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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 January 2014 Issue

POLAND Submarine Tender Process Will Begin in 2014

On 20 December 2013, the Polish Inspectorate of Armaments announced its intention of conducting technical dialogue with industry to prepare for the acquisition of three submarines. The technical dialogue will be conducted in February and March 2014 with the tender being launched in the second half of the year.

Interested entities that are known to have already expressed an interest (of note, list is not all inclusive and additional participants will surely be added through the end of January) in participation include:

– German’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS)
– France’s DCNS
– Republic of Korea’s Daewoo Marine and Engineering (DSME)
– Naval Shipyard Gdynia
– Polish Defence Holding (former Bumar Group)
– OBR CTM Research Center
– Rolls Royce Poland
– Unitronex Poland (represents ITT Exelis)
– Thales Poland

Following the release of the tender, the Polish Navy (Mary-narka Wojenna – MW) will probably require submissions by the end of the year as the sea service intends to have completed construction contract by the second half of 2015. The first unit will commission in 2019 and the second in 2022. The contract will more than likely have an option for a third unit, which is currently scheduled for delivery in 2030.

All three of the submarines will be built in Poland with foreign design and construction assistance from the selected supplier.

Naval Shipyard Gdynia will be the prime contractor with all foreign and domestic yards operating under subcontractor agreements.

The primary designer will be either TKMS with its Type 214/Type 212A (no SSMs), DCNS with its Scorpene or DSME with the Type 209/Type 214. The deciding factors will reside in price (currently estimated at US$2.4 to 2.9B), technology transfer and shipyard modernization agreements as Poland intends to further develop and expand its indigenous shipbuilding capabilities to western standards.

JAPAN – Surface Combatant and Submarine Force Level Increases

In late 2013, the Japanese Government released its latest two defense documents, the National Defense Program Guideline(NDPG) 2013 and the nation’s first National Security Strategy (NSS). NDPG highlighted the need for an increased defense budget and increased force levels in regards to the surface combatants and Submarine Forces.

These force level increases will be supported by an average annual defense budget of US$46.4B from 2014 through 2019, or US$232.4B over the five-year period. Although the budget is beginning to rise again, it is only returning to the budget levels witnessed in the early 2000s before budget and force levels were curtailed in the mid and late 2000s.

NDPG 2013 calls for an increase of surface combatants from 48 to 54 and the Submarine Force from 16 to 22. These new force levels will ensure that one destroyer and one submarine are funded annually for the foreseeable future (2014-2019 and beyond) while at the same time extending the service lives of those units in service in order to attain the higher levels until new construction vessels are delivered.

In regard to the surface combatant force, the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) is already planning for the addition of two AEGIS destroyers under the Future Guided Missile Destroyer Program (33DDG) that will begin in 2015. One will be funded in 2015 and the second in 2016.

The four Akizuki class destroyers will be completed in 2014 and followed by the New Generation Destroyer (DD25) that may begin by 2017. DD25 calls for up to four new units. In order for the surface combatant force to grow from 48 to 54 units over the next decade, the JMSDF will probably build additional DD25 hulls or an entirely new class. The JMSDF began planning for a new destroyer, DD27 in 2011, however, was cancelled to due budget shortfalls. With the now increasing defense budget, this program could be reinstituted although it would require additional funding beyond one destroyer per year.

These new combatants in conjunction with a life extension program for the two units of the Hatakaze (mid-80s vintage) class and the majority of the nine units of the Hatsuyuki class (mid to late 80s vintage) would be required to meet the initial increase to 54 units, then followed by new construction deliveries.

In regard to the increased Submarine Force, NDPG 2013 indicated that the force structure would grow from 16 to 22 units through new construction and service life extension of existing units. Currently the JMSDF operates three classes of submarines, four Harushio, eleven Oyashio and five Soryu with three additional Soryus commissioning through 2017. With the completion of the Soryu in 2017, the JMSDF will be able to decommission its first Harushio (late 90s vintage) while maintaining the new 22 unit force level.

However, immediately following the completion of the original eight units of the Soryu class, the sea service will have to immediately begin procuring additional units of the Soryu class or a newly designed AIP submarine in order to maintain the 22 unit level. When those new units begin entering service the JMSDF will then be able to decommission the remaining units of the Harushio class.

ASIA – VIETNAM: Kilo (636) Class Conventionally Powered Attack Submarine (SS): In late December 2013, the Vietnamese People’s Navy (VPN) received its first Kilo class submarine, HA NOI (HQ-182). The submarine, built at Russia’s Admiralty Shipyard, arrived at Cam Ranh Bay port facility in late December. Five additional units of the class will be delivered to the VPN through 2017.

On 28 November 2013, the Russian Navy’s (VMFR) first Varshavyanka class (Improved Kilo Project 636.3) conventionally powered attack submarine (SS), RFS NOVOROSSIYSK, was launched at Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg, Russia.

RUSSIA: On 17 December 2013, the Russian Navy’s (VMFR) second Borey class (Project 955) nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), RFS ALEXANDER NEVSKY (k 550) was commissioned.

UNITED STATES: In late December 2013, General Dynamics – Electric Boat (GD-EB) was awarded a US$121.8M contract (under existing contract N00024-12-C-2115) for long lead time materials for the second Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 and two FY 2015 Virginia class nuclear powered attack submarines (SSNs).

INDIA – Surface Combatants and Submarines:
In mid-February 2014, the Indian Navy (IN) selected and awarded a contract to Atlas Elektronik of Germany for the ACTAS ultra low-frequency active/passive towed array for several new construction and modernization programs. The selection follows a decade of waiting for the indigenous NPOL towed array, which continues to face delays.

The ship classes that will receive the ACTAS include the following:

– Three Shivalik (Project 17) class frigates
– Six Talwar (Project 1135.6) class frigates.
– Four Abhay (Project 1241E) class FAC.

It appears that the NPOL (Mihir) sonar will not enter service with the IN. The upgrade to the ACTAS will probably run through 2018 as there are also several classes of new construction combatants that will also get the sonar.

Also in February, the sea service selected the Sagem SIGMA 40 ring laser gyros for the navy’s four existing Shishumar (Type 209/1500) class submarines and eight remaining Sindhughosh (Kilo Project 877EM) class submarines. The gyros will be installed by the end of 2014.

The eight Sindhughosh class will also receive the L-3 KEO Model 86 non-hull penetrating masts that are already found on the four units of the Shishumar class. The new periscopes could be installed by 2016 as the submarines become available.

The four Shishumar class will also receive an anti-ship missile (ASM) capability. The IN is in the process of selecting either the Russian Novator 3M-54E Klub-S ASM or the Boeing Harpoon. The missile decision should be by the end of 2014.

From the February 2014 Issue

POLAND – Eight Offers Submitted for Submarine Program

On 20 December 2013, the Polish Inspectorate of Armaments announced its intention of conducting technical dialogue with industry to prepare for the acquisition of three submarines. As of January 2014, eight bidders have responded to participate in the technical dialogue that will be conducted through the end of March 2014. A full tender is scheduled to be launched in the second half of the year.

The eight interested parties to date include the following companies:


– ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS)
– Consortium of Sweden’s procurement agency Forsvarets Materielverk and Kockums
– Navantia

System Suppliers/Integrators:

– Thales
– Kenbit
– Saab
– Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace

The Inspectorate of Armaments has also announced that it still has the right to invite other entities which did not reply to the original call to participate in the dialogue. We expect that ATLAS Elektronik and Lockheed Martin MST will both be interested in providing the underwater fire control systems for this potential procurement. Assuming that the technical dialogue will last through the end of March, AMI estimates other interested parties will be able to respond by that time unless dialogue period is extended past March, which may extend the period to submit as well.

Assuming that the program remains on schedule, the tender release could occur as early as mid-year with the Polish Navy (Marynarka Wojenna – MW) requiring submissions by the end of the year as the sea service intends to have a completed construction contract by the second half of 2015. The first unit is currently scheduled to commission in 2019 and the second in 2022. The contract will more than likely have an option for a third unit, which is scheduled for delivery in 2030.

All three of the submarines would be built in Poland with foreign design and construction assistance from the selected supplier. Naval Shipyard Gdynia will be the prime contractor with all foreign and domestic yards operating under subcontractor agreements.

The primary designer will be either TKMS with its Type 214/Type 212A (no SSMs), DCNS with its Scorpene, Navantia with a variant of the S80 and Kockums with the new A26 design. The deciding factors will reside in price (currently estimated at US$2.4 to 2.9B), technology transfer and shipyard modernization agreements as Poland intends to further develop and expand its indigenous shipbuilding capabilities to western standards.

Regarding the competition for the submarine systems suppliers and integration, AMI expects Kongsberg has an advantage in that the current Polish Navy Kobben class boats operate the Kongsberg MSI-90U combat system.

PAKISTAN – Submarine Delta by the End of 2014?

In early February 2014, AMI received information that Pakistan was close to concluding a deal with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for the acquisition of up to six Yuan (or S20 international design) class diesel electric submarines. Source indicates that the transaction could be completed by the end of 2014 and that final financial negotiations were underway.

This corroborates information received from Pakistani naval sources in 2013 that the construction phase of the program would begin in 2014. Assuming that the deal is concluded, four of the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) equipped units of the Yuan (Type 041) class will be built at China State Shipbuilding Industrial Corporation’s (CSIC) Wuhan yard and the remaining two in Pakistan’s Karachi Shipbuilding and Engineering Works (KSEW). AMI estimates that each unit will cost around US$350M, significantly less than if procured from a western yard.

The Chinese-built submarines will begin construction by late 2014 or early 2015 and the first Pakistani-built unit by the end of 2015. All six units could be in service by 2023. The submarines will be entirely Chinese including the main power plant (including AIP), sensors and weapons although some of the Chinese systems are based on western derivatives.

With the Pakistani decision to procure a Chinese submarine, the sea service continues its transition from a western designed naval force to that of Chinese origin. In the interim, Pakistan has apparently been able to operate systems from different suppliers as evidenced by their frigate and fast attack craft (FAC) forces and in the not too distant future, the Submarine Force.

AMI believes that Pakistan will continue its shift to Chinese suppliers for the majority of its future requirements such as ASW frigates and additional FAC. Turkey may also play a small part in Pakistani procurements as witnessed by recent patrol craft and Fleet Replenishment Oiler (AOR) acquisitions.

Pakistani sources have indicated that lower program costs and far fewer end user restrictions (equipment use, modification etc) have had a major impact on its decision to shift to new suppliers rather than continue with its historical suppliers.

RUSSIA – Additional Borey Class Ballistic Missile Subma-rines (SSBN) Planned

In late 2013, AMI received information that the Russian Navy (VMFR) will continue to build Borey class (Project 955/955A) nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) through 2020, essentially increasing the planned force from six total units to eight prior to moving on to its Fifth Generation (5G) SSBN. AMI estimates that the first 5G SSBN will begin construction in 2030 with the last Borey commissioning around 2026.

The fifth and sixth units were planned to begin in 2014 al-though AMI believes that unit five will start in 2014 and unit six in 2016. With a two-year interval between starts, unit seven will probably start in 2018 and unit eight (final) in 2020.

The last four units of the Borey class will replace the remain-ing three Delta III (Project 667BDR) class SSBNs and the new 5G SSBNs will begin replacing the Delta IV (Project 667BDRM) class beginning around 2036.


In late 2013, OSI Maritime Systems was awarded a contract for the Tactical Dived Navigation System (TDNS) for the Royal Swedish Navy’s (RSwN) three Gotland class submarines. The systems will be delivered to ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), which is lead contractor in the Gotland class mid-life upgrade program.

The mid-life upgrades are being conducted at Kockums, Malmo yard in Sweden.

POLAND – Kilo (877EM) Class Submarine:

In late October 2013, the MW signed an agreement with Gdynia Naval Shipyard for the dry-docking and overhaul of the Kilo class submarine ORZEL (291). Scheduled work includes:

– Hull, Mechanical and Electrical (H,M&E) work.
– Replacement of batteries.
– Software upgrades to the combat management system (CMS) and sensors.
– Upgrades to weapon and communications systems. The overhaul will last through November 2017.

INDONESIA – Kilo Class (Type 877/636) Diesel Electric Submarines:

On 05 October 2013, AMI received information the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) was offered up to 10 Kilo class submarines from Russia as a grant. The submarines, built from the 1990s through 2000, are currently being decommissioned from the Russian Navy (VMFR). The submarines are of the 877 and 636 series. Russia is currently building the latest model, the 636.3, for the VMFR.

In January 2014, an Indonesian delegation visited Russia to discuss the offer. Talks were to include new construction Kilos (probably the Kilo 636.3 variant) and used units of the 877 and 636 variants. Although the Indonesians are willing to entertain the idea of procuring new construction Kilos, AMI believes that if any Kilos are procured they will more than likely be used submarines in order to meet the 2024 force level requirements.

Indonesia is currently in the midst of the procuring three new construction Type 209s submarines from South Korea. Two of the units will be built in South Korea and the third in Indonesia. Indigenous naval shipbuilding programs are high priority in Indonesia as it attempts to modernize and expand its shipbuilding infrastructure which now includes the construction of large amphibious ships, frigates and submarines.

AMI does not believe that the TNI-AL would invest the funding in a new construction program in Russia for hulls that will last from 30 to 35 years. It makes more sense and is a better investment to procure used Kilos (4-6) while investing future procurement funds in building additional Type 209s (past the first unit) in Indonesia.

The grant or procurement of four to six used Kilos (with a modernization package included) from Russia would probably cost less than half that of new submarines. Used Kilos would give the TNI-AL up to fifteen years of service while waiting for new construction units to be launched from PAL Shipbuilding.

The used Kilos would also enable the TNI-AL to recruit and train large numbers of new personnel in basic submarine skills to operate the much larger Submarine Force prior to the arrival of indigenous hulls (probably based on the Type 209). An additional benefit would be that the Indonesian sea service would gain knowledge in submarines that are being used by possible adversaries.

AMI believes the offer of the used Kilos by Russia is obvi-ously a marketing strategy in order to break into the Indonesian naval market, which it has failed to do so for the past decade. An acceptance of used hulls from Russia would probably end there as Indonesia needs future procurement funding to move forward with construction of new hulls in Indonesia. Any order of new Russian hulls would probably delay any further indigenous submarine (past the one Type 209) construction by at least two decades and AMI firmly believes that Indonesia is not willing to wait that long as indigenous construction is a top priority.

From the March 2014 Issue


Submarine Program Update—As of early March 2014, AMI continues to receive information concerning the submarine program for the United Arab Emirates Navy (UAEN). Source indicates that the requirements for the UAE Submarine Force are for hulls ranging from 300 to 1,000 tons. Fincantieri is also said to be involved in the early discussions.

Fincantieri (with Russia) is one of the co-designers of the S-1000 design. AMI believes that 1,000 tons is probably the upper limit for the UAEN as it will have to operate in the restricted waters in the Arabian Gulf if it intends to oppose the Iranians new fleet of small submarines. Source does acknowledge that this program is still in its infancy but is the first time that Fincantieri has been directly mentioned for the program and that the size range is beginning to solidify.

AMI believes that Finacantieri’s cooperation for the subma-rine program is a logical extension of Italian support to the UAE as Italy has made major inroads into the UAE naval market over the past several years with the Commandante (Abu Dhabi) class corvettes and the Falaj 2 class fast attack craft (FAC).

Fincantieri has also joined fores with the UAE in a Joint Venture (JV) with Al Fattan Shipyard (known as Etihad Shipyard) and Italy’s Selex with Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) (a JV known as Abu Dhabi Systems Integration).

AMI still believes that the UAEN submarine program will probably not actually start until the end of the decade, possibly 2020, following the start of the frigate/corvette program.

UNITED STATES—LCS Program Truncated, New Frigate in the Offing

On 24 February 2014, the US Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) issued a memorandum (memo) updating the status of the US Navy’s (USN) Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program. The memo was directed to the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) and the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO).

SECDEF directed that there would be no contract negotiation for the LCS program in its current form past 32 units. This direction is based on concern that, if the program is completed at its planned 52 units, the two classes of LCSs (Independence and Freedom) would represent one sixth of the projected 300-ship Navy. The memo also directs that the USN provide regular updates on performance of LCS as well as alternative proposals for LCS to be used during PB2016 deliberations.

The alternative proposals are for capable, yet lethal small surface combatants that are consistent with the size of a frigate. The memo states all options including new designs, existing designs or modified LCS designs would be considered. AMI believes that since this information is required by PB2016, the USN could in fact truncate the current LCS program at the 24 units that are currently under contract by Lockheed Martin and Austal. This would allow for an 8-unit window to keep the shipyards employed with current LCS construction during any switchover to a new program if that is the decision.

There is no doubt that the three Lockheed Martin LCS variants are on the table as well as the Huntington Ingalls Industries Patrol Frigate. General Dynamics also has several designs that could be included for one of the platforms.

AMI believes that probable truncaction of LCS is in order to better balance the future fleet. While the sea service will need ships to fight in the littorals, 52 hulls may be too many. With regards to open ocean warfare, the USN has yet to replace the Oliver Hazard Perry (OHP) class frigates that are being decom-missioned. Essentially, the USN will be left without a frigate that has historically provided critical anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) protection for large carrier and amphibious strike groups.

By reducing the LCS Program in its current form and then building new frigates (which could also be based on LCS, the HHI Patrol Frigate or a General Dynamics design), the USN will be able to better balance its open ocean fleet while adding the capability to fight in the littorals. The fact is the USN will probably never grow beyond the projected 300 ships, so there must be an adjustment for better balance and it must occur sooner rather than later as funding levels will probably not improve much in the short or long terms.


INDONESIA SHIPYARD: On 18 February 2014, AMI sources indicated that PAL Shipbuilding in Indonesia would receive up to US$250M for yard improvements/modifications in order to begin construction of Type 209 submarines. The yard would receive US$180M in 2014 and the remaining US$70M in 2015. The majority of the funding would be for the construction of the submarine building facility at PAL.

SSBN ARIHANT: On 09 February 2014, the Indian Defence Research and development Office (DRDO) announced that the INS ARIHANT would complete all sea and weapons trials by the end of 2014. If all trials are successful, INS ARIHANT will commission into the Indian Navy (IN) in 2015.


BRAZIL: On 14 February 2014, Brazil’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced that the Brazilian Navy’s (MdB) first nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) would be commissioned in 2023.

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