March 23, 2017

Japan's Carrier JS Izumo to Defy China

In May 2017 Japan will despatch the carrier JS Izumo to run a type of Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOPs) against China's new empire on sea. Japan continues to develop and increase the size of its (defensive under the Constitution) “helicopter destroyers”. As viewers would notice these are really small-medium aircraft-helicopter carriers. They are of similar size to Japan’s former WWII carriers. While the current four carriers (see below) are mainly for helicopters they are capable of carrying F-35Bs fast strike fighters - a reality not lost on China.


The carriers JS Izumo (83) and newly commissioned JS Kaga (84) certainly don't look like "destroyers". (Photo courtesy Reuters and South China Morning Post)
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1.  CARRIER CAPABILITIES

1. In comments of 20 and 22 March 2017 Anonymous discussed activities of Japan’s four carriers:
    -  the 27,000 ton JS Izumo (and Izumo’s sister ship JS Kaga (commissioned in March 2017)).
       They can each carry:
       =  medium size helicopters (eg. SH-60Ks and MCH-101s). These helicopters' 
           functions are mainly ASW but they are also capable of anti-shipping, mine counter measures,
           ground attack and troop carrying, or
       =  be modified to carry larger aircraft, eg. F-35B VTOL strike aircraft and V-22
           Osprey fast troop carrying tiltrotor craft.

   -  19,000 ton smaller carrier JS Hyuga (and Hyuga’s sister ship JS Ise). They can each carry:
       =  medium sized helicopters. and
       =  for Western aircraft carriers Hyuga and Ise are unusual in actually carrying some destroyer
           armaments, ie. 16 x Mk 41 VLS and 6 x LWT tubes. 


Carrier comparison. From top ROK's Dokdo class Landing Platform Helicopter,  UK Invincible class,  Charles de Gaulle (France of course), Izumo, USS Nimitz (Diagram courtesy kmozzart).
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2.  JS IZUMO IN SOUTH CHINA SEA (May 2017)

According to REUTERS JPN Japan is sending Izumo to the South China Sea in May 2017 to visit Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines (President Duterte may be invited aboard ("If [he has] time."). On this voyage see first part of this Youtube.

Might Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia also be added to the list?

The South China Sea activity will be Japan’s biggest show of naval force in the region since WWII. Japan will likely send other ships (identities not yet known, but typically they would include a destroyer, replenishment ship and maybe a submarine (for ASW practice)).

3.  JS IZUMO at MALABAR 2017 in July 2017

Izumo will participate in the ASW themed Exercise MALABAR 2017, to be held off India between the USN, Indian and Japanese navies, in July 2017.

Izumo will return to Fleet Base Yokosuka, Japan in August 2017.

4.  CHINA OPPOSES IZUMO’S SOUTH CHINA SEA VOYAGE

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying was reallly, really angry about Izumo's South China Sea voyage. On March 16, 2017 she said:

“Out of its selfish interests, Japan has been stirring up troubles and creating splits in the South China Sea. Their behaviour has prompted dissatisfaction and opposition of the Chinese people. If the Japanese side insists on doing so, or even attempts to get militarily involved in the South China Sea, harm China's sovereignty and security, and heighten regional tensions, the Chinese side will definitely take firm actions in response.”

[Hua continued] “I want to remind the Japanese side that they are not a party concerned in the South China Sea issue, and that they have a disgraceful history of occupying China's Xisha [Paracel] and Nansha [Spratly] Islands during its war of aggression against China. The Japanese side should reflect upon the history, and be discreet with its words and deeds, instead of making waves in the South China Sea and impairing regional peace and stability.”

Pete Comment – Clearly China approves of its own increases in power projection into the South China Sea but cannot imagine other countries have rights.

Anonymous and Pete
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A postscript:


IJN Sōryū. At 19,000 tons the same size as JS Hyuga and Ise. A good name for a submarine class :) The Sōryū carrier was part of the Pearl Harbour strike, bombed Darwin, then was sunk at Midway. 

March 22, 2017

Comparison of Soryu Modes of Electrical Propulsion Table

On March 16-17, 2017 Anonymous made some comments that I have semi-translated and turned into a table.

The rows below show:
-  current Soryu Mark 1s (Stirling AIP & LABs)
-  future Soryu Mark 2s (LIBs only) and

As well as two hypothetical Soryu models:
-  Soryu X (Fuel Cell (FC) AIP & LABs), and
-  Soryu Y (Stirling AIP & LIBs))

Soryu modes of electrical propulsion are compared according to criteria in the first column.

70 day mission =
20days transit
+ 50days surveillance
Soryu Mark 1s (AIP & LABs)
Soryu Mark 2s (LIBs only)
Soryu X
(FC-AIP & LABs)
Soryu Y
(AIP & LIBs)
Numbers of batteries 1] [2]
480 LABs
576 or 672 LIBs
480 LABs
480 LIBs
Submarine size (length)
length 84m

78-83m
same

same


Crew shifts
3 shift crew routine
Same
Same
Same
max fully submerged period in theory
period - (actual)
in days [3]
LABs+AIP
16-17 days
(15 days)
LIBs
7-8.5 days
(6-7.5 days)
LIBs
+FCAIP 32
(33)
LIBs+AIP
20
(19)days on
Percentage LOX unused
most LOX kept in reserve
N/A
30% of LOX kept in reserve
most of LOX kept in reserve
frequency of snorting/recharge [7]
theory
(actual)


6-12 hours LABs


Within 6 days
(1-2 days)


1-2 days on FCAIP+LABs


5days
(1-1.5days) LIBs
LIB types used and [4]
none
Lithium Nickel Aluminium oxide (NCA)
none
Lithium Nickel Aluminium oxide (NCA)
The future? [6]
No Soryu Mk. 1 new builds after 2014 [5]
Evolved LIBs or Li-Sulphur Batteries (LSBs)
none
none




























[1] Although the combination of AIP + LIBs had some advantages the JMSDF preferred increasing the number of LIBs (576 or 672 LIBs on Soryu Mark 2s) compared to only 480 LABs on current Soryu Mark 1s). Major reasons for the change in propulsion were the low utilisation ratio of AIP and need for high speed performance.

[2]  The reasons why the Japanese Navy (JMSDF) gave up AIP for the Soryu Mark 2s (LIBs only)) are not clear. Possible reasons are:
i)   poor endurance of Soryu Mark 1s due to weight and bulk of the 2 x LOX tanks
ii)   low frequency of AIP use
iii)  complex operation of diesel engines, AIP and LABs
iv)  demand for high speed performance, which low submerged speed Stirling AIP cannot efficiently contribute to
v)   LIBs last more years than LABs ie. LIBs can function for more cycles. Lithium Titanate (LTO) shows an extremely long life time, and total life time cost may be the same or less than for LABs.
vi) Though there is an another attractive option, ie. AIP+LIBs, instead of increased LIBs, AIL+LIBs was not selected. This suggests that the contribution of increased LIBs (96 or 192 LIBs) was greater than that of AIP. Presumably based on operational experience and submarine tactics, the JMSDF prioritize high speed performance (such as longer period at max silent submerge speed) over long submerge period at low speed provided by AIP.

[3]  The fully submerged period of a Soryu Mark 1 (LABs + AIP) is said to be as short as 2 weeks. So AIP is possibly not used for ordinary missions. Possible uses of AIP are as follows:
i) emergency such as combat
ii) modulation of snorting-recharge timing to avoid undesirable timing which may be caused by Low energy density of LABs.
The maximum discharge of LABs and LIBs are assumed as 30% and 90%, respectively. Further discharge leads to irreversible damage to batteries.

[4]  12 years ago the JMSDF demonstrated that the energy density of prototype LIBs was twice that of LABs. The LIBs for Soryu Mark 2s are much better than the LIBs prototype.

[5]  See the SORYU-Oyashio Build, Launched and Commissioned Table of March 22, 2017 (below).

[6]  A future sub with AIP and LIBs may have an excellent indiscretion ratio. But, improved LIBs or Lithium-Sulphur Batteries (LSBs) are a more feasible option for the JMSDF.

[7]  For LABs, more frequent snorting-recharge avoids the submarine running out of electrical power at a bad place and/or time. For LIBs, frequency of snorting-recharge drastically decreases. A lower longer frequency for LIBs of snorting-recharge every 6 days is possible, but, after 6 days snorting-recharge takes longer.

Anonymous and Pete

SORYU-Oyashio Build, Launched and Commissioned Table


SORYU-Oyashio TABLE as at March 22, 2017
SS
No.
Build No
Name
Pennant
No.
MoF approved amount ¥ Billions & FY
LABs, LIBs, AIP
Laid Down
Laun
-ched
Commi-ssioned
Built
By
5SS Oyashio
8105 Oyashio
SS-590/ TS3608
¥52.2B FY1993
LABs only
 Jan 1994
Oct 1996
Mar 1998
 KHI
6SS-15SS
Oyashios
10 subs
8106
-8115
various
SS-591-600
¥52.2B per sub
FY1994-FY2003
LABs only
 15SS Feb
2004
15SS
Nov
2006
15SS
Mar 2008
 MHI
&
KHI
16SS
Soryu Mk 1
8116
Sōryū
SS-501
¥60B FY2004
LABs + AIP
Mar 2005
Dec 2007
Mar
2009
MHI
17SS
8117
Unryū
SS-502
¥58.7B FY2005
LABs + AIP
Mar 2006
Oct 2008
Mar
2010
KHI
18SS
8118
Hakuryū
SS-503
¥56.2 FY2006
LABs + AIP
Feb 2007
Oct 2009
Mar
2011
MHI
19SS
8119
Kenryū
SS-504
¥53B FY2007
LABs + AIP
Mar 2008
Nov 2010
Mar
2012
KHI
20SS
8120
Zuiryū
SS-505
¥51B FY2008
LABs + AIP
Mar 2009
Oct 2011
Mar
2013
MHI
No
21SS
No 21SS built
22SS
8121
Kokuryū
SS-506
¥52.8B FY2010
LABs + AIP
Jan 2011
Oct 2013
Mar
2015
KHI
23SS
8122
Jinryu
SS-507
¥54.6B FY2011
LABs + AIP
Feb 2012
Oct 2014
7 Mar 2016
MHI
24SS
8123
Sekiryū
SS-508
¥54.7B FY2012
LABs + AIP
KHI
25SS
8124
Seiryū
SS-509
¥53.1B FY2013
LABs + AIP
22 Oct 2013
12 Oct 2016
Mar? 2018
MHI
26SS
8125
SS-510
LABs + AIP
2014
?
Mar 2019?
KHI
27SS First
Soryu Mk 2
8126
SS-511
LIBs only
2015
2017?
Mar
2020
MHI
28SS  Second
Soryu Mark 2
8127
SS-512
¥63.6B FY2016
LIBs only
2016?
2018?
Mar 2021?
KHI
29SS First of
New Class
?
?
¥76B FY2018
LIBs only
?
?
2023?
MHI?
Table courtesy of exclusive information provided to Submarine MattersLABs = lead-acid batteries, AIP=air independent propulsion, LIBs=lithium-ion batteries. ¥***B = Billion Yen.

The latest news is the commissioning, on 13 March 2017, of 24SS (Sekiryū). It is the eigth Soryu Mark 1 (powered by LABs and Stirling AIP) that is now serving. There are just two more Soryu Mark 1s (25SS and 26SS) to be commissioned in March 2018 and March 2019 respectively.

27SS, the first Soryu Mark 2 will be the first LIBs only submarine to be commissioned (probably in 2020). 

March 21, 2017

"Fourth" new Indonesian Submarine to be Built

PT PAL shipyard at Surabaya, Java, Indonesia. PT PAL will assemble Indonesia's third Improved Chang Bogo (Type 209) submarine and hopes to build a fourth (and following) Type 209s.
---.

Indonesia’s state owned PT PAL shipyard in Surabaya, Indonesia, has for several years planned to build the third of three new Type 209 submarines. The first two were built in DSME's shipyard in South Korea. The 209s are called “Improved Chang Bogo class” in South Korea.

In mid March 2017 news emerged that Indonesia had plans to build a “fourth and following” Type 209 submarines for the Indonesia Navy. Indonesia’s Antara News Agency on March 20-21, 2017, reports: 

“...Of the three submarines ordered, one is totally assembled by the Indonesian workers while the fourth and following orders will be done fully by Indonesian workers..." 

Indonesia’s PT PAL hopes to be able to build Type 209 submarines independently of South Korea. Indonesia sent 206 technicians to South Korea to be educated in submarine building. 


COMMENT

Indonesian naval analysts have indicated for years that Indonesia really needs 12 submarines to police and defend the 1,000s of islands, straits and narrows of the Indonesian Archipelago. It may be no coincidence that 12 subs is also the number preferred by the Australian Government for the RAN (Australia being the middle power just south of Indonesia).

As well as making the deal for 3 x Type 209s with South Korea Indonesia has for years been in talks with Russia and a shorter time with DCNS to build extra subs to reach the 12 total. 

I think Indonesia buying or building additional 209s is much more logical and efficient than owning  two completely different submarine classes. Also significant is that Indonesia has owned 2 x 209s, of the Cakra class, for many years, apparently finding them satisfactory.

On Indonesia's Type 209 purchase see this earlier Submarine Matters' report, Slight delay in Indonesia accommodating two Chang Bogo submarines of March 1, 2016.

Pete

CEO of DCNS Australia's Sean Costello Quits Early

Drawing from the (Adelaide) Advertiser's, March 20, 2017 article:

Sean Costello, now former CEO of DCNS Australia, surprisingly quit on March 17, 2017. Because he lead the team that won the $50 Billion Australian future submarine contract (on April 26, 2016), the golden handshake on resignation must be substantial.

As continuity of leadership is so important in the extremely complex and long term submarine project this early resignation has surprised French and Australian defence circles.


DCNS Group Chairman, Herve Guillou (left) and ex-CEO DCNS Australia, Sean Costello (on right)
October 7, 2015).
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DCNS Australia Chief Operating Officer Brent Clark will become interim CEO. See whole Advertiser article.

COMMENT

Might the confusing management arrangements that bedevilled the Collins Project (see latter part of 2016 article) now creep up on the DCNS Shortfin Project? 

Increasing disorganisation caused be rapid turnover of leadership positions of DCNS (the main foreign partner) may adversely impact on US company Lockheed Martin (combat system integrator for the future submarine project) and other major contractors.

Pete