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Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby SW1 » 10 Feb 2019, 21:54

Repulse wrote:SW1, given that the majority of the submarine budget goes towards CASD, I don’t think it’s a fair comparison.



It’s entirely fair, it’s a submarine. The budget doesn’t know the difference. Spending on one thing means no money to spend on another. It’s a choice we don’t have to spend it on casd.

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 10 Feb 2019, 22:37

SW1 wrote:The move to non nuclear propulsion for the astute replacement program maybe we’re it’s headed..


What would that save? The ozzie prgrm where the design going from nuclear to conventional is actually happening might give a hint
- AUD 50 bn for 12
- though the costs are already running when they only just "broke the ground" to start building the build facility

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 10 Feb 2019, 22:50

SW1 wrote:Spending on one thing means no money to spend on another.


The Russian naval programme (build/ refurb) has an extraordinary focus on subs https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Sm9KomKH78Q/ ... 2B2018.jpg
and the surface fleet has paid the price (would say, even the air force has as since 2014 army modernisation has had such a high priority, too).
- every time we add an A-boat, a "T" drops off (normally a year before), so it is the Atlantic that is devoid of naval assets, not e.g. the Med (where NATO navies reign supreme)

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby Lord Jim » 11 Feb 2019, 01:34

The SAAB option looks interesting, but since any such fictional programme would be run on a short string, I cannot see any "Partner willing to invest in UK construction so such cost would have to be carried by the programme greatly increasing the cost, especially for such a small order. The only real money available would be as mentioned the funding for the T-31e and I cannot see that covering the cost of expanding Barrow, training personnel, amending any design, as we surely will and then actually building 3 to 4 state of the art SSKs for the available £1,25Bn. Oh and don't forget all the infrastructure to be built a Devonport to support them.

This for me make the programme totally non-viable. The only way we could possibly afford these boats would be for them to be built By the actual manufacture in their existing yards, with maybe a small amount of fitting out in the UK. If we were planning to build 8 to 12 of these then things might swing the other way, and more so if in future we look to a conventional design to replace the Astutes, but that would be 30 to 40 years away, which again points to what would the expanded Barrow do in the mean time? Well like always, let staff go and at best mothball the facility, at worst dismantle it.

Like with all naval ship building gin this country, for it to survive and provide value for money to the taxpayer, we need a steady stream of orders going to 2 or 3 shipyards. The MoD has a hard enough battle on its hand to retain the size of the fleet without the costs of new ships making at least 1 for 1 replacements possible.

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 11 Feb 2019, 05:20

Lord Jim wrote:. The only way we could possibly afford these boats would be for them to be built By the actual manufacture in their existing yards, with maybe a small amount of fitting out in the UK.

I have a problem, whether to call that an over- or understatement ;)
- e.g. the Spanish boats (derived from a French design) had the pressure hull nose cones manufactured in the UK and shipped over to the constructing yard
- as sensors, CMS and weapons make up half of the price of complex warships, we would be North of 50% UK content before even starting
- compare the 40% for Saab's new fighter (made in Sweden) against the Typhoon's 25-ish % (made in the UK)

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby shark bait » 11 Feb 2019, 07:44

SW1 wrote:The move to non nuclear propulsion for the astute replacement program maybe we’re it’s headed..


That's highly unlikely, it's an even bigger capability climb down than the T31! Nuke boats are one of the hallmarks of a top tier Navy, and since a new reactor design has already been paid for they wont give up that status.
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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby shark bait » 11 Feb 2019, 07:49

Lord Jim wrote: would we go oversea to purchase such vessels

Why build new? Lets cut the reactor compartment out of the T boats and fill with batteries!
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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby SW1 » 11 Feb 2019, 09:02

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
SW1 wrote:The move to non nuclear propulsion for the astute replacement program maybe we’re it’s headed..


What would that save? The ozzie prgrm where the design going from nuclear to conventional is actually happening might give a hint
- AUD 50 bn for 12
- though the costs are already running when they only just "broke the ground" to start building the build facility


The cost in Australia maybe more about construction of facilities to build subs than the subs themselves. Japan or Germany maybe a better benchmark.

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby SW1 » 11 Feb 2019, 09:09

shark bait wrote:
SW1 wrote:The move to non nuclear propulsion for the astute replacement program maybe we’re it’s headed..


That's highly unlikely, it's an even bigger capability climb down than the T31! Nuke boats are one of the hallmarks of a top tier Navy, and since a new reactor design has already been paid for they wont give up that status.


No it’s the consequence of nuclear propulsion eg speed and endurance that define the “top tier” capability not the fact it’s nuclear powered.

Food will ultimately limit endurance and require a docking period to replenish. It’s speed and submerged time that are the main contribution. How far battery capability or other methods are advanced for a boat hitting the water 20 years from now is interesting. Especially given the huge investments from aerospace and car companies into the tech not to mention out very own brand new polar vessel have a 5mw battery for silent running!

Given any reactor design now in works will be anything but new by then and the collapse of the civil nuclear capability the cost may simple be prohibitive for defence in that time period

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby shark bait » 11 Feb 2019, 09:22

No technology in the next 50 years will surpass the power density of nuclear fuels, at the moment the difference between batteries and a reactor is cosmic. Nuke boats will remain the top tier for the foreseeable future.

New is a relative term here because the nuclear industry moves so slowly, for example after 70 years of civil nuclear we have only just started the third generation. The reactor under development for the boomers will be applied to the attack boats that follow, exactly what happened from the V to the A boats.

We can see a trend emerging, the boomers introduce new propulsion technology, and the attack boats introduce new weapon systems.
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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby Poiuytrewq » 11 Feb 2019, 09:26

So what kind of a technological leap would it take for a diesel electric sub to achieve 30knts submerged rather than the 20knts achievable today?

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby shark bait » 11 Feb 2019, 09:36

Easy to achieve 30knts, really difficult to sustain it, almost impossible in fact. We would need storage a couple of orders of magnitude better than what we have today.
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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 11 Feb 2019, 10:41

SW1 wrote:any reactor design now in works will be anything but new by then and the collapse of the civil nuclear capability the cost may simple be prohibitive for defence in that time period

It's not just the reactors, but the type of fuel - just like with fresh water and brown water in yr hse, putting it in and treating it after use tend to be equally expensive :!:
- if that "collapse" scenario were to be valid, France will suffer as they have made compromises to have the fuel cycle shared by civil & military; for the rest, the military (save for digging the stuff from the ground) it has been a stove pipe (as for fuel, not weapons) all along
shark bait wrote:No technology in the next 50 years will surpass the power density of nuclear fuels
Quite

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby SW1 » 11 Feb 2019, 12:20

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
SW1 wrote:any reactor design now in works will be anything but new by then and the collapse of the civil nuclear capability the cost may simple be prohibitive for defence in that time period

It's not just the reactors, but the type of fuel - just like with fresh water and brown water in yr hse, putting it in and treating it after use tend to be equally expensive :!:
- if that "collapse" scenario were to be valid, France will suffer as they have made compromises to have the fuel cycle shared by civil & military; for the rest, the military (save for digging the stuff from the ground) it has been a stove pipe (as for fuel, not weapons) all along
shark bait wrote:No technology in the next 50 years will surpass the power density of nuclear fuels
Quite


Was more thinking the uk nuclear industry. Are we going to get our future nuclear reactors from France?


It doesn’t have to surpass it it has to be good enough to meet the requirement of a 2-3 month deployment between port calls.

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby shark bait » 11 Feb 2019, 12:45

Rolls build submarine reactors in the UK.

At the moment we get our civil reactors from France, and Rolls have a funded program to develop their submarine reactors into civil reactors. The supply of British built reactors for the future attack subs is secure.
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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby PapaGolf » 11 Feb 2019, 12:45

I was initially against a SSK option but have now come round to the idea, it seems some in the RN want them too. We should give BAE a fixed price contract of about 1.2Bn to design and build 3 SSKs at Barrow. They should use as many parts and components as possible from the Astutes/Dreadnoughts to keep the supply chain, training and maintenance as streamlined as possible. They should not be cutting edge but simply good enough for UK, north Atlantic and Med patrols.

Their primary role would be the sanitation of UK waters, support of CASD, training of new submariners and a training asset for the ASW surface and aerial fleet.

What would we give up? Reluctantly, one of the Astutes. I can't see us getting an increased budget or reducing surface ships. This will need to come out of the Submarine budget. We've probably missed the boat (no pun intended!) this time round but we need a design ready to go so that we can keep Barrow in work during periods of delay and between SSBN and SSN builds, if necessary. These should be thought of as the equivalent of the River Batch 2s that were given to the Clyde to keep them busy. Who knows, we may even be able to export them.

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby Scimitar54 » 11 Feb 2019, 13:03

SW1
We cannot spend any more on Submarines?!?!?!. Talk about defence (and sub-surface) blindness!!! We don't' have enough of anything, in any category of "Defence". If the major conventional threat to us is the submarine, we need the most effective weapons (in sufficient quantity) to defend against that threat. Guess what the most effective weapon against a submarine is. Did you guess correctly? Yes it is a Submarine. :mrgreen:

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby Poiuytrewq » 11 Feb 2019, 13:11

PapaGolf wrote:We should give BAE a fixed price contract of about 1.2Bn to design and build 3 SSKs at Barrow.
Sounds good but it should include the option for an additional 3 boats if RN are happy with the performance of the design and dependant on the first batch being delivered on time and on budget.

PapaGolf wrote:They should use as many parts and components as possible from the Astutes/Dreadnoughts to keep the supply chain, training and maintenance as streamlined as possible.
That seems very sensible but is it realistic with a £400m unit cost? Sounds like an ideal outcome if possible.

PapaGolf wrote:What would we give up?
Nothing. Just increase defence spending to counter any increased threats to the UK. Securing UK waters and the undersea cables that connect this country to the rest of the world must be a priority.

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby RetroSicotte » 11 Feb 2019, 13:16

Dropping Astutes to replace with objectively inferior SSKs sounds like about the worst idea I can think of. Take the entire built experience and streamlined development, training, operational use knowledge surrounding a platform, and then make it twice as complicated with totally different things to do, and in the end getting a worse product?

Absolutely awful idea. The amount of money you'd spend to even get 3 of them to a functional level, you coulda just got 3 more Astutes in the first place. Making the argument based on the price of just the sub is massively short-selling the complexity of adding new platform types; and vague promises of "similar to Astute" are handwaving the real issues that would cost billions to plan, integrate, train, logistically work with, and somehow network into existing SSN based operational rotas. Suddenly you have a "second class" of submariner who can only work one type of boat.

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby SW1 » 11 Feb 2019, 13:20

shark bait wrote:Rolls build submarine reactors in the UK.

At the moment we get our civil reactors from France, and Rolls have a funded program to develop their submarine reactors into civil reactors. The supply of British built reactors for the future attack subs is secure.


Yes I know they do.

However the fact that money it’s being pulled by the Japanese, Chinese and edf are walking away from the next generation civil nuclear building in the uk and a general reluctance from the government to move ahead suggests the civil side is trouble. If the capacity and costs in the next 20 years ends up residing solely with defence it will not be sustainable

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby SW1 » 11 Feb 2019, 13:24

Scimitar54 wrote:SW1
We cannot spend any more on Submarines?!?!?!. Talk about defence (and sub-surface) blindness!!! We don't' have enough of anything, in any category of "Defence". If the major conventional threat to us is the submarine, we need the most effective weapons (in sufficient quantity) to defend against that threat. Guess what the most effective weapon against a submarine is. Did you guess correctly? Yes it is a Submarine. :mrgreen:


How has the fingers in the ears, head in the sand we want more money campaign gone for defence these past 40 years.

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby shark bait » 11 Feb 2019, 13:45

PapaGolf wrote:Their primary role would be the sanitation of UK waters, support of CASD

Yes they could do that, but why is that better than aircraft or surface craft?
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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 11 Feb 2019, 14:09

Cutting an Astute is very bad idea, I think. SSN/SSBN build line is already stretched. Losing one is not just losing one, but RN will still need to continue support the SSN/SSBN technologies (keeping the engineers).

In addition, the SSK itself needs its own technology. Battery is high-tech. Submarine diesel with snort is high-tech. From where you are getting these technologies? And, after building a few SSKs, how can you continue the technology development? Impossible.

Also, tactics for SSK (ambush) and SSN (cruising) differs in some sense, so training itself differs a lot.

In addition, era of UUV drones are coming soon. From where the money for those investment is coming? There are already big requirement here.

No space for SSK in RN. RN cannot efficiently operate and sustain them.

To improve ASW, there are at least one clear place to invest, P-8A. Increase the number and improve the multi-static active-passive sonobuoy tactics. P-8As can provide good ASW capability, and with only 9 ordered now, the fleet is not efficient. Increasing the number by 33% (make it 12) will make the fleet (more than) 33% efficient, while costing significantly less than "33%", because significant fraction is invested on logistics and training.

Make existing assets "at full power" before adding "something new".

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby Poiuytrewq » 11 Feb 2019, 14:25

donald_of_tokyo wrote:No space for SSK in RN. RN cannot efficiently operate and sustain them.
I think it's only a matter of time before the UK re enter's the SSK game. It might take a while but our current submarine numbers are unsustainable.
donald_of_tokyo wrote:To improve ASW, there are at least one clear place to invest, P-8A. Increase the number and improve the multi-static active-passive sonobuoy tactics. P-8As can provide good ASW capability, and with only 9 ordered now, the fleet is not efficient.
Agreed, 16 should be the target to aim for.

It could very well be the best ASW solution as well as the cheapest!

Win Win?

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 11 Feb 2019, 14:49

Poiuytrewq wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:No space for SSK in RN. RN cannot efficiently operate and sustain them.
I think it's only a matter of time before the UK re enter's the SSK game. It might take a while but our current submarine numbers are unsustainable.
In such case, SSBN will be banned (because the technology to sustain them will die). No CASD = big reduction in UK "power", but big increase in conventional warfare costs.
donald_of_tokyo wrote:To improve ASW, there are at least one clear place to invest, P-8A. Increase the number and improve the multi-static active-passive sonobuoy tactics. P-8As can provide good ASW capability, and with only 9 ordered now, the fleet is not efficient.
Agreed, 16 should be the target to aim for.
It could very well be the best ASW solution as well as the cheapest!
Win Win?
If we are happy to invest all the 1.5Bn for T31 into P-8As, it will give UK 7-8 more, making the feet 16-17. In ASW point of view, this is surely the best solution. (But, of course, T31e's requirement is global presence and not ASW). So, it need big shift in priority.


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