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Australian navy's hunt for new sub to replace Collins class

S.M.A. said:
All-weather snorkel system?


All snorkelling systems are all-weather so long as you are willing to live with the discomfort associated with temporary shut-down of the inflow pipe and you are ready to handle vacuum-in-the-boat situations.

The real question is, with a submarine, why on earth would you want to be anywhere less than two hundred feet deep during a typhoon ?
Germany's competing offer to Japan's offer of Soryu class subs to Australia:

Navy Recognition

TKMS announces ‘Endeavour’ - the name for Australian Future Submarine Project

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), the world’s leading builder of conventional submarines, has announced the name ‘Endeavour’ for its Australian SEA1000 Future Submarine Project. The announcement was made today to coincide with the company’s presence at Pacific 2015, a major naval industry event being held in Sydney from 6 to 8 October. TKMS is committed to naval shipbuilding in Australia and the broader APAC region.

Dr John White, Chairman of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems Australia, said:

“We selected the name ‘Endeavour’ for its obvious connections to Australia’s history, particularly the fact that the country was discovered by Captain James Cook who first landed the Endeavour at Botany Bay in 1770. 245 years later, at Pacific 2015, we are showcasing our leading ship-building and submarine capability that reflects our strong commitment to Australia for over 150 years.”

“We are committed to deliver a regionally-superior submarine for Australia under Project Endeavour through the Federal Government’s Competitive Evaluation Process. We will offer an advanced submarine design that is tailored to Australia’s specific submarine requirements and designed for reliable cost effective sustainment.”

France's counter offer to Japan's Soryu and Germany's Endeavour sub projects to Australia:

Navy Recognition

PACIFIC 2015: DCNS Showcased the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A for SEA1000 Submarine Program

At PACIFIC 2015, the international maritime exposition held recently in Sydney, DCNS was showcasing for the first time a scale model of its proposal for the Australian SEA1000 submarine design and procurement program. Based on the French Navy Barracuda SSN currently in final stage of construction, the Shorfin Barracuda is 3 meters shorter (94 meters) and 200 tons lighter (4,500 tons).

The two submarines share the same hull but DCNS further improved some aspects of the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A hull shape in order to maintain the impressive speed and maneuverability qualities expected with the next SSN of the French Navy. Both are fitted with X-shape rudders which provides better handling to the submarine while surfaced and underwater. The "pump jet" allows for higher speed before the onset of cavitation and lower acoustic signature.

What??? This is assuming the Aussie MoD wants to stick with these undermanned, problem-plagued subs.


Could Saab Upgrade Australia’s Collins-class Submarine as a Stopgap Measure?
The Swedish company Saab Kockums offers to upgrade Australia’s subs while Canberra decides who will replace them. Is it worth it?

By Benjamin David Baker
October 14, 2015
As previously reported by the Diplomat, Australia is still trying to figure out which submarines will replace its Collins-class boats. The three contenders still in the so-called SEA-1000 competition are the German ThyssenKrupp’s Type 216-class, a diesel-electric version of the French Thales/DCNS Barracuda-class and a modified version of the Japanese Kawasaki Soryu-class. The first of the 6 Collins’ have been in service since the early 1990s, when they replaced the venerable Oberon-class. Although no definitive price limit has been set, the Collins replacement program has caused an intense debate in Australia, and is calculated to be the most expensive defense acquisition in country’s history.

One of the contenders to be dropped from the competition last year was Sweden’s Saab Kockums. As the Diplomat’s Franz-Stefan Gady reported earlier this year, this was apparently due to Sweden’s inexperience in building advanced subs. Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott stated that “The last Australian submarine came off the production line in about 2001 … the last Swedish submarine came off the production line in 1996, so it’s almost two decades since Sweden built a submarine.”

Saab Kockums responded that “this is not the case” and emphasizes that Sweden, “maintained a full capacity to design and build submarines both for Sweden and for export over the last 20 years.”

DCNS's last push?

Defense News

DCNS Prepares Final Offer for Australian Sub Tender
By Pierre Tran 2:56 p.m. EDT October 20, 2015

PARIS — DCNS filed a draft proposal at the end of September and aims to submit a final offer at the end of November in Australia’s tender for a new class of attack submarines, reported to be worth Aus $50 billion (US $36.3 billion), a spokesperson for the French naval shipbuilder said.

Technology transfer will be part of the French offer of the concept vessel Shortfin Barracuda, a diesel-electric version of the Barracuda nuclear-powered attack submarine being built for the French Navy.

“The transfer of technology will be complete, to allow Australia to meet its objective of sovereignty and independence,” the DCNS spokesperson said.

Australia’s Sea 1000 project to replace the Collins submarines has attracted competing bids from DCNS, a Japanese offer from Mitsubishi Heavy Industry and Kawasaki Shipbuilding, and German specialist ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. The tender is for six to 12 units.

More on the last push by the French:

Defense News

DCNS Submits Final Bid in Australian Sub Program
By Pierre Tran 12:14 p.m. EST November 30, 2015

PARIS — DCNS last week submitted its final proposal in Australia’s tender for up to 12 attack submarines in the Sea 1000 Future Submarine program, a deal reported to be worth Aus $50 billion (US $36.1 billion), a spokesperson for the French naval shipbuilder said.

“The offer was made on Friday,” the spokesperson said.

The DCNS offer is backed by the procurement office of the French Ministry of Defense.

“The proposal includes a government-to-government agreement from the French Ministry of Defense’s Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) to the Commonwealth of Australia’s Department of Defence and a binding written commitment on key aspects of the deliverables,” DCNS said in a Monday statement.

All bids are in: let's see who comes out on top.

Defense News

Submarine Bids Now in, Australian Panel Begins Evaluation
By Nigel Pittaway 2:59 p.m. EST December 5, 2015

MELBOURNE, Australia — Now that all three competitors have issued final proposals in Australia's AU$ 50 billion (US $36.44 billion) Future Submarine program, an expert advisory panel will begin its evaluations and issue findings next year to guide the government's selection.

Up to 12 large conventional submarines will be acquired under Project Sea 1000. The Australian government selected France’s DCNS, TKMS of Germany and the government of Japan to participate in a competitive evaluation process (CEP).

“Since the CEP began in February, all three participants have worked closely with [the Department of] Defence and they should be congratulated for the hard work and significant investment they have made to reach this point,” Australian Defence Minister Sen. Marise Payne said in a statement.

2 major updates that may influence Australia's future sub competition:

Defence Aerospace

The French DCNS Bid for Future Australian Submarine
(Source: DCNS Australia; issued Dec 15, 2015)
The Future Submarine Program will deliver Australia an affordable, regionally superior, conventional submarine capability, sustainable into the foreseeable future.

Australia must have the ability to operate, sustain, maintain and upgrade Australia’s submarine force on an enduring basis. Australia’s Future Submarines project will be the biggest defence acquisition in Australia’s history, valued at $50 billion.

Building the submarines will be a mammoth task – at least twice the size of the Collins Class program.

On completion, the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A will be the most technically complex artefact in Australia.


A winning move by the Germans which will win over the shipbuilding lobbyists in Australia?

Financial Review

ThyssenKrupp prepared to buy ASC as part of submarine pitch

The German bidder for Australia's submarine tender wants to create a Pacific advanced manufacturing hub to build, maintain and export combat boats to Australia's regional allies by buying government shipbuilder ASC.

ThyssenKrupp Marine Services, which is competing to build Australian submarines in what is the world's largest non-nuclear submarine contract, says it is prepared to take over ASC, formerly known as the Australian Submarine Corporation, in order to "replicate" its German shipbuilding operations in Australia.

ThyssenKrupp's push to win the bid has reached the highest levels of government and industry with Chancellor Angela Merkel putting aside her nation's reticence to discuss its defence industry to back the bid.

South Australian politicians are also keen supporters because of the flow on effects to local small to medium manufacturers that could be potential suppliers to a 30-year high-tech shipbuilding project.

TKMS losing its bid?


Has Germany Lost the Bid to Build Australia’s New Subs?

A German bid is reportedly losing ground over technical concerns.

By Franz-Stefan Gady
January 23, 2016

In the competitive bidding process for a $50 billion ($38.8 billion) contract to build Australia’s new submarine fleet in partnership with Australian industry, Germany appears to be losing over technical concerns, according to industry sources interviewed by Reuters.

“The German proposal is an enlarged version of a smaller existing submarine, and that technically is risky,” one source told Reuters. German defense contractor Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems (TKMS) is offering Australia a scaled-up version of its 2,000-ton diesel-electric Type 214 submarine, equipped with lithium-ion battery technology. As I reported previously, TKMS is offering the 4,000-ton HDW class 216, specifically designed to meet Australia’s needs.

In February 2015, the Australian government asked Germany, France, and Japan to bid for the country’s largest defense procurement program (the so-called SEA-1000 acquisition project)—a contract to build up to 12 new submarines for the Australian Royal Navy, replacing the six Collins-class submarines currently in service.

Still no news on the winning bid yet:

Agence France Presse via News Republic

Japan steps up bid to win Australia submarine contract


Japan has assured Australia it will share its most secret stealth technology if it wins a contract to design and build Canberra's next generation of submarines, a report said Monday.

Three international bidders are competing for the project worth up to Aus$50 billion (US$36 billion) to replace Australia's current diesel and electric-powered Collins Class submarines which are set to be retired from about 2026.

The tender process is now closed with submissions received from DCNS of France, Germany's TKMS and the Japanese government.

Besides matching the range and endurance of the Collins Class, the new generation of subs are expected to offer superior sensor performance and stealth capabilities.

More on the DCNS bid:

ASPI Strategist

SEA 1000: A Franco–Australian solution
10 Feb 2016|Sean Costello

Where Australia selects France, it selects enduring geopolitical alignment and surety of supply, a program of technical transfer to deliver sovereignty, a regionally superior capability and interoperability with our allies.

I can make those statements with respect to France because France is a complete submarine power and has national polices to remain so. A complete submarine power is one that can safely design, build, operate and sustain any class of submarine on an enduring basis.


The relevance of those capabilities are brought to bear when one considers the Australian Future Submarine requirement, which self-evidently calls for a new submarine and not one that’s in existence today. Although it may seem obvious, it’s worth pointing out that when DCNS received Australia’s requirement we immediately recognised that the French Barracuda was the most suitable reference design and not our existing conventional design.

As a complete submarine power, we understand conventional propulsion, which is why we also understand that propulsion is but one part of the submarine puzzle. In designing to the Australian requirement, it should come as no surprise then that the conventionally powered Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A is only 5% lighter than its nuclear cousin.

Mitsubishi's counter offer to TKMS's earlier pitch to buy ASC to provide jobs in South Australia:


February 12, 2016 1:00 am JST

Australian defense

Mitsubishi Heavy willing to build subs Down Under

KAORI TAKAHASHI, Nikkei staff writer

SYDNEY -- Hungry for a defense contract worth tens of billions of U.S. dollars, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has expressed a willingness to construct Australia's next-generation submarines entirely in-country.

The company "will be happy to oblige" if asked to build all of the new vessels here, President Shunichi Miyanaga told a news conference Thursday.

Australia is expected to spend more than 4 trillion yen ($35.6 billion) on the project.
Mitsubishi Heavy, which constructed Soryu-class submarines for Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force, has been bidding with the Japanese government.

A Soryu deal closer than previously thought?

Japan Times

Australia increasingly likely to pick Japan for huge submarine order, experts say
MAR 1, 2016
With Australia’s release of its defense white paper last week, the race to build the country’s next generation of submarines enters the home stretch — and some experts say the Japanese bid appears to hold an insurmountable lead.

“The DWP (Defense White Paper) strongly stresses the importance of further strengthening U.S.-Japanese defense relations and is also quite vocal about China’s challenge to the rules-based order in maritime Asia,” Ben Schreer, a professor at Macquarie University in Sydney, said.

“In my view, it’s highly likely that the Turnbull government will choose the Japanese design for strategic and technological reasons, and the DWP has added weight to this,” he said, referring to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Interview with an ex-JMSDF submarine CO who now works in industry, who discusses the advantages of Japanese-made subs:


March 27, 2016 1:00 pm JST
Japan should protect tech secrets in Aussie submarine bid

TOKYO -- Japan's leading shipbuilders Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries are strongly promoting their technological strengths to Australia in a bid to win contracts to build that country's next generation of submarines. Mitsubishi Heavy said that it is considering building all the vessels in Australia, but hurdles remain, such as how to train local engineers in such a short period of time. Management of costs and protection of technological secrets are also major concerns.

Toshihide Yamauchi, councillor at the Taiheiyo Engineering, a Tokyo-based defense-focused consultancy, discussed how the Japanese camp can prepare for these challenges, in a recent interview with The Nikkei. Yamauchi previously served as captain of the Japanese submarine Setoshio.


Q: Compared to the German and French rivals in the bidding, what are the advantages of the Japanese submarines?

A: The Japanese submarines can dive much longer without having to surface. This is a significant technology. Japan's Ministry of Defense has said it plans to replace conventional lead-acid batteries with more powerful lithium-ion cells, which will enable the vessels to cruise at high speeds underwater.

    The Japanese submarine is as capable in combat as the German boats. Our country is also advanced in combat systems (which can pick out specific sounds of the enemy from surrounding noise and conduct operations based on this information). In addition, Japan has a well-developed supply chain for submarine building. There are companies that can custom-make even a single screw for a submarine.

Um, it wouldn't be very intelligent for a serving seaman and engineering RAN bubblehead to write an article for publication, but somehow this one, just published, aligns to the tune of 100 per cent with the views of RAN sub country on the garbage consistently published on the Soryu boats.

From Aust. Defence Monthly.

The submarine problem - deeper than meets the eye

ADM writers

It’s been said so often but never actually examined in great detail – the Future Submarine Program is strategic for Japan and Australia. In speaking to the submarine community, past and present, what comes through is that cooperation with Japan results in a Future Submarine that can approach the performances of Collins but only with a completely new design and one that will definitely not be regionally superior post 2030. This is alarming and requires pause for thought.

The root-cause of this problem is that Japan does not have any technology that is, well, regionally superior. Indeed it is the reverse situation - Japan’s relative submarine capability is improved by the Future Submarine Program but not Australia’s.

The Future Submarine is strategic for Japan, but not for Australia.

The Australian Government tells us that the next generation of RAN submarines will be regionally superior because they will have higher performances in stealth, sensors, range and endurance, and of course the US-origin combat system and weapons. With superior performances in these areas, the Future Submarine can outmatch any other submarine the RAN might conceivably fight, including the nearly silent nuclear attack submarines emerging from Russia and in the future, China. In the decades to come these submarines will hunt, and be hunted by, Australian submarines and it’s important to note that the RAN may not get to choose who to fight or when – they might choose us.

To say it in plain English, if the Collins were to fight the Soryu today Collins would kill it every time.

But what if the international partner for Australia has no better technology than we already have access to? The undeniable logic is the Future Submarine will offer performances no better than the Collins Class Submarine it replaces. An ‘Australianised’ Soryu will not be regionally superior beyond 2030. This is the critical issue.

And there is no technology offered by Japan to suggest any evolution of the Soryu can change this situation in the future.


In lobbying Australia to accept their submarine, Japan has disclosed enough about its own capabilities in open literature to prove this. The Soryu Class, Japan’s most modern submarine, offers no improvement over Collins in any capability area – not stealth, not sonar, not range nor endurance and not combat system or weapon. Moreover, there is no objective evidence that Japan can overcome these problems with a new design. Let's examine the case for the Soryu point by point.


Stealth in submarines is mostly determined by the noise of the submarine, making it vulnerable to detection by the enemy (the noise of machinery, vibration, the flow of water over the hull and the propeller at all speeds) as well as the echo the submarine may return from enemy active sonar. For a submarine to be detected by active sonar its position is generally already localised by an adversary.

The extent to which the noise generated by on-board machinery is reduced is determined by the vibration of the equipment in the first instance, followed by the effectiveness of acoustic isolation treatments. Submarine designs since the 1980s, including the Collins, isolate vibration by a combination of treatments at each and every interface between the equipment, the hull of the submarine and the deck itself. However at least one technical paper made public by Kawasaki confirms that the Soryu does not have acoustic isolation between the deck and the hull.

This problem is clear as the production process described by Kawasaki in its own literature is incompatible with any conceivable method for acoustic isolation of the deck from the hull. Without isolation of the deck from the hull, acoustic isolation is incomplete and will result in higher acoustic signatures and loss of stealth capability. Alarmingly, the acoustic signature of the Soryu is very likely to be higher than that of the Collins and the problem is literally welded in. Fixing the problem is not straight forward as the Soryu's double hull sections constrain the available internal volume for installation of the acoustic systems. Even before the problems of range and endurance are considered, a complete redesign of the Soryu based on technology from outside Japan is required - perhaps Australia will donate this technology to Japan from the Collins?

As the phrase suggests, a double hull creates one small submarine inside a larger one. Only the internal hull, with the smaller diameter, is designed to resist the external seawater pressure. The external hull is comprised of tanks for fuel and ballast. A double hull can save weight but can introduce other problems.

Whole article via the link, here  -  http://www.australiandefence.com.au/news/the-submarine-problem-deeper-than-meets-the-eye
Are the other countries offering anything that much different in ability than the Japanese. Can Australia afford to go to far beyond the Collin's class abilities? 
Defence Aerospace

Decision Close On Australian Submarine Contract
(Source: Forecast International; issued April 5, 2016)
MELBOURNE, Australia --- Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has indicated that a decision is close on the winner for the $36 billion contract to build Australia's new submarine class. Tenders have been submitted by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. ThyssenKrupp AG and DCNS for the contract to build 12 new submarines.

Expectations are that the winning bidder would be announced before the next election, even if an early poll was called for July. Much depends upon the passage of two unrelated items of legislation through the Australian Government. One of these is a tax reform bill that, if rejected again would trigger a "double dissolution" election in which both houses of the Australian government would be subject to re-election.

If this takes place, the selected site for the construction of the submarines may well prove to be a decisive issue.

The decision on the new sub will be announced next week. A lot of press lately seems to suggest that Japan is out of the race.

ABC News (Australia)

Submarine deal: Successful bid for new Royal Australian Navy boats to be announced next week
Exclusive by political editor Chris Uhlmann
Updated about an hour ago

The Federal Government is preparing to announce the successful bidder for Australia's new fleet of submarines next week.