015 commissioning date. Lessons learned over the next two years will determine if there will be any needed modifications for the next two SSBNs (Aridhaman class), which are already under construction and scheduled for commis-sioning in 2017.
SOUTH KOREA -Son Won-II (Type 214) Class Submarine: On 13 August 2013, the fourth Son Won-II class submarine, ROKS KIM JW A-JIN (SS 075), was launched from Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering’s (DSME) shipyard on Geoje Island. The submarine will be commissioned in late 2014 with first operations scheduled for 2015.
VIETNAM: Kilo (636) Class Submarine: On 12 August 2013, the third of six Kilo class submarines for the Vietnamese People’s Navy (VPB), HAI PHONG (HQ-184), was launched from Russia’s Admiralty Shipyard. The submarine will be delivered in 2014.