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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 August 2014 Issue

Fast Tracking SSNs and Diesel Boats?

As of mid-August 2014, AMI continues to receive information that the Indian Navy (IN) is interested in combining and fast tracking its two future submarine programs, the Future Nuclear Powered Attack Submarine (SSN) and Project 75I, the acquisition of up to six diesel electric submarines with a vertical launch capability (VL) for BrahMos.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has recommended to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to combine the two projects into a single request in order to get the nod from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on both projects at the same time (no specific timeline mentioned). The two projects have been in limbo between the MoF and MoD for the better part of ten years, requiring pre-approval by the CCS every two to three years. From the outside, it appears that the new Indian Administration (Prime Minister Modi) is serious about national security and has made it a priority to start moving ahead with long delayed national security programs.


THAILAND -Submarine Command:

On 07 July 2014, the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) established a submarine squadron at the Sattahip Naval Base. The establishment of a submarine squadron indicates that the RTN still envisions owning a Submarine Force. However, all attempts to acquire a submarine over the past decade have resulted in no new or used submarines.

The RTN officially has an official submarine requirement in its latest ten year plan that runs through 2018 although funding and political turmoil continue to stall ay submarine procurement plans.

SOUTH KOREA–Son Won-II (Type 214) Class Submarine, On 15 July 2014, the fifth Republic of Korea Navy’s (ROKN) Son Won-II class submarine, ROKS YUN BONG GIL HAM (S 077), was launched at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME).

AUSTRALIA –Collins Class Submarine Maintenance Contract Extension: On 05 August 2014, ASC Pty Ltd announced that it has been re-contracted to provide maintenance on the RAN’s fleet of six Collins class submarines. Under the In Service Support Contract (ISSC), the ASC contract covers all mid-cycle and intermediate maintenance work for the entire class.

All work will be accomplished at ASC’s Osborne facility in Adelaide, South Australia and Henderson in Western Australia.

RUSSIA: Delta IV Class Nuclear Powered Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) YEKATERINBURG (807):On 27 July 2014, the Russian Navy (RVF) refloated the Delta IV class SSBN YEKATERINBURG (807). The SSBN will complete repairs on the submarine by early 2015. YEKATERINBURG was damaged in a December 2011 fire.The repairs were conducted at Zvezdochka Shipyard.

Los Angeles class Submarine: USS LA JOLLA (SSN-701) and USS NORFOLK (SSN-714).

From the September 2014 Issue

AUSTRALIA –Collins Class Submarine:
On 12 August 2014, Thomas Global Systems signed a contract with Saab Australia Pty Ltd to provide technical support and electronic manufacturing of key components for the Integrated Ship Control Management and Monitoring System (ISCMMS) upgrade of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Collins class submarines.

Saab was awarded the contract for the ISCMMS upgrade project by ASC Pty Ltd in November 2013. Thomas will provide the driving console components and other critical electronic control modules for the six submarines from 2014 through 2015. The ISCMMS upgrade will be completed on all six submarines by late 2016.

ECUADOR -Shyri (Type 209/1300) Class Diesel-Powered Submarine (SSK):In January 2008the Ecuadorian Navy (Armada de Guerra, ADG) Contracted with ASMAR shipyard in Chile for the mid-life refit of its two Type 209/1300 submarines, SHYRI (S101) and HUANCAVILCA (S102). SHYRI entered ASMAR in 2009; however work was delayed due to the Chilean earthquake and tsunami in February 2010. All work was eventually completed for SHYRI in 2012 and the submarine was returned to service. HUANCAVILCA entered ASMAR September 2011 and all refit work was completed by August 2014. The work package for each submarine included:

  • Hull, Mechanical and Engineering (HM&E) work.
  • Replacement of batteries and machinery control system.
  • Replacement of inertial navigation system.
  • Replacement of both periscopes.
  • Installation of the DCNS Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System (SUBTICS) with assistance from Chile’s SISDEF.
  • Installation of Thales S-Cube sonar suite with MBDA SM-39 Exocet submarine-launched, anti-ship missile (ASM) and the WASS Black Shark heavyweight torpedo.

DCNS of France provided technical assistance for this refit project. Total cost for the mid-life upgrade for both submarines was around US$125M. This project will extend the service life of the Shyri class to around 2025.

SOUTH AFRICA –Heroine Class Diesel-Powered Submarine (SSK):In August 2014, the South African Navy (SAN) again delayed the modernization package for the Heroine class submarine (SSK) SAS CHARLOTTE MAXEKE (S102) for the near term due to funding shortfalls. SAS CHARLOTTE MAXEKE (S102) and the SAS QUEEN MODJADJI I (S103) have been waiting for their respective refits since 2007 when the first unit of the class, SAS MANTHATISI (S101), completed its overhaul at Simon’s Town Dockyard.

All three submarines were scheduled to undergo major refits in accordance with the SAN Maintenance and Upkeep Plan for the Medium to Long Term Expenditure Framework. However, funding shortfalls since 2007 have prevented hulls two and three from undergoing the modernization efforts.

Similar to hull one, SAS MANTHATISI (S101), when funding does become available, the anticipated work package will include:

  • Replacement of batteries.
  • Installation of hydrogen release system.
  • Repair main electrical system.
  • Replace main diesel engine.
  • Repair of damaged aft steering planes.

AMI estimates that the SAN may have to delay the moderni-zation effort for the two remaining submarines for at least three more years (2017).

RUSSIA –Kilo (Project 877) Class Conventionally Powered Attack Submarine (SSK) VLADIKAVKAZ (B-459): On 27 August 2014, the Russian Navy (RVF) will refloat the Kilo (Project 877) class submarine, VLADIKAVKAZ (B-459), on 19 September 2014. The submarine is being overhauled at Zvezdoch-ka Shipyard in Severodvinsk. It will be recommissioned in late 2015 and returned to the Northern Fleet.

RUSSIA –Kirov Class Nuclear Powered Cruiser (CGN) RFS ADMIRAL NAKHIMOV: In late August 2014, AMI received information that the overhaul of the Kirov class CGN RFS ADMIRAL NAKHIMOV has been delayed until October 2014. Planned to start in early summer at Sevmash Shipyard (Severodvinsk), thefirst of three CGNs will be overhauled and then re-commissioned by 2018.

The RFS ADMIRAL NAKHIMOV will be followed by RFS ADMIRAL LAZAREV and RFS ADMIRAL USHAKOV. All three were removed from service in the 1990. The cruisers are to undergo a complete refit, specifically:

  • Hull maintenance and repair.
  • Upgrade of main propulsion system.
  • Upgrade auxiliary systems.
  • Upgrade combat management system.
  • Upgrade all combat systems and communications systems.

The estimated cost of modernizing each cruiser is US$580M. If the reactivation of RFS ADMIRAL USHAKOV and RFS ADMIRAL LAZAREV do not move forward following the RFS ADMIRAL NAKHIMOV, both units are expected to be fully operational after 2020 and will remain in service until the 2035 timeframe.

From the October 2014 Issue


Joint Submarine Program–In mid-September 2014, AMI received information that the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNIN) intends to join Norway and Sweden in a new construction submarine program. The RNIN’s first submarine is scheduled for delivery by 2023.

Prior to this announcement, all three countries were planning for future submarine programs to replace their respective existing forces. The Dutch were in the early planning stages to replace the four Walrus class beginning in 2023. The Norwegians were working on Project 6346 (Ny Ubat) (new Uboat) to replace the six units of the Ula class. A decision was expected by the end of 2014 as whether to build a new class or further modernize the Ula class. If a new construction solution was chosen, the program was expected to begin in 2017 with the first unit entering service after 2021. The Swedish were also in the process of developing the new A26 design to replace its two Sodermanland and two Gotland class. The program was expected to start in 2016 with first deliveries around 2021.

All told, the three navies have a requirement for a total of 14 submarines and all with a similar procurement timelines. It makes sense that all three would join forces in order to reduce costs (design savings and economies of scale for 14 hulls) and reduce risk for all three partners. This is similar to the new defunct Viking program that was cancelled in 2007 in which Sweden, Norway and Denmark were members. Denmark has since eliminated a submarine capability in their navy.

With the individual submarine programs expected to start over the next several years for all three partners, a design decision will have to be made in the near term. AMI anticipates that all three programs will utilize a similar hull, the Swedish A26, with national variances for each country. The question is, who will maintain the design intellectual property (IP) rights for use in the export market? AMI expects this program will serve as momen-tum for the new Saab/Kockums conventional submarine export campaign. If that is the case, AMI expects the Dutch and Norwegian Governments to seek some cost benefits/reductions for joining into this tri-national program.

It appears from the outset that Sweden may be the primary builder for all threecountries with modules also being built in the Netherlands and Norway. Sweden’s SAAB/Kockums has the most recent experience in the submarine construction and its main yard remains open. The last Dutch submarine was completed at Rotterdamse Droogdok Maatschappij (RDM) in 1994 and the yard is no longer open. Norway’s current submarines were assembled in Germany although some of the modules were built in Norway. This would speed up the timelines for deliveries to all three sea services. Torestart the submarine industry in the Netherlands or Norway would be cost prohibitive. The building of modules would be much easier and well within the capability of both countries.

After the cancellation of the Viking project in 2007, there is again movement in Northern Europe to consolidate the submarine programs of various nations in order to reduce cost and risk during a very restrictive budget environment. In addition, several crises in Eastern Europe and the Middle East are beginning to up the priorities and fast forward the timelines of new construction programs in many parts of the world.


FRANCE: On 29 September 2014, the French Navy (FN) ordered its fourth Suffren (Barracuda) class nuclear powered attack submarine (SSN), Duquesne, from DCSN. The hull will be built in Cherbourg and will be commissioned around 2023.

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