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Reprinted with permission from AMI HOT NEWS, an internet publication AMI International, PO Box 30, Bremerton, Washington, 98337.

From the January 2016 Issue


Funding Request for Type 212A Batch III Submarines

Italy ordered its first two Type 212A submarines from Fin On 15 December 2015, AMI received information that the Italian Navy (IN) has begun working to secure funding for the procurement of the third pair of Type 212A (Todaro) class diesel electric submarines (SSK).

Italy ordered its first two Type 212A submarines from FiBatch I was completed in February 2008. The two submarinescantieri in August 1997, and the two submarines were built at Fincantieri’s yard in Muggiano, Italy. The first steel was cut for the lead unit on 19 July 1999, and for the second in July 2000. The first unit of the class, SALVATORE TODARO, was commissioned in 2005, and was followed by the SCIRE in February 2008. In August 2008, the IN awarded Fincantieri the construction contract for two additional units of the Todaro class (PIETRO VENUTI and ROMEO ROMEI). The Italian U-212A Program also covers an Integrated Logistic Support (ILS) package and a new Type 212A training center at Taranto Arsenal. Batch I was completed in February 2008. The two submarines cost approximately US$455M each. Batch II was ordered as of August 2008 for two additional units at an estimated cost of US$475M each. The Batch II units are to be delivered in 2017 and 2018.

With the IN seeking funding for the Batch III submarines, the timeline seems to fit in with the sea service’s plan to have a construction contract in place by 2020. If a contract is able to be in place by then, the first unit (unit 5 overall) will likely commission in 2026 followed by the final unit in 2027. AMI anticipates that the Batch III submarines will cost around US$500M, taking into account inflation as well as the cost of more sophisticated equipment over the Batch I and II SSKs.


SWEDEN MODERNIZATION AND SHIP TRANSFER Gotland (A19) Class Submarine HSwMS HALLAND: On 10 December 2015, Saab redelivered the Gotland (A19) class submarine HSwMS HALLAND back to the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) after a general overhaul and upgrades. This is the conclusion of a 14-month maintenance period that occurs every six years and was part of an US$18M deal. The HALLAND will be followed by the HSwMS GOTLAND under a similar contract and work period. Both units will then receive a major overhaul under a US$1.04B 30 June 2015 deal between the FMV and Saab. That contract covers the construction of two new construction A26 submarines and the mid-life upgrade of the HALLAND and GOTLAND, which will return to service by 2019.

Modernization plans for both submarines that will be accomplished under separate contracts and include the following:

  • OSI Maritime will deliver the Tactical Dived Navigation system (TDNS) as per a late 2013 contract.
  • On 28 January 2015, Kongsberg was selected to pro- vide the SA9510 mine avoidance and navigation sonar as well as the EM2040 Dual RX multi-beam echo sounder.
  • On 16 January 2015, Exelis was awarded a US$17M contract to provide the ES-3701 electronic warfare system (EW).
  • The addition of a diving lock built into the sail.
  • In early October 2015, Sagem (Safran) was selected to provide the Sagem Series 30 non-hull penetrating Search Mast System (SMS) for the HALLAND and GOTLAND in addition to the two new construction A26 submarines.
  • Diesel engine and generator overhaul.
  • Upgrade of the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) sys- tem.
  • Replacement of sonar suite.
  • Upgrade of the combat management system (CMS).
  • Upgrade of the Type 62 heavyweight torpedoes.
  • The addition of an AUV/ROV capability (SUBROV).

ISRAEL – Dolphin Class Submarine:

In December 2015, AMI received information that the Israel Defense Force’s (IDF) multi- year work plan calls for reductions throughout the IDF through 2020. One of the recommendations in the plan is for the reduction of the Israeli Navy’s (Heil Hayam HaYisraeli (HHHY)) Submarine Force beginning in 2019. As a cost cutting measure the first Dolphin class submarine, INS DOLPHIN, would be decommissioned when the sixth unit (not yet named) is commissioned. The sixth unit is currently under construction in Germany.

The submarine cut is one of many different recommendations throughout the IDF. A decision is expected to be made by the Government by early 2016. If the submarine is indeed decommissioned, AMI estimates that the HHHY would more than likely maintain it in a laid up status in the event it needs to be re- commissioned for further use.

INDIA – Sindhughosh (Kilo – Project 877) Class Submarine INS SINDHURAKSHAK (S63): On 04 December 2015, the Indian Navy (IN) decided to decommission the submarine INS SINDHURAKSHAK (S63). The SINDHURAKSHAK was crippled following a fire that occurred on 14 August 2013. Following decommissioning, the sea service will either scrap the submarine or use it as a target for testing new torpedoes.

A Board of Officers decided the dispose of the submarine due to its material condition with final approval by the Ministry of Defense in early 2016. At that time, the IN will decide on the method of disposal.

From the February 2016 Issue

UKRAINE – Submarine and Frigate Update Future Submarine: The Navy Chief expressed his desire to create a modern sub-surface force consisting of 2-4 modern submarines. The construction phase of the program would begin in 2020. The new force would replace the single Foxtrot class submarine ZAPORIZYA (U 01) that was commissioned in 1971 and has been in and out of service for the past two decades due to funding shortfalls. It re-entered service in 2013 following its latest overhaul.

There is no doubt that the BMCY desires a modern Submarine Force as a reaction to the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine crisis. The typically low procurement funding levels before the crisis has been made even worse (probably well under US$200M annually). It will be extremely difficult for the BMCY to attain any additional funding unless provided by a special Presidential fund or possibly even a foreign financer.

In regards to design, the short time line (2020 start) would force the BMCY to buy a foreign design with construction more than likely taking place at the foreign location of the designer as Ukraine has not built a submarine since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

It appears that if this program has any chance of getting off the ground, the BMCY will need to use a low cost provider such as China or South Korea as both offer low cost solutions in addition to finance packages. A second possibility would be a European solution that combines used submarines in the near term followed by new construction hulls being delivered after 2020. Again, it would assume a creative financing package to complete such a deal.


ISRAEL: On 12 January 2016, the Israeli Navy (Heil Hayam Ha Yisraeli (HHHY)) took delivery of its second Dolphin II class submarine, INS RAHAV, at the Port of Haifa in Israel. The Rahav is the fifth overall Type 209 hull delivery to Israel (three Dolphins and two Dolphin IIs).

UNITED STATES: On 16 January 2016, the Secretary of the Navy named the sea service’s 28 th Virginia class nuclear powered attack submarine (SSN) as the USS UTAH (SSN 801).


UNITED STATES – Ohio Class SSBN and Virginia Class SSN: In early January 2016, L-3 Communications Corp was awarded a US$44.7M indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity, cost plus fixed fee, cost reimbursement, firm fixed price contract for depot level services for the upgrade, repair and overhaul of Photonics Masts (PM) and Photonics Mast Variants (PMV). The PMs and PMVs are major components in the imaging systems found in the Ohio Class Nuclear Powered Ballistic Missile Submarines (SSBNs) and the Virginia class Nuclear Powered Attack Submarines (SSNs). The contract will cover the following: Repair of the masts. Replacement and repair of mast subassemblies. Testing and inspection of the masts. Upgrades to the PMs and PMVs. Work is expected to run through January 2019.

INDIA – Kilo Class (877EKM) Submarine: On 13 January 2016, the two private yards of Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Pipavav Defence in addition to the government-owned yard Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) were shortlisted to upgrade the last three Kilo class (877 EKM variants) submarines for the Indian Navy (IN).

Although not official, sources indicate that L&T will be the winning yard and will be the lead contractor in the US$747M contract to upgrade the INS SINDHUGHOSH, INS SINDHURATNA and INS SINDHURAJ. These three submarines were commissioned from 1986 through 1988. L&T naval engineers and technicians will begin training in Russia in June 2016 when the INS SINDHUKESARI is overhauled. This will allow L&T to start on its first overhaul in 2017. All three of the Indian-modernized submarines should be returned to service by 2022.

Highlights of the modernization effort include:

  • Hull, mechanical an electrical maintenance and repair.
  • Installation of the Novator Club-S (3M-54E1, SSN-27 Sizzler) missile system.
  • Replacement of weapon control system.
  • Upgrades to the electronic warfare (EW) suite.
  • Installation of the indigenous Ushus sonar system.
  • Installation of the indigenous CCS-MK radio communication system.
  • Installation of L3 KEO non-hull penetrating mast.
  • Installation of the Sagem SIGMA 40 ring laser gyro system.

From the March 2016 Issue


Successor SSBN Design Work Continues On 10 February 2016, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) awarded BAE Systems US$294.6M to further the design of the Successor Nuclear Powered Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN). The funding will allow for the maturation of the design and also include the layout of equipment and systems as well as developing the manufacturing processes for the construction phase. This award follows the 11 March 2015 award of US$422.5M for design work of the Successor SSBNs and is within the US$4.8B Assessment Phase funding line. BAE Systems also received two previous contracts in 2012 worth an estimated US$486M and US$467M in order to work the initial design.

The latest funding allows for the maturation of the design over the next 12 months and will culminate in the construction phase by the end of 2016. Main Gate Approval will be needed prior to the start of actual construction and is anticipated by the end of the year.

In regards to hull numbers for the Successor Program, assuming that there are no cutbacks in future funding; four hulls will be built to replace the Vanguard class on a one-for-one basis allowing for Continuous-At-Sea-Deterrence (CASD). The first hull is expected to enter service in 2028 with the entire class in service by 2033.

The CASD posture was supported in the long awaited Nation- al Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) that was released in November 2015. It gained traction earlier in the year following the 07 May 2015 general elections in which Prime Minister David Cameron won re election and the Tory Party retaining a significant majority in Parliament with 331 seats. An additional US$18B is expected to be added to the defense budget through 2025 in order to support the Royal Navy’s (RN) major construction programs including the Successor SSBN Program.

IRAN – New Frigates and Submarines

On 19 February 2016, AMI received information that Russia has confirmed the imminent signing of a major weapons deal with Iran. The US$8B proposed sale is to include Su-30SM multi-role fighters, Mi-8 attack helicopters, Mi-17 transport helicopters, K- 300 Bastion-P coastal defense missile systems, multi-role frigates, and diesel-electric attack submarines (SSK). Submarines: The Iranian Navy currently operates three Russian Kilo (Project 877EKM) class diesel-electric submarines (SSK) that were commissioned into service between 1992 and 1996. Two of the three units have undergone minor refits in 2011 and 2012 with the third refit being postponed.

AMI anticipates that the IN will be looking to replace the three Kilos on a one-for-one basis with new construction submarines. Originally, Iran had planned to design and build a large indigenous submarine to replace the three boats, but delays as well as technical issues have scuttled those plans, leading the IN to look to Russia for replacements.

Although the exact submarine design has not been publically released, AMI believes that the IN will be looking to the Improved Kilo (Project 636.3) class, vice the Amur (Project 1650) class due to the fact that the Amur has yet to be exported and Iran will likely desire a proven design.

The Improved Kilo design is 74.3 meters (248ft) in length and displaces 3,126 tons submerged. They are capable of engaging in ASuW and ASW as well as launching land-attack missiles through their torpedo tubes. With the assumption that the IN will want to replace their three existing SSKs with the new submarines and assuming a construction contract, like the frigates, occurring in 2017, the first unit of the class could commission by 2021, followed by the remaining two units in 2022 and 2023.

ASIA – India Jiangdao (Type 056) Class Corvette: On 22 February 2016, the People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLANs) launched its 25 th Jiangdao (Type 56) class corvette, TONGREN (507). It has entered service with the South China Sea Fleet. This follows the 16 October 2015 commissioning of the 24 th hull, QINHUANGDAO (505), which was commissioned into the North Fleet. Thirty units of the class will be built through the end of 2016.

VIETNAM: Hanoi (Kilo 636) Class Diesel Electric Submarine (SS): On 22 December 2015, the fifth Vietnamese People’s Navy (VPN) Hanoi (Kilo 636) class submarine, KHANH HOA (HQ- 186), departed Denmark on the Dutch registered cargo ship Rolldock Star for Vietnam. Russia’s Admiralty Shipyard launched the sixth and final unit, BARIA VUNG TAU(HQ-187), in October 2015. It will be delivered by the end of 2016 ending the program.

SOUTH KOREA Son Won-II Class Submarine (KSS-2): On 28 February 2016, the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) named its seventh Son Won- III class submarine HONG BEOM-DO (SS 079). The submarine is in the final stages of construction at Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and is scheduled for launching in April 2016. It will be commissioned in 2017. The two remaining units of the class (hull numbers SS 081 and SS 082) will be commissioned into the ROKN in 2018.


UNITED STATES: On 05 March 2016, the USN’s 14th Virginia class nuclear powered attack submarine (SSN), USS WASHINGTON (SSN 787), was christened at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Newport News Shipyard. It will be commissioned in 2017.

UNITED KINGDOM: On 19 February 2019, the Royal Navy’s (RN) third Astute class nuclear powered attack submarine (SSN), HMS ARTFUL (S 121), has concluded its final contractor’s sea trials. From the April 2016 Issue TAIWAN Sea Dragon Class Submarines: On 01 April 2016, AMI received information that the Republic of China Navy (ROCN) was moving ahead with a Life Extension Program (LEP) for its two Sea Dragon (ZWAARDVIS) class submarines. The two submarines have been in service since 1988. It appears that the overhaul will be conducted at China Shipbuilding Corporation (CSBC) with the assistance of a foreign yard.

In mid-March 2016, a contract for the LEP design work was awarded to two European marine engineering companies. Taiwan’s Ship and Ocean Industries Research and Development Center (SOIC) will be the local subcontractor for this phase which is expected to be completed in 2018. The modification phase will run from 2018 through 2020 and will address obsolescence issues. The work package is expected to include: Hull, mechanical and electrical (H, M&E). Non-propulsion electronic system modifications. Upgrades to the TIMNEX 4CH(V2) electronic sup- port measures (ESM). Several firms are now compet- ing for the estimated US$9M ESM upgrades. Replacement of the Thales Naval Nederland (TNN) SIMBADS-M CMS system and SIASS-Z integrated sonar system probably with the Lockheed Martin Submarine Integrated Combat System (SUBICS). Replacement of the SUT torpedoes with the Raytheon Mk 48 Advanced Capability (ADCAP) torpedoes. Replacement of the UGM-84L Harpoon anti-ship mis- siles (ASM) with the Harpoon Block II ASM includ- ing integration into the CMS.

The Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST) will play a minor role in the LEP with foreign companies such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon playing major roles. The LEP combat system work is expected to be under contract by 20 May 2016.


Submarine Program Shortlisted to Two Potential Suppliers

On 07 April 2016, the Norwegian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced that had it shortlisted two potential suppliers for the Royal Norwegian Navy’s (RNoN) future submarine program (Project 6346 Ny Ubat). Project 6346 will be the replacement for the RNoN’s four Ula class submarines. Following financial, industrial and military assessments, the MoD has concluded that France’s DCNS and Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) are the strongest candidates for the program. All future efforts will be focused on these two suppliers.

By mid-2016, the RNoN will complete its project definition phase and submit its final recommendation on the future submarine capability to Parliament by the end of 2016. In 2014, the RNoN made the decision to move forward with the new construction option rather than to keep upgrading the Ula class. Since that time, the sea service has been considering the possibility of bringing in international partners to reduce the cost of acquisition and operation of its own submarine fleet. Sweden, Netherlands and Poland were mentioned as possible partners.

In March 2016, press reporting suggested that Norway was offering the Polish Navy one of its Ula class submarines if it would join Norway in its submarine program although talks with all three of the possible partners are exploratory in nature and no firm decisions have been made. However, with TKMS and DCNS as the two potential suppliers, Sweden will no longer join with Norway as has already started its own indigenous A26 program. For the Netherlands and Poland to remain as possible partners, they obviously have to agree on a single design (or variant thereof), which will most likely be the DCNS Scorpene (Scorpene Variant) and the TKMS Type 209/214 (or variant). These designs offer the least risk as they are already operated by various navies.

The big question that remains for the RNoN and the other potential partners are, which hull design will be selected and can it be modified to meet the operational requirements for all of the potential users and will all three agree to formally join the program?

Regardless of hull selection, Norway would probably want to construct some of the modules in country, with final assembly at the foreign partner’s yard. With the Norwegian Parliament getting the MoD’s recommendation by the end of 2016, a construction Request for Proposals (RfPs) could be released by the end of 2017 with a contract in place by the end of 2018 in order to get the first unit in service by 2025. INDIA Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) Program Under Contract In late February 2016, James Fisher Defence (JFD) was awarded a US$277M contract by the Indian Navy (IN) for the delivery of two Deep Submergence and Rescue Vehicles (DSRVs) in addition to a 25-year all inclusive maintenance contract. AMI estimates that the DSRVs cost around US$30M per unit with the remaining US$217M for the through life support.

JFD will supply the two DSRVs, launch and recovery systems (LARS) equipment and transfer under pressure systems (TUP). All equipment will be built and tested at JFD’s facilities in the United Kingdom. The DSRVs will operate from India’s rescue ship NIREEKSKAK (A 15) that is expected to be replaced by two, new construction submarine rescue ships (ASRs) that will probably be ordered by 2018. In August 2014, the IN apparently had selected the JFD solu- tion, which was for two of the DSAR SRVs that were also sold to the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN). Both DSRVs were offered for US$66.6M although it took almost two years to negotiate the final agreement and receive Indian Government approval. Both units will probably be delivered by the end of 2018. The IN had been considering a modern DSRV program for the better part of 14 years. However, the sinking of the Sindhughosh (Kilo) class submarine, INS SINDHURAKSHAK on 14 August 2013 upped the priority of the program.

ASIA – Regional Update

JAPAN Jinryu (Modified Soryu) Class Submarine: On 07 March 2016, the Maritime Self Defense Force (MSDF) took delivery of the first Jinryu class submarine, JDS JINRYU (SS 507). It was built at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ (MHI) Kobe Shipyard. AMI estimates that at least seven other units will be built with one unit commissioning per year through 2023. This would give the MSDF a total of 14 Soryu/Jinryu class submarines. They will probably be followed by a new class of submarines to replace the Oyashio class while maintaining a fleet force of 22 hulls.


ITALY: On 02 March 2016, the Italian Navy’s fourth Todaro (Type 212A) class submarine, ITS ROMEO ROMEI, started sea trials off La Spezia, Italy. UNITED KINDOM: On 18 March 2016, the Royal Navy’s (RN) third Astute class nuclear powered attack submarine (SSN), HMS ARTFUL (s 121), was commissioned at HM Naval Base Clyde in the United Kingdom. RUSSIA: On 18 March 2016, the Russian navy (VMFR) launched its fifth Improved Kilo (Project 636.6) class submarine, RFS VELIKIY NOVOGROD at the Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg.

From the May 2016 Issue

AUSTRALIA – Future Navy in Focus

On 26 April 2016, the Australian Government announced the winner for the Future Submarine Program (SEA 1000), essentially completing the master plan for the future Royal Australian Navy (RAN). On 18 April, announcements concerning the Future Frigate Program (SEA 5000) and Offshore Combat Vessel (SEA 1180) and the 06 May contract announcement with Navantia for the Fleet Replenishment Ship (AOR) Program secures the future of every naval program through 2035 in addition to a new continuous build strategy that will ensure the viability of the Australian shipbuilding industry for decades to come.

The future of the RAN was supported by the latest defense document, Defence White Paper 2016, which was released in February 2016. The whitepaper established the future structure of the Australian Defense Force (ADF) past 2035 and funding commitments (at least on paper) needed for procurement programs throughout the next 20 year period. It also supported the Australian shipbuilding industry with a continuous naval shipbuilding plan to maintain the infrastructure. Future Submarine (SEA 1000): On 26 April 2016, the Australian Government announced that DCNS of France was selected as its international partner for the A$50B (US$38.1B) Future Submarine Program. DCNS bested Mitsubishi and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) with its Shortfin Barracuda design. Mitsubishi offered the Japanese Soryu design and TKMS the Type 216.

A major selling point was the intention to build all 12 hulls in Australia with DCNS assistance maximizing Australian Industry Involvement (AII). DCNS was unwavering in its commitment to AII since the beginning of the program. Additionally, the members involved in the competitive evaluation process (CEP) determined that the Shortfin Barracuda was the best option to meet Australia’s unique requirements. With the preferred design now announced, Australia will continue to further design work through 2021. A construction contract Request for Proposal (RfP) to DCNS and ASC could be finalized by 2018 with a construction contract in place by 2019. DCNS has announced that the first unit will start construction around 2022 with launching in 2028 and commissioning in 2030. With the first submarines entering service in the early 2030s, the program will run through the late 2040s/early 2050s. To ensure there is no capability gap, development of the next generation submarine will begin by the mid-2050s.

Even with the design now being the Shortfin Barracuda, a key requirement for the program was for a US derived combat system. The white paper called for the combat system to consist of an upgraded version of the General Dynamics AN/BYG-1 combat system and the Raytheon Mk 48 Mod 7 heavyweight torpedo. The US combat system will be integrated into the Shortfin Barracuda hull. ASIA: Regional Update INDONESIA: Improved Chang Bogo (Type 209) Class Submarine: On 25 March 2016, the first Indonesian Navy (TNI- AL) Improved Chang Bogo (Type 209) class submarine (KRI NAGABANDA) was launched from Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering’s (DSME) Okpo yard in South Korea. It will be delivered to the TNI-AL in late 2017. The second unit is under construction at DSME and will be commissioned in 2018. The third unit will be built at Indonesia’s PAL Shipbuilding (with assistance) and will begin construction in 2017 and commissioned in 2020. Modernization & Ship Transfer FRANCE – Le Triomphant Class Nuclear-Powered Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN): On 15 April 2016, AMI received information that the French Navy (FN) would start a 20-month yard period for the LE TRIOMPHANT class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), LE TEMERAIRE (S617) by June 2016.

During the overhaul, the LE TEMERAIRE will be fitted with the M51.2 variant of the M45/TN-75 submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM). Refit work will also include hull, mechanical and electrical (H,M&E) in addition to the replacement of sensors and other combat systems. The existing DISAT torpedo countermeasures system (TCM) will be replaced with the Nemesis TCM.

On 04 August 2015, the FN took possession of the SSBN LE TRIOMPHANT (S616), the third unit to be modernized. The LE TEMERAIRE (S617) is the last unit to be modernized under this program. The overhauls are part of a December 2009 seven-year contract in which DCNS would overhaul all four units of the class. The upgrade is a segment of the US$31B for the French Armed Forces (FAF) to modernize its air and sea based nuclear deterrent forces through 2019. INDIA – Kilo Class (877EKM) Submarine: On 18 April 2016, AMI received information that the Indian Navy (IN) Kilo class submarine INS SINDHUKESARI (S 60) would arrive in Russia on 27 June to begin its mid-life modernization effort at Severodvinsk. The overhaul should last around 18 months. Highlights of the modernization effort include:

  • Hull, mechanical and electrical maintenance and repair.
  • Installation of the Novator Club-S (3M-54E1, SSN-27 Sizzler) missile system.
  • Replacement of weapon control system.
  • Upgrades to the electronic warfare (EW) suite.
  • Installation of the indigenous Ushus sonar system.
  • Installation of the indigenous CCS-MK radio communica- tion system.
  • Installation of L3 KEO non-hull penetrating mast.
  • Installation of the Sagem SIGMA 40 ring laser gyro system.

During the overhaul period, naval engineers and technicians from India’s Larsen & Toubro (L&T) will be trained in order for India to start its first Kilo overhaul at L&T in 2017. L&T will be the lead contractor in the US$747M contract to upgrade the next three units, INS SINDHUGHOSH, INS SINDHURATNA and INS SINDHURAJ. These three submarines were commissioned from 1986 through 1988. All three of the Indian-modernized submarines should be returned to service by 2022. The INS SINDHUKESARI should Severodvinsk by late 2017 or early 2018. be completed at From the June 2016 Issue UNITED STATES Ohio Replacement SSBN Design Contract in Late 2016 In mid-May 2016, the United States Navy (USN) announced that the design contract for the sea service’s Ohio Class Nuclear Powered Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) (ORP Program) would be in place by the fourth quarter of 2016.

General Dynamics – Electric Boat (GD-EB) has already been selected as the prime contractor for the program and was expected to submit its bid to the US Naval Sea Systems Command (USNAVSEA) on 20 May 2016. Negotiations could begin at any time in order to get the detailed design phase underway by the end of the year. The ORP is expected to proceed through a Milestone B review in August 2016 in order to begin the engineering, manufacturing and development phase. The first unit will begin construction in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. A work-share agreement for the construction phase of the twelve hulls has already been submitted to the Navy with Huntington Ingalls Industries (HHI) Newport News Shipbuilding being the other builder. Both yards also share construction in the Virginia Class Nuclear Powered Attack Submarines (SSNs) as GD-EB and HHI Newport News are the only two submarine builders left in the United States.

The first unit will cost over US$11B with the eleven follow on units at around US$6B although the Navy is attempting to push the price per unit to as low as US$5.5B for the follow on hulls. For the first hull that will begin in FY2021, US$883M was already committed in FY2015 and US$971M in FY2016. The 30- year shipbuilding budget (FY2017-FY2021) calls for US$773M in FY2017, US$787M in FY2018, US$2.7B in FY2019, US$1.3B in FY2020 and US$3.6B in FY2021 when the construction phase begins.

The second unit will begin construction in FY2024 and the third unit in FY2030. The 12th hull is expected to begin in 2035 and commission in 2041. With the ORP in full swing by 2024, all shipbuilding programs will be under budget stress as the projected Shipbuilding and Conversion (SCN) funding is not expected to support the ORP in addition to all other projected naval shipbuilding programs. With the anticipated blow out in the budget estimates, some members of the US Congress are now attempting to shift some of the ORP funding outside of the SCN budget.

Regional Update

INDIA: KALVARI (Scorpene) (Project 75) Class Submarine: On 01 May 2016, the first Indian Navy (IN) Kalvari class submarine, Kalvari, began what will be a series of sea trials that will lead to its commissioning by the end of 2016. The KALVARI will be followed by five additional units through 2020. In October 2015, the IN began planning for four additional units to be built under the program bringing the class to 10 units. All of the submarines are being built at Mazagon dock Ltd (MDL). This program began in 1998 and is over a decade behind schedule.

SOUTH KOREA Jangbogo III Class Submarine (KSS-3): On 17 May 2016, the keel was laid for the Republic of Korea Navy’s (ROKN) first Jangbogo III class submarine, JANGBOGO, at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering’s (DSME) Okpo Shipyard. It will be commissioned in 2020 and followed by eight additional units through 2029.

INTERNATIONAL Combat, Sensor, and Integration System Developments AMI is currently tracking combat, sensor and integration systems developments. The following are the highlights for the months of May and June 2016:

Wartsila ELAC Nautic Selected for Indonesian Type 209: Wärtsilä ELAC Nautik was selected to provide their VE5900 echo-sounder system – as well as the complete KaleidoScope Open Architecture Sonar Suite, the UT3000 digital underwater communication system and the SBE1 sonar beacon to be installed on the new construction Type 209 diesel-electric submarines (SSK) Narabanga class being built for the Indonesian Navy (IN) by Korean submarine builder DSME.

The OpenSonarSuite ELAC KaleidoScope performs integrated surveillance by using acoustic sensors which provide the tracking channels to allow automatic detection and tracking of contacts. The integrated surveillance functionality includes detection, tracking, analysis and classification. The detection and tracking function includes passive sonar narrowband, passive broadband, intercept and transient for contact detection, contact tracking and contact correlation. The analysis function integrates passive narrowband, acoustic intercept, transient features, and customer provided intelligence libraries as well as tools for classification features for track and contact classification. KaleidoScope is based on MOTS hardware and performance tested software for sonar processing. KaleidoScope is comprised of a cylindrical bow array, flank array, and intercept array as well as own-noise hydrophones and accelerometers. The middle ware (OpenDDS) based open architecture allows for the implementation of new algorithms and functions by the customer itself without the support and control of the system provider (customer owned and secret intellectual properties). This architecture holds the availability consistently at a high level and reduced lifecycle costs.

The ELAC UT 3000 is the first proven system to offer digital data transmission in addition to analog voice communication. It is already installed in an increasing number of submarines and surface ships worldwide. Digital communication opens an infinite number of new applications for a submarine at speed and depth. Fast exchange of tactical, operational and navigation data are only a few examples for the use of the system.

The VE5900 system is made up of a Dis- play/Transmitter/Receiver/Processer Unit, Acoustic Transducers, Transducer Connection Box and several transducers. The system enhances safety of navigation by receiving reflected echoes from both the sea floor as well as the ocean’s surface (when submerged) in order to accurately measure the depth of the water or the depth of the submarine. It operates at 50 kHz in deep water and 200/400 kHz in shallow waters, with more options to be added in the future.


UNITED STATES: On 30 April 2016, the keel was laid for the United States Navy’s (USN) USN’s 18 th Virginia class nuclear powered attack submarine (SSN), USS DELAWARE (SSN 791), at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Newport News Shipyard. It will be commissioned in 2018.

Modernization and Ship Transfer

UNITED STATES –Attack and Guided Missile Submarines: In late May 2016, AeroVironment announced that the United States Navy (USN) would begin deploying its Blackwing Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) aboard the sea service’s nuclear attack submarines and nuclear guided missile submarines providing an advanced reconnaissance system. The guided missile submarines include the four Ohio class SSGNs and the attack submarines of the Virginia, Sea Wolf and Los Angeles classes.

The Blackwing UAS is a small tube launched system that can deploy from under the surface of the sea, on manned submarines and Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs). The Blackwing is a low cost system optimized for anti access and aerial denial (A2/AD). The system employs an advanced, miniature electro- optical and infrared (EO/IR) payload, Selective Availability Anti Spoofing Module (SASSM) GPS and secure Digital Datalink (DDL). The Blackwing UAS can be fully integrated into the submarine fleet using existing, standard command and control systems.

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