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

CougarKing

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In the wake of Japan changing the propulsion systems of its last 4 Soryu class subs to lithium ion batteries, Australia may want them changed too if they buy Soryus.

Reuters

Australia wants new Japan propulsion system for its submarines: sources
Reuters

By Tim Kelly and Nobuhiro Kubo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Australia wants a new Japanese propulsion system for its next generation of submarines, government officials with direct knowledge of the matter said, bolstering Tokyo's position as the likely builder of the multibillion-dollar fleet.

Reuters reported in September that Australia was leaning towards buying 12 submarines based on Soryu-class vessels built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. The new submarines will replace six ageing Collins-class boats.

In talks since then, Canberra has said it wants a lithium-ion battery propulsion system for the submarines, two Japanese officials and one Australian official told Reuters.

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Oldgateboatdriver

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I am not sure that the Reuters reporter understand what they are reporting on here.

In nuclear boats, the reactor produces steam, which in turn operates a steam turbine connected to the shaft, and ancillary steam driven generator to make onboard electricity. They are the only ones that are powered through "direct" drive of the engines.

But all non nuclear submarines use electrical propulsion. What varies is how you provide the electrical power.

In the "classic" non-nuc boat, the diesel submarines, the electrical motors get their power from the diesel-generators when on the surface and completely run on batteries while submerged and not snorkelling. While running the diesel-generators, they also recharge the batteries.

In an AIP boat, such as the Japanese Soryu or the Swedish Gotland classes, you have three sources of electrical power instead of two: On the surface (for ease of understanding, always consider that running on the surface includes snorkelling), they get their power from the diesel-generators. Submerged, they have two choices: at speed, they run on the batteries - just like a "classic" diesel sub and with the same time constraint for running down the batteries charge. However, when at slow speed of up to 5 kts for loitering, they can get power from a generator run by the Stirling air independent engine to either provide for the electrical motor only, or to also (by going even slower) trickle charge the batteries for their next use when the need occurs.

By alternating between bouts of high speed and loitering periods, they can recharge/keep charged the batteries and remain underwater for very long period of time, bridging a good part of the gap between "classic" and nuke boats.

So, when the Japanese say that they are "changing" the propulsion system to lithium ion batteries, which is just a more efficient means of storing electricity, does it mean that they are replacing the regular battery system with those, but otherwise keeping the diesel-generator/Stirling engine-generator combination to generate their electricity (and recharge those lithium ion batteries) or does it mean that they are going back to a classic diesel-generator/batteries only set up using lithium ion for better charge retention and longer duration of charge? 
 

CougarKing

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No open tender

Australia rules out open tender for new submarines, Japan in box seat
Tue Dec 2, 2014
By Matt Siegel

Dec 2 (Reuters) - Australia will not hold an open tender to replace its ageing Collins-class submarines, government officials said on Tuesday, a decision that bolsters Japan's position as the likely builder of the new multibillion-dollar fleet.

Reuters reported in September that Australia was leaning towards buying as many as 12 off-the-shelf stealth submarines from Japan despite domestic pressure to build them at home.

Since then, several European defence contractors have said they would be price-competitive with Japan and do the work in Australia in a bid to win a piece of the overall A$40 billion ($33.96 billion) submarine programme.

But the Australian government did not have time for an open bidding process.

"We need to make decisions now and we don't have time to go through a speculation process." - Joe Hockey, treasurer

Sources have said Australia is strongly considering a replacement for the Collins based on the 4,000-tonne Soryu-class ships built by Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

They have said Canberra wanted a new lithium-ion battery propulsion system, which experts say would give the submarines better underwater range and speed compared with other diesel-electric vessels that use air independent propulsion under the sea, a system which requires fuel to operate.

Tokyo's next generation of Soryu submarines will be the world's first to be powered by the new technology.

Reuters


 

CougarKing

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RAN Soryus by the end of 2015?

Defense News

Report: Japan Proposes Joint Work on Australia Sub Fleet

TOKYO – Japan is proposing jointly building Australia's new submarines, instead of exporting a new fleet, a report said Monday, after concerns in Canberra over the effect on the domestic ship-building industry.

Under the proposal, Japan's defense ministry is to cooperate with Australia in developing special steel and other materials for its new submarines, while Tokyo will be in charge of assembling them, the Mainichi Shimbun said.

The Australian side has taken "a positive stance" on the proposal, the daily said, adding that the two countries may strike a deal by the end of 2015.


Australia needs to replace its fleet of diesel and electric-powered subs, which date from the 1990s, and Japan's high-tech ship-building industry is thought to be well-placed to win the contract.

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CougarKing

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Major update:

Diplomat

A First: Japan Will Share Classified Submarine Technical Data With Australia

By Ankit Panda
May 07, 2015

The battle for Australia’s Collins-class replacement project continues, and Japan is getting ever more serious about its Soryu-class offering. The Japan Times reports, citing Japanese officials, that Tokyo will take the unprecedented step of sharing classified submarine data with Canberra. Japan’s Soryu submarines, widely regarded as one of the most advanced non-nuclear modern submarines, are competing with French and German offerings for Australia’s lucrative Collins-class successor program. The deal is expected to be the largest in Australian defense spending history, amounting to over A$50 billion by some estimates.

If Japan shares classified submarine data with Australia, it would mark the “first disclosure of such classified technical data to a foreign military other than that of ally the United States,” notes The Japan Times report. Sharing the technical data will naturally help Australia evaluate the Soryu‘s specifications. One of the questions in the Collins-class replacement project has been whether the Australian Navy would be best served by simply purchasing a design off-the-shelf with few modifications, or if it should look to modify and tweak an existing foreign design to better suit the needs of the Australian Navy. With access to Japan’s technical data, the Australian government will be able to better determine the Soryu‘s operational suitability.

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dimsum

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Submarine bids by Japan, France and Germany to be subsidised with $24m from Australian taxpayers

Australian taxpayers will spend $24 million helping three overseas bidders state their case to build the Australian Navy's next generation of submarines.

The Defence Department has confirmed the Japanese government, French firm DCNS and German shipbuilder TKMS will each receive $8 million to provide "defined deliverables" under the Federal Government's so-called "competitive evaluation process".

All three foreign bidders have been asked to consider building the fleet of submarines offshore, in Australia, or a combination of both.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-12/foreign-sub-bidders-to-be-given-24m-subsidy-to-prepare-tenders/6542482
 

CougarKing

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The latest on Japan's quest to sell Soryu class subs to Australia:

Diplomat

Failure to Communicate: Will Japan Fall Behind on Australia's Collins-replacement Contract?

Japan has the finest product on offering, but savvy PR pitches from its French and German competitors may edge it out.


AVw7kxXY
By Ankit Panda
August 18, 2015

As many Diplomat readers may be aware, three firms are effectively in the running for a highly lucrative Australian defense contract to build the submarine that will replace the aging Royal Australian Navy’s fleet of Collins-class submarines. Germany’s ThyssenKrupp AG, France’s Direction des Constructions et Armes Navales (DCNS) Group, and a joint bid between Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd could be the potential winners of an expected $20 billion weapons deal. For the Japanese firms in particular, the Collins-class replacement bid presents a new opportunity to enter the lucrative global weapons market after Japan lifted a decades-old self-imposed embargo on weapons exports. What’s more, Japan’s Soryu-class submarines are among the most advanced non-nuclear attack submarines in the world and an expected favorite to cinch the Australian contract.

However, the Soryu‘s technology isn’t going to sell itself. According to a fascinating new Wall Street Journal report, Mitsubishi and Kawasaki aren’t ones to perfect the sort of public relations push that’s often necessary to build an aura of positivity around pricey defense deals that are often seen as a form of superfluous spending by domestic audiences. What’s more, ThyssenKrupp and DCNS on the other hand are very active in the “public charm offensives” in Australia according to the WSJ reporters. The report highlights some of the necessary “growing pains” that may afflict Japanese defense contractors with little experience in competing on the global market for multi-billion dollar hardware contracts.

The Journal report, however, goes further than implying that the two firms are simply inexperienced in the arts of public persuasion. Indeed, it highlights a sort of intentional “secrecy surrounding the government-led Japanese bid.” The report speculates–correctly, in my view–that given the experimental nature of this contract for Mitsubishi and Kawasaki and regional tensions in Asia surrounding Japan’s ongoing recalibration as a more “normal” country on matters regarding its own military and participation in the global market for military hardware, Tokyo may be reluctant to fully embrace the range of trappings that accompany international defense contract pitches. As one expert cited in the Journal notes, Japan sees the Collins-class replacement contract as “a case of exporting defense equipment, transferring technology and making Australian production possible” while competitors are “adding value with their proposals.”


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CougarKing

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OTR1, what would be your assessment on this Aussie Senator and how good he has been in keeping promises to maintain defence spending in your country?

Diplomat

Interview: Australian Senator Nick Xenophon
The Diplomat speaks with Sen. Xenophon about Australia’s submarine deal
.


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Why does Australia need submarines?

Because we are an island nation with a vast coastline, submarines are an integral and vital part of Australia’s defense. I am not a defense expert, and I am not a strategic expert, but I rely on what the experts say, and there is tremendous unanimity that having a viable, capable submarine fleet is essential for Australia’s defense. Particularly in this era when the Indian and Pacific Oceans are increasing in importance, and knowing historically how important submarines are to an island nation such as Australia, we need to have a capable submarine fleet. Having 12 submarines, with at least six to eight of those being operational at any given time, is vital to cover the oceans that surround us.

How do the German, French and Japanese bidders compare in terms of experience building in Australia?

Clearly, France and Germany have had experience building submarines overseas. Japan has not yet had that experience. I think that it is fair to say that all the countries involved in the bidding process can make high-quality, first-class submarines. But in terms of experience, I think the Japanese understand that they are playing a game of “catch up” with the others, and they are diligently engaging with us.

I am agnostic as to which country we partner with to build the submarines, so long as they build here, which is consistent to the promise made by the Australian government. That, to me, is the key issue. Japan is at a disadvantage relative to Germany and France, but they are making a very genuine effort to “catch up” and that is what their industry delegation to Australia was about. And again, I’m not taking sides, I just want the subs to be built in Australia.

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dimsum

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S.M.A. said:
OTR1, what would be your assessment on this Aussie Senator and how good he has been in keeping promises to maintain defence spending in your country?

Diplomat

Not sure about anything else, but he's from Adelaide where the new subs would be built (if they end up being built in Australia.)
 

OTR1

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SMA, I expect Dimsum has nailed it. NX is, I believe, a very good rainmaker for local stuff but not a bigwig in the corridors of power in Canberra.
 

OTR1

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On a slight tangent, I gather that in the wash of the change of PM in Oz that the current minister will be replaced next week.

That's now +/- 10 defence ministers since 2000.

Sigh..............
 

OTR1

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Just to update the above, Andrews was sacked and replaced by a wholly unknown senator named Marise Payne.

Standby for a statement this week or so that the DWP and DCP will be 'reviewed' and not released until the new year.

Ho hum.

:(
 

CougarKing

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Would the new Turnbull govt. be bad news for Japan's efforts to sell Soryu class subs to Oz? This article below explores that possibility:

Diplomat

Is Australia's New Prime Minster Bad News for Japan’s Submarine Bid?
Will Australia’s leadership change throw a wrench into Japan’s odds of winning the Collins replacement deal?


By Ankit Panda
September 28, 2015

The recent unexpected leadership shake-up in Australia raises several questions about how the country’s foreign affairs will be conducted under a new prime minister. After a leadership spill in the Liberal Party, Tony Abbott is out and Malcolm Turnbull is in. For Japan, whose Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. are in the running for Australia’s largest-ever defense contract—to replace the $20 billion Collins-class submarine—the change will be a topic of great interest. The Japanese firms, manufacturers for the Soru-class diesel-electric attack submarines, are competing with Germany’s ThyssenKrupp AG and France’s Direction des Constructions et Armes Navales (DCNS) Group.

On first glance, it appears that Turnbull’s ascent to the helm of the Liberal Party and, consequently, the prime ministership, will not factor in Japan’s favor. Malcolm Cook has a helpful post over at the Lowy Institute’s blog in which he highlights the close personal rapport that Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, and Tony Abbott had established over the past two years. Abe returned to power for a second term as prime minister, leading the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan, in December 2012, and Abbott became prime minister in September 2013. Turnbull, of course, isn’t the only new figure to appear at the top of the Australian government — Abbott’s defense minister, Kevin Andrews, has been replaced as well, by Marise Payne, the first woman to hold the post.

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RDBZ

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OTR1 said:
Just to update the above, Andrews was sacked and replaced by a wholly unknown senator named Marise Payne.

Was previously Minister for Human Services, which is a bigger spending portfolio than defence.
 

CBH99

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I was under the impression that the senior ADF brass really, really don't want the Japanese subs.  So a new minister might not be the biggest wrench thrown into the Japanese bid...?
 

OTR1

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In reply...

"I was under the impression that the senior ADF brass really, really don't want the Japanese subs."
They don't.

"So a new minister might not be the biggest wrench thrown into the Japanese bid...?"
Yes/no/maybe/dunno. With what is many respects a new govt all this is muddier than ever.

"Was previously Minister for Human Services, which is a bigger spending portfolio than defence."
Not the sort of job that gets a lot of attention. There was a great of "Um....who?" uttered the length and breadth of the country when she got the job.



 

CougarKing

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Of course, the deal preferred would be the one that doesn't leave local shipbuilders high and dry:

Reuters

Japan says ready to build all submarines for Canberra in Australia


By Tim Kelly and Nobuhiro Kubo

TOKYO, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Japan is ready to match European rivals and build a fleet of submarines for Canberra entirely at Australian shipyards, a senior Japanese official said on Tuesday, after stumbling in its effort to win the A$50 billion ($34.76 billion) contract.

Tokyo was willing to train hundreds of Australian engineers in Japan's submarine-manufacturing hub of Kobe as well as in Australia as part of its offer for one of the world's biggest defence contracts, Masaaki Ishikawa, director general for Acquisition Reform at the Ministry of Defense, told Reuters.

His comments are the first from an official directly involved in the bid that Japan is willing to build the stealth submarines entirely in Australia, where jobs are a hot button political issue. Canberra is expected to order between eight to 12 vessels.

"Whatever option Australia chooses we are ready to provide the necessary technology transfers and skills," Ishikawa said in an interview.

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CougarKing

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Japanese defence firms showing their wares at this expo in Sydney, Australia:

Navy Recognition

Japan's Government and Industry Held an Industry Briefing on Soryu Submarine at PACIFIC 2015

At PACIFIC 2015, the international maritime exposition currently held in Sydney Australia, the Japanese Government and Industry held an industry briefing on its bid with the Soryu for the SEA1000 program. Japan has a small pavilion at the exposition with scale models of the SEA1000 proposal, a Soryu class, an Atago class Destroyer and the 20DX Frigate.
 
At PACIFIC 2015, the international maritime exposition currently held in Sydney Australia, the Japanese Government and Industry held an industry briefing on its bid with the Soryu for the SEA1000 program. Japan has a small pavilion at the exposition with scale models of the SEA1000 proposal, a Soryu class, an Atago class Destroyer and the 20DX Frigate. Izumi Ishii, Vice President of Integrated Defense & Space Systems at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. during SEA1000 Industry Briefing at PACIFIC 2015
 
The briefing which Navy Recognition was attending was presented by Japan's Defence Ministry spokesman Masaki Ishikawa and Izumi Ishii, Vice President of Integrated Defense & Space Systems at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.

The Team Japan as presented by the Defence Ministry spokesman is to incorporate state of the art technologies from both Australia and Japan into proven technologies for ocean navigation, to work with local industries in whatever arrangement best suited for the Australian Government and to involve Australian industries from the design phase throughout the program.

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CougarKing

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All-weather snorkel system?

Diplomat

Japan to Offer Australia Its Top-Secret Submarine Technology
Tokyo has disclosed additional details of its offer to replace the Royal Australian Navy’s Collins-class subs
.


By Franz-Stefan Gady
October 07, 2015

Japan has for the first time revealed additional details of its proposal to design and build submarines to replace Australia’s fleet of six Collins-class boats.

This week, the head of a high-powered Japanese delegation, speaking at this year’s Sea Power conference in Sydney, told local media that Japan would transfer 100 percent of the technology involved in building a larger version of Japan’s state-of-the-art 4,000-ton diesel-electric Soryu-class submarine to the Australian submariner community. “Our objective is to have everything available to transfer,” delegation head Masaki Ishikawa said.

In detail, Japan’s proposal includes advanced welding technologies, top-secret stealth technology, combat system integration, lithium-ion batteries as the submarine’s main energy source (with the option for air-independent propulsion to be added later an), and an all-weather snorkel system that can operate even during a typhoon, according to the Australian news website Perth Now. In addition, the sub will feature a U.S. combat system.

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