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Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

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

Postby andrew98 » 28 Oct 2019, 20:46

Ron5 wrote:1 SSN = 20 SSKs

In the open ocean I probably wouldn't argue, but in shallows or literals, I disagree.

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

Postby shark bait » 29 Oct 2019, 07:47

It's a bit like comparing Apache to Typhoon, they're not the same thing. However in the open ocean role the Brits demand from their subs I do agree with Ron; 1 SSN = 20 SSKs.
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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby Tempest414 » 29 Oct 2019, 10:11

I would agree that the UK needs SSN's for the open ocean and I think we would all like to see more of them however that this time due to a number of reasons we can't increase the build rate of the SSN & SSBN fleets. But if the will and the money was there then a build of SSK's could be good option given the move of thinking in the Littoral area. I do feel that a mix of SSN and SSK could be a good thing and say 8 of each could work well with the SSN's covering the CASD and the carrier groups and the SSK covering the Med , Gulf & Littoral strike group

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

Postby shark bait » 29 Oct 2019, 10:28

The Gulf, really? Does anyone deploy SSK's half way round the world?
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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby Tempest414 » 29 Oct 2019, 10:46

the last time I looked we had a naval base there capable of supporting complex war ships like frigates. also the Canadians deployed theirs across the the Pacific so why not a trip though the the Med stopping along the way and then on the UK naval base in the gulf

Look I am not trying to say the UK should look to replace SSN's with SSK's I am just saying that SSK's could have a place and that they are deployable if you have the infrastructure which we may have

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 29 Oct 2019, 13:03

shark bait wrote:The Gulf, really? Does anyone deploy SSK's


Most of the Gulf is v clear waters, and it is not deep either
- no sonar needed; just fly over it (low enough, so plenty of a/c)

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

Postby Lord Jim » 29 Oct 2019, 18:25

I see a definite role for larger armed UUVs in areas such as the Gulf. As for the Med, well there is no need for the RN to deploy SSKs there. In fact NATO has quite a sizeable force of SSKs, most of them state of the art and far more advanced than those of potential adversaries. The UK is one of only three NATO countries willing to invest in SSNs as these are extremely important assets for the Alliance in the North Atlantic for example.

These boats are also able to rapidly redeploy anywhere in the world unlike SSKs, and have a significant deterrent value against nations who lack adequate counter measures against them. For example being able to dispatch a number of SSNs down to the Falklands ahead of the Task Force and set up the exclusion zone had a major impact on Argentinian planning and thinking even before the first shots were fired in the campaign to retake the islands.

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

Postby SW1 » 29 Oct 2019, 19:14

Exactly why the astute program has run into such difficulties half way thru a program build does not reflect well on an already shambolic program.

The implied warning is that not only will the remainder of the astute builds be late but it will
have a knock on effect to the ssbn program which is having its own issues.

Little wonder that BAE are and have been heavily recruiting for engineering resource into barrow.

The next generation sub programs and technology coming out of Sweden, Japan and France/Australia is really changing the narrative in the ssk/ssn debate. Technology will continue to do so. The UK has persisted with nuclear astute mainly because without it dreadnaught would of not been possible. Once dreadnaught is complete and we’re at the next round of attack subs who knows.

One problem not going away for MOD and it’s budget is the bill of nuclear submarine decommissioning. It’s a issue and bill that is getting bigger by the year.

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

Postby inch » 29 Oct 2019, 19:36

Don't worry if a certain part of the political class wins this election we won't have too worry about such things as nuclear powered subs or nuclear armed subs carriers or anything like that cos it will all be scrapped,so sleep easy no need to stress folks ....yeah right

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 30 Oct 2019, 05:35

SW1 wrote: The UK has persisted with nuclear astute mainly because without it dreadnaught would of not been possible.
Important, but how do you send a TF anywhere (where the OpFor also have a navy) without the sea denial provided by SSNs, steaming ahead at not inconsiderable speed?
- not a job for SSKs

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

Postby Defiance » 30 Oct 2019, 06:58

There's a reason the UK dropped SSKs like a handful of rotten cabbage when nuclear made it onto the scene, even when the advantages of SSKs were well known compared to nuclear.

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

Postby shark bait » 30 Oct 2019, 07:43

SW1 wrote:The next generation sub programs and technology coming out of Sweden, Japan and France/Australia is really changing the narrative in the ssk/ssn debate.

Is it? I don't see anything on the horizon that will bring SSK near parity with nuke boats.

Japan's battery sub developments looks real interesting, it makes an SSK more attractive, but it doesn't change the ssk/ssn debate.
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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby Ron5 » 30 Oct 2019, 12:14

SW1 wrote:The next generation sub programs and technology coming out of Sweden, Japan and France/Australia is really changing the narrative in the ssk/ssn debate.


No.

Can SSK's protect the deterrent? No.
Can SSK's protect the carriers? No.

Are the SSK's right for the RN? No.

PS Sorry guys for repeating your points. Should have read to the end of the thread first.

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

Postby SW1 » 30 Oct 2019, 12:58

Are they having to protecting a UK deterrent today or a carrier today no!

May they in the future 15 years from now when a future attack submarine program starts possibly.

Upholder had 30 days endurance and a max speed of 20knts. Modern sub in Japan are at 60 day endurance and excess of 20knts from information available the Australia/french short fin under development is expected to have 80 day endurance and excess of 20 knots speed. Nuclear or otherwise more than 90 days is unlikely mainly due to food storage. The gap is converging.

Battery technology is accelerating due to civilian power generation and storage along with car industry development this will have tech pull thru to military applications. Assuming a 5% per year improvement in battery tech from here for the next 15 years and your likely into serious performance considerations.

A capability isn’t a capability if we don’t have enough or it’s too expensive to maintain. We’re at 6 ssn’s now, 3 are 30 years old and there replacements are years away and consuming ever greater portions of the defence budget. Couple that with every active civil nuclear reaction in the UK will decommission in the next 10 years and not a huge political appetite to find new replacements and the cost to defence will only continue to rise.

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

Postby shark bait » 30 Oct 2019, 14:06

SW1 wrote:60 day endurance and excess of 20knts

Important distinction here; 60 day endurance OR 20knts

Only a nuke boat can do both at the same time. An SSK can creep around a 3knts for weeks, or it can do 20knts for a few hours befor surfacing to recharge. That massively effects operational concepts, and I'm not sure its something the UK has high demand for beyond training.
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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby SW1 » 30 Oct 2019, 15:23

shark bait wrote:
SW1 wrote:60 day endurance and excess of 20knts

Important distinction here; 60 day endurance OR 20knts

Only a nuke boat can do both at the same time. An SSK can creep around a 3knts for weeks, or it can do 20knts for a few hours befor surfacing to recharge. That massively effects operational concepts, and I'm not sure its something the UK has high demand for beyond training.



Only a nuke boat can do both as in service today. Technology is changing that the two extremes are closing. Endurance time and speeds largely comparable but not at the same time as you state but technology is advancing and those too extremes are converging with each iteration. Unless of course you may technology is not going to advance from here which would be a first I guess.

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

Postby SKB » 30 Oct 2019, 16:26

We have an SSK thread: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=383

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

Postby Ron5 » 30 Oct 2019, 16:58

SW1 wrote:
shark bait wrote:
SW1 wrote:60 day endurance and excess of 20knts

Important distinction here; 60 day endurance OR 20knts

Only a nuke boat can do both at the same time. An SSK can creep around a 3knts for weeks, or it can do 20knts for a few hours befor surfacing to recharge. That massively effects operational concepts, and I'm not sure its something the UK has high demand for beyond training.



Only a nuke boat can do both as in service today. Technology is changing that the two extremes are closing. Endurance time and speeds largely comparable but not at the same time as you state but technology is advancing and those too extremes are converging with each iteration. Unless of course you may technology is not going to advance from here which would be a first I guess.


What twaddle. SSK's wouldn't be able to even keep up with a carrier task force, let alone go around the world with one. Comparable my ass.

SSK's = submersibles

SSN's = submarines

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 30 Oct 2019, 20:02

SW1 wrote: Couple that with every active civil nuclear reaction in the UK will decommission in the next 10 years and not a huge political appetite to find new replacements and the cost to defence will only continue to rise.
Sometimes suboptimal for everything
- hunter-killer subs with spurt speeds (when needed)
- boomers taking it easy, at low and steady speeds
- nuclear propulsion pushing a big (bigger than CdG) carrier
- and civil fission energy using fuels that need to be recyclable

... what am I talking about? A long time ago France decided to go with one type of reactor (using one type of fuel) and the production runs are in half hundreds , not in half dozens
- and the same recycling (facilities) apply to all spent fuel rods

Performance is not optimal in any of the four categories listed above, but:
- scale
- continuity, and
- sharing of facilities
makes it all affordable :!: and long-term sustainable :idea:

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

Postby Lord Jim » 30 Oct 2019, 20:34

This is a point the Government has missed totally. We need a new generation of Nuclear Power Plants and yet, we have this idea that bigger is better, and to make matters worse, we do not even go with the existing French design but a new fangled one that has yet to prove itself.

At the same time BAe has being building reactors for Submarines for decades and tis current design has a service life equal to the time the submarines fitted would need refuelling. Why have we not looked at building more smaller Nuclear Power Plants based on these reactors, which would have the advantage of instead of refuelling would remove the whole reactor after 50 or so years and plug in a new one.

We were a world leader in reactor design, especially for civilian use at one point. We desperately need a complimentary power source for renewable power generation schemes, which is also low carbon. Building such power plants would through economies of scale greatly reduce the cost of reactors suitable for Submarines and have a disposal apparatus in place for further down the line.

As for the SSN/SSK argument, France is one of the nations driving the next generation of SSKs but has decided to put its resources into SSNs for their navy.

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

Postby shark bait » 31 Oct 2019, 07:57

Bigger is better, a reactor 20% smaller may produce 50% less energy, so the cost per unit electricity sky rockets. Very basic economies of scale at play here.

Rolls Royce are the ones building the reactors, and unless the government start handing over highly enriched uranium to civil industry their design is near useless for electricity production. Plus, if ran balls to the wall like civil reactors are, it would only last 5 years then need to be scrapped. Civil reactors and naval propulsion reactors are different beasts.
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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 31 Oct 2019, 09:54

- scale
- continuity, and
- sharing of facilities
makes it all affordable :!: and long-term sustainable


Just a quick query: how many countries have a sustainable nuclear industry left?
- and how much more expensive will producing - as such optimised - military reactors get, in isolation, even if the design itself has been copied (and hence we were able to dismantle the test facility, as the reactors being built could be considered to 'be in service')?

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

Postby Tempest414 » 31 Oct 2019, 10:58

Putting aside national interest for a second how much would cost to buy a reactor power system for a sub from say the US or France

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 31 Oct 2019, 14:58

Tempest414 wrote:from say the US or France

- from US, nothing
- from France, we have a test facility 50/50... not exactly for reactors

So, we are sitting pretty, @ abt 25% of the real cost (should we go "it alone")

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

Postby bobp » 06 Apr 2020, 17:04

HMS Audacious has departed Barrow for the Clyde. She is the fourth Astute class submarine.


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