Naval Ship & Submarine Propulsion Systems

DAVID DUNLOP

Active Member
Not sure I agree with that statement David. For one, the cost of building up a domestic capability is just as likely to bring down a government as an offshore build would be. For another, there are strategic and political points to be gained by getting our subs from another country that can't be discounted. And lastly, buying from an established line will ensure availability of parts and support at a better cost than an orphan bespoke Canadian sub program. Another equally important question is who would build these subs? NSS is built around the principal of "continuous build", such that when the last CSC is getting delivered, the follow-on design should be in the starting blocks at Irving already. Same story with the "non-combat" ships. Even if we add Davie as a third NSS yard, where is the capacity going to come from to build subs? It's a grand idea and all, but the cost of building such a specialized ship from scratch is, in my opinion, a waste of precious defence funding. Canada is a big country and definitely has some unique operational requirements, but there are designs out there now from the German, Swedish, Japanese, and French builders that are big enough to satisfy most if not all of our requirements without having to reinvent the wheel. It would be good to collaborate with a designer to get what we think we need, including on the propulsion system, but designing from scratch makes so sense to me.
You make some great points Calculus, but have you taken a look at the Australian experience with the French building their 4000 Tonne Barracuda Blk 1A class AIP in Australia. Something like that could be built here in Canada as well. All three of our major shipyards could be involved in the bidding process. Don't know how the Japanese would react though. They could also be involved with their LIB expertise. I hear nothing from the government on a "continuous build" for the NSS of any vessel and who is to say that Irving will win a future contract to build follow-on ships or submarines. The Japanese and French are about the only countries capable of building the kind of submarine Canada will need, especially in the Arctic no matter what propulsion systems may be selected. The others are just not capable or have large enough sub designs required. Cheers!:)
 

Calculus

Well-Known Member
I hear nothing from the government on a "continuous build" for the NSS of any vessel and who is to say that Irving will win a future contract to build follow-on ships or submarines.
This is a matter of debate more suited to the RCN thread, so I will only respond this one time here in this thread, but the NSS was absolutely designed to support a continuous build strategy, specifically to eliminate the "boom and bust" cycle.

 

Calculus

Well-Known Member
^^ David, 50% to 80% of your post contains either factual errors or is written in such a way that demonstrates a lack of complete understanding of submarine operations or the non trivial engineering work required in your proposal. This makes it hard to explain why you are wrong in drawing your conclusions.

Like you, some in this thread are so eager to share without the corresponding willingness to read (with understanding prior posts) or study in-depth the advantages and limitations of each sub-system, including the reason why some sub operators have elected not to install AIP systems.

For my attempt to post about submarines, see the effort made in the RSN capabilities thread. And by 2023 Singapore will operate 2 types of AIP submarines; with 2 Swedish built Archer class (with a 75 kW AIP plug) and 2 German built Invincible class (each with 2 HDW/Siemens PEM fuel cells of 120 kW) submarines. Together with German, Israeli and indigenously-developed systems integrated into the combat suite, the 2,200 ton Type 218SG will have enhanced situational awareness and accelerated decision-making support systems, allowing submariners to rapidly orientate themselves, decide on the best course of action, and act. Once the first 2 Invincible class enters service, Singapore can retire the last 2 Challenger class boats, which had insufficient automation.

The last 2 Soyru class boats, namely, JS Ōryū and JS Tōryū (with LIB) do not have an AIP system. The Japanese have very reliable boats that the USN benchmark against. The Japanese have capability that you in Canada can only dream of — I suspect that they have no desire to transfer such capability to Canada. But so much of their build program is classified that it is hard for a layman reading press reports to understand their true capability. I am sure they will be willing to sell 4 submarines to Canada but why would Japan need or want to form a JV with Canada (to build submarines, when you only operate 4 old subs)?

I will let others who are more qualified explain, if they can be bothered.

If you continue down this path, you will be getting multiple source changes from other members soon. Read, think and then post (after some reflection), please. I am writing to let you know, as I have not given up on you.
@OPSSG, thanks for posting those links above in the RSN capabilities thread. Very interesting reading. The complexities of a submarine are a source of endless fascination.

I will have to respectfully disagree with you on your statement about Japan having no desire to transfer their submarine tech to Canada. It was widely reported when PM Abe visited Canada last year that on the table for discussion were closer defence industrial ties, and that both the aircraft and ship industries were part of those discussions. The first tangible output from this new openness was the recent approval by the GoC of the purchase, by Mitsubishi, of Bombardier's Regional Aircraft operations, a deal which was finalized June 1st of this year. (Bombardier and MHI close CRJ Series sale, MHI RJ Aviation begins operations - Wings Magazine). Discussions on submarine tech were understood to have taken place between the defence attaches of both countries, though the depth of those discussions was not revealed.
 

DAVID DUNLOP

Active Member
This is a matter of debate more suited to the RCN thread, so I will only respond this one time here in this thread, but the NSS was absolutely designed to support a continuous build strategy, specifically to eliminate the "boom and bust" cycle.

Hi Calculus. Only brought it up in response to your last post #354 on this Thread as it related to submarine propulsion systems and submarines in general. Yes, I have a copy of that PSPC statement but do not necessarily agree with all it's content. Construction of large vessels (more than 1,000 tonnes of displacement) could apply to submarines as well. Don't forget this statement was released over 10 yrs ago and out-dated. There are now 3 companies including Davies under the NSS umbrella.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
@DAVID DUNLOP The Moderators have had to counsel you previously about your posting behaviour including the posting of sources for claims that you make in your posts. Please adhere to the rules and ensure that your sources are reputable and valid. Just remember that you're talking to an international audience, not only domestic one and that applies to the rest of the Canadian posters as well as the Australian posters.

Therefore David the Moderators want to see an improvement in your posting quality, specifically around sources and quality of information posted.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
@DAVID DUNLOP

Our tolerance is being challenged by your refusal to read the threads you post in. Less nonsensical posts from you, please. Spend at least 24 hours reading on the subject before replying (i.e. no same day rely by you on any post in this thread for the next 7 days).

Your advocacy for nuclear propulsion in Canadian submarines lack — why and how. Why is the slow poke reactor better? And more importantly, how will going nuclear be better at Canada’s set tasking and CONOPS (when compared to the Victoria class submarines)?

If you don’t have a relevant link to support your view, don’t be surprised if it is deleted without ceremony.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Post 1 of 3: An overview of Italian and Japanese build efforts

1. Italy’s Near Future Submarine (NFS) design will be slightly longer to accommodate a new intelligence gathering mast for ESM and EW.
(i) This improvement is a parallel of Germany’s second batch of Type-212As, but with Italian systems and includes as Italian weapons like the Blackshark torpedo and the new TESEO MK.2E (unofficially called EVO) anti-ship missile by both MBDA and Marina Militare. The new missile’s seeker will mount a small sized AESA radar, the first of its class in Europe. MBDA Italy will utilise Leonardo’s experience to miniaturise an AESA radar.​
(ii) More significantly, the NFS will incorporate Italian developed lithium-ion batteries in place of lead-acid. This is significant and is likely to be the first Western submarine to feature this technology.​

Currently only Japan fields submarines with this battery technology, although South Korea is close behind.
Very interesting reading. The complexities of a submarine are a source of endless fascination.
2. Yes, it took me 4 to 5 years to just understand the basic terms with the guidance of multiple Australian and European members who took time to explain to me the different national requirements, required capability, likely tasking, and their CONOPS behind submarine operations.

3. I am a big fan of first ten 84 metre long Soryu class boats that used a Swedish ‘Stirling’ AIP system along with traditional heavy duty acid batteries. The ‘Stirling’ AIP system was first tested as a retrofit of the Japanese submarine Asashio. This means that the 4,200 ton (when submerged) Soryu class submarines can patrol longer without surfacing, giving them a superior indiscretion ratio, compared to the older the 4,000 ton (when submerged) Oyashio submarines in their fleet.

4. But the last 2 Japanese submarines of this class (boats 11 & 12) come with lithium-ion batteries. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan’s top submarine builder has already unveiled the country’s next-generation submarine design, designated 29SS. The sub due in the late-2020s.

5. 29SS retains the general hull form with some important changes. The sail is substantially reduced and blended into the hull, which should reduce hydrodynamic drag. This will make the submarine quieter, perhaps a little faster, but also more energy efficient.

6. While high speeds may be employed for short bursts by Japanese 29SS submarines, this results in immense and rapid depletion of battery power. To get around this shortcoming, great care is taken in terms of positioning Japanese submarines. To increase their effectiveness, more often than not, the 29SS submarines have to be deployed within the operating radii of Japanese P-1 maritime reconnaissance aircraft that can cue them into an attacking position. If this is not feasible, by ASW helicopters, from Japanese helicopter carriers, or the alternative course of action is to deploy them in choke points where there is a high probability of encountering targets.

7. The Koreans of course see the growth of the Japanese submarines as a bigger threat than the rapid growth of Chinese submarine capability (and not in numbers) — creating a strange naval underwater arms race dynamics between the 3 countries that I can’t really understand. On 14 September 2018, the ROKN launched the first KSS-3 vessel —ROKS Dosahn Ahn Chango — these KSS-3 submarines carry six vertical-launch tubes — which is not a capability targeted at the North Korean submarines or Chinese nukes and SSKs. Four KSS-IIIs have already been launched or are under construction, and a total of nine boats in this class is planned.

8. In contrast to the Korean lack of focus, the JMSDF’s plans are focused on their major area of responsibility — namely, the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea, or what Japanese naval strategists call the Tokyo-Guam-Taiwan Triangle.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Post 2 of 3: Understanding Japanese technology transfer considerations
I will have to respectfully disagree with you on your statement about Japan having no desire to transfer their submarine tech to Canada.
9. I stand corrected but your Canadian view neglects the view from Japan. I am informed by other members of DT that Japan does have existing defense technology transfer (DTT) policies to promote (or hinder) international joint development or production that is guided by what their three principles policy. For a Canadian to claim that Japan has the desire to transfer submarine technology to Canada, you must show me proof that a DTT agreement between the parties has been signed. By way of background, I note that:

(i) in 1983, Japan opened the way for with its 1st DTT with the Americans. Following from that 1983 policy change, the Japanese slowly enacted DTT policies that apply to the British (2013) and the Australians (2014). In the realm of underwater warfare, they engage in DTT to benefit their future submarine build program, industrial base, national security and defence relationship. Each of these arrangements must benefit the Japanese and its foreign counterpart as peer level contributors;​
(ii) the Japanese have shared information with the Americans (Virginia class) and the British (Astute class) for mutual benefit, as these two foreign countries have active nuclear submarine building programs. DTT between these parties is done on a peer level, with the Americans reaching out to the Japanese to increase their build reliability. Likewise the Japanese are reaching out at DTT level for American developments in the storage of energy, including the use of ultra/super-capacitors both for submarine propulsion and for use in torpedo developments;​
(iii) of interest to the Japanese is American advances in creating a hybrid battery, with the features of both an electrochemical double layer capacitor (EDLC) and a battery connected in series. Graphene is used as the core material for both these devices. Graphene nanocomposites are used in the negative electrode and highly porous three dimensional graphene with a large surface area is used in the positive electrode; and​
(iv) DTT policy considerations on the Japanese side are evaluated and filtered with respect to the capability of the partner country — ideally as a peer level sharing arrangement. However, on an exceptional basis, it also can be graduated based on the value of the intellectual property flow between Japan and the partner country.​
10. With no active submarine build program, any claim of Canadian ability to contribute to the Japanese at a reciprocal DTT level, or even on an exceptional basis is not obvious to me. Certainly, without further details, I do not expect a JV. The nature of Japanese contact and exchanges with the Canadians at defence attaches level could simply be an exchange of relevant contacts in respective ministries or basic information required by the Japanese for a weapons or sensor sale — which is not an industrial base level discussion. Therefore, I would appreciate if you could explain in greater detail the submarine industrial base in Canada, for some of these core underwater technologies that are deserving of reciprocal DTT. With regards to underwater warfare technologies, let me share some stray thoughts for your consideration:
(i) Japanese builders and submarine tech suppliers do not need to export their systems intended for use in submarines as they have enough domestic demand from the JMSDF, due to their continuous build policy. My concern is that you misunderstand the importance of sovereign control. IMO control of key submarines technologies, like G-RX6 (as a successor to the Type 89 torpedo) and the latest propulsion motor SMC-8B in the Soryu class, are incredibly important to the Japanese — at the very least, Japanese suppliers want to black box solutions to foreign buyers. Even then not all black boxes are for sale, by the Japanese or the Americans.​
(ii) Some things are just not shared even among allies. Anechoic tiles (along with its coatings) and EDLC technology is something the Americans are holding close to their chest. I certainly do not think that Japan will easily cede sovereign control over their battery tech, propulsion motor, which is the largest on a DE boat, or intellectual property related to their anechoic tiles, which are core technologies for the next class of Japanese submarines. IIRC, the Australians had to invent their own glue/coatings for anechoic tiles and the tiles themselves, for the Collins class because they could not manage to buy it.​
(iii) On less important areas (such as periscopes or even coatings on periscopes), where the Japanese do not have a lead, they certainly can consider conducting some level of DTT to Canada if an agreement is signed and such acts of good will can lead to an eventual Japanese submarine sale to Canada. For exchanges of information to occur, the Japanese do not need to form a JV with Canada — please provide a relevant link, if you or any Canadian in this thread wants to make a claim of a JV.​
It was widely reported when PM Abe visited Canada last year that on the table for discussion were closer defence industrial ties, and that both the aircraft and ship industries were part of those discussions. The first tangible output from this new openness was the recent approval by the GoC of the purchase, by Mitsubishi, of Bombardier's Regional Aircraft operations, a deal which was finalized June 1st of this year. (Bombardier and MHI close CRJ Series sale, MHI RJ Aviation begins operations - Wings Magazine). Discussions on submarine tech were understood to have taken place between the defence attaches of both countries, though the depth of those discussions was not revealed.
11. I did not know that. Thank you for taking the trouble to explain.
 
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DAVID DUNLOP

Active Member
OFF TOPIC reply deleted.

DAVID DUNLOP’s proposal for a “joint venture from say the USA, France or Japan for a new Hybrid nuclear/AIP/LIB submarine design with a ‘Slowpoke’ reactor... [whose reactor] can be turned-off” takes this thread into the realm of fantasy.

This sort of posting behaviour, where there is no mention whatsoever of requirements, capability, tasking, CONOPS and diving straight into nuclear is better, led to a chorus of disapproval by other professionals expressing their private frustration to the Mod Team. Therefore, we will not allow certain individuals to further lower the quality of discussion in this thread. In addition, thread vandalism will not be allowed and this includes putting a stop to:

(i) replies that lack reality or technical merit from an engineering perspective; or

(ii) ungrounded speculation on subjects without any demonstrated expertise and the failure to cite evidence as a basis of reasoning (eg. Japanese defence tech transfer policies and agreements).
While it is good news that in 2019, the Canadian government has agreed to pay for a life-extension process for its fleet of four Victoria-class submarines, having a Canadian yard to maintain 4 old boats is different from having the expertise to design and build something as complex as a 2,000 to 4,000 ton conventional submarine with all the bells and whistles.
Our tolerance is being challenged by your refusal to read the threads you post in. Less nonsensical posts from you, please. Spend at least 24 hours reading on the subject before replying (i.e. no same day rely by you on any post in this thread for the next 7 days).

Your advocacy for nuclear propulsion in Canadian submarines lack — why and how. Why is the slow poke reactor better? And more importantly, how will going nuclear be better at Canada’s set tasking and CONOPS (when compared to the Victoria class submarines)?


If you don’t have a relevant link to support your view, don’t be surprised if it is deleted without ceremony.
Reading comprehension and a basic grasp of engineering reality seems to be an areas of weakness for DAVID DUNLOP. The Mod Team had hoped to solve this elegantly by asking him to pause for 24 hours before replying, to enable him to reflect and improve the quality of his posts.

Given that he was replied to by 3 different moderators, and that a clear request by the Mod Team was ignored, a ban of a year is awarded. This is upon review of his behaviour by impartial moderators (who have not commented in this thread). The decidedly lack of technical merit in his submarine proposals is noted for the record here.

Red ink instructions from the Mod Team are not optional.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Post 2 of 3: European efforts that should inform Canadian sub replacement plans
Further to David's post...

It certainly looks like the fuel cell is still seeing steady development, and the issues of power density and longevity seen in the earlier versions look to be mostly conquered. Much promise to be had here, but the key enabling technology of an AIP system still seems very much to be the battery, and as of today, the LIB in particular.
12. The German Navy already operates six Type 212 submarines, while Norway intends to acquire four units to replace the Ula-class submarines that were commissioned between 1989-1992. A contract is expected in the first half of 2020. Concurrently TKMS is building the third of 4 submarines for Egypt.

(i) The two navies selected the new Type 212 CD (Common Design) variant, which will have extended range, speed and endurance. Germany is procuring two submarines in a similar configuration to the four on order by Norway.​

(ii) In Feb 2019, TKMS christened the first of a new class of 4 submarines custom designed for Singapore, whose names will be RSS Invincible, RSS Impeccable, RSS Illustrious and RSS Inimitable. In a departure from its usual ultra-cautious, value-seeking approach to platform acquisition, the Singapore Navy has ordered the 2,200 ton (when submerged) Invincible class submarines, in a matter of four years — interestingly in Sep 2019, TKMS unveiled its 4th Generation Fuel Cell (FC4G) following completion of a test programme for the propulsion system and has undergone in excess of 70,000 operating hours of testing. This is to be used as standard equipment from 2021 (coinciding with the 1st Type 218SG delivery). While the use of FC4G is currently not documented, I suspect that the FC4G is installed in the new Invincible class. Even if it is only two FCM 120 modules that are installed, Mindef does not want specific info on the AIP system in the Type 218SG released. I also note that the power rating of this new FC4G is not released.

(iii) The German designed fuel-cell system is quiet, cheaper, and easier to maintain, compared to the ‘Stirling’ AIP system in the Archer class. The PEM fuel cell on the Type 218SG only operates at 70 to 80 ° C reducing heat signature. The submarine classes 212A, 214, and Dolphin 2 are also equipped with PEM Fuel Cells modules. Each PEM Fuel Cell module can be operated at various static and dynamic load currents. Currents below 650 A for FCM 34 modules or below 560 A for FCM 120 modules can be applied in continuous operation. An AIP system with FCM 34 or FCM 120 modules can be added to existing submarines.​
(iv) According to Dr J B Lakeman and Dr D J Browning, The Role of Fuel Cells in the Supply of Silent Power for Operations in Littoral Waters, (Gosport: 2004), in page 47-3, of the four AIP systems, fuel cells are the most efficient in oxygen consumption, consuming approximately 0.4 kilograms of oxygen per kilowatt hour (kgO2/kWh), compared to ~0.75 kgO2/kWh for the Closed cycle diesel, ~0.95 kgO2/kWh for the Stirling system, and ~1.1 kgO2/kWh for the MESMA system. The MESMA has a relatively small customer base having only been retrofitted into Pakistani submarines.​

With the 212CD project for building a total of six identical submarines for Norway and Germany, TKMS, together with its customers and partners, intends to create the European NATO standard of the future in the field of conventional submarines.

Given there is no reason to assume that the Japanese or Koreans value the lives of their submariners any less than other nations do, I think we can assume that they have overcome the explosive potential of LIBs, either through mitigation strategies such as active (or passive) cooling and cell isolation, or through the use of new technology such as the solid-state LIB chemistry.

Either way, I think it is a good bet that LIBs are now very much a “good enough” solution, and will likely be part of a future Canadian AIP submarine, either as the main source of power, with fuel cells providing top-up to the LIBs, or as a secondary source of add-on power for higher speeds. As time marches on, both fuel cell and LIB technology will only get better, in terms of power density, safety, and longevity, so a Canadian submarine program maturing in the 2030s has a very real chance of delivering a submarine with substantially improved underwater performance, and perhaps even the ability to conduct sovereignty patrols beneath the ice cap. I think the holy grail for Canada would be a technology that can deliver sustained submerged speeds around 10 knots, for 3-4 weeks. Fuel cell + LIB + diesel may be that technology. So, as time marches on, the argument for nuclear gets harder to justify.
13. In Post 1 of 3, I discussed relevant Italian and Japanese efforts. Now we move on to the Walrus SSK replacement programme. This is the most important Dutch procurement programme still in the bidding process. I am watching this program closely due to its future relevance to Canada to replace its existing submarines. The Dutch government wants to make sure that potential suppliers take into account as much involvement of local industry as possible. At the award of the B-letter, three shipyards (or combinations of those) are still in the running to build new Dutch submarines.

14. The groups given the Dutch B-letter are:

(i) the Naval Group from France along with Royal IHC — little is known about the plans;​

(ii) the Swedish-Dutch combination Saab-Damen — the concept submarine has a displacement of 2900 tons and a length of 73 metres, with room for 34 to 42 crew members; and​

(iii) TKMS from Germany teamed up with the maintenance site of the Royal Netherlands Navy in the Den Helder naval base — I suspect the concept submarine is evolved from the Type 212CD and has a displacement of at least 2400 tons. But in like the Type 212As with earlier generation FCM 34 fuel cells and 1 MTU engine, this batch is likely to use two FC4G PEM fuel cells and have at least 2 MTU 12V4000U83 engines (athough the Dolphin 2* has three older model MTU engines). TKMS says it is prepared to enlarge the design, so there is more room for fuel and crew members.​

* Dolphin 2 class are larger than the batch 1, Type 212A German submarines. In October 2017, Israel and Germany confirmed that they have finalised a MOU for the purchase of three more Dolphin-class submarines to be delivered starting in 2027. These boats will replace the first three of the class which by then will be about 30 years old.
  • Displacement: 2,050 tons surfaced, 2,400 tons submerged
    • Length: 68.8m
    • Beam: 6.8 m (22 ft)
    • Draught: 6.2 m (20 ft)
    • 3 MTU V-16 396 SE 84 diesel engines with three Siemens 750 kW alternators, and a Siemens sustained-power motor of about 3 MW output power
    • Speed: 25 kts submerged
    • Complement: 35 + 15 passengers
    • Armament: Six 21" (533mm) torpedo tubes and four 26" (650mm) torpedo tubes.
15. In the next phase (C-Letter), the requirements, award criteria and weighting factors are determined, based on factors such as best boat for the best price, risk management and the elaboration of national security interests and strategic autonomy which will drive the capability requirements of the future submarines.
 
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Ananda

Well-Known Member

Not want to talk on 'fantasy' realm, but seems this article on Forbes at least have some probable. Don't know about the new hull design and propulsion that seems taking on 'Red October' concept, but this magazines of multiple sizes torpedo and drones launcher have some merit.

Universal launchers can be used for varieties of torpedo sizes and drones, can be attractive to provide submarines on multi weapons answer for each scenarios.
 

Attachments

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Ballard Power of Burnaby BC announced new fuel cell modules at 200KW, scalable to megawatts: Marine Modules - Fuel Cell Power Products | Ballard Power

This is pretty good power density - more than the fuel cells in the Type 212s, which are reputedly 120KW. Wonder if there could be applications to subs.
It would probably take some serious R&D expenses to do a submarine version. Euro sub vendors will stick with local suppliers and it seems Japan and Australia will go with Li-ion batteries.
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
While lithium based chemistries have been talked about in Australia, so far as I am aware at present the intent is to use lead acid.
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
Lead acid, at least for the majority of the propulsion. TBH I don't see that changing in the short term.

Even the Lithium subs and designs that exist now, its more about lithium replacing AIP than the entire lead acid battery. If you replace the entire battery with lithium, you might as well throw away your diesels, because you will never be able to charge that battery with the diesels on board. Its more a balance of indiscretion rate and mission. You have also made your conventional submarine 20 times more expensive.

Where as if you look at say enough lithium for several hours of operation, being able to recharge that with a doable indiscretion. Its a small additional cost, you get significant benefit, you maximize lithium advantage, fast charging, fast discharging, heavy cycling, no out gassing etc, while maximizing lead acids cheap bulk storage. Your lead acid battery stays in better condition, you have more operational flexibility, etc. Minimal extra cost.

Fuel cells only fit some mission profiles. For Australia, things with liquid oxygen make no sense. By the time we transit through hot tropical waters, for weeks, there will be nothing left, just from outgasing heating. It would take more to keep it liquid than to propel the submarine. The Japanese made it work because they pretty much on patrol from the time the slip out of their harbor, and they dive deep into the cold and stay there, moving a few knots. But even then, Lithium has provided a better advantage.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
For Australia, things with liquid oxygen make no sense. By the time we transit through hot tropical waters, for weeks, there will be nothing left, just from outgasing heating. It would take more to keep it liquid than to propel the submarine.
It may not be worth the weight and volume to install an AIP system in certain mission profiles.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe out-gasing is not an issue for the first 15 to 20 day period — some AIP submarines can run at a 30-to-45 day patrol cycle.

Cryogenic liquids management using modern vacuum-insulated TEUs can be sold or even rented. These vacuum-insulated pressure vessels will be loaded on a submarine tender, have insulation and pressure management systems to reduce outgas rate but the O2 tank, vaporizer (which is also used for cooling in some Fuel cell AIP submarines) and pressure control manifold do take up volume in a submarine.

There is no need for a liquefaction plant to store at –297°F (–183°C) if the storage period is between 15 to 20 days. But there will be some need to outgas if the storage period is longer — the solution to which is power up the Fuel cell for a few hours every alternate day.
 
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StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
Well it all depends where you store the liquid oxygen.

Outside: Well making a vacuumed container to go on the outside of the submarine may not be as easy as it first appears. You can have more storage volume, but outgassing is likely to be significant. If you don't have a large transit then this might be fine, operating it continuously.

Inside: You can use vacuum containers, but these take up tremendous amounts of room inside the submarine and will need their own separate bulk headed compartment. Your losses are something like 1% per day. For many that is not a huge amount, for a boat with a 30-40 day transit, its not insignificant. If you have a transit of 1-2 days, then that is insignificant.

Germans have the liquid oxygen and hydrogen storage tanks (not liquid) located essentially at the bottom of the boat replacing the lead acid batteries. Displacing lead acid batteries is not ideal, particularly for a submarine with large transits or that tends to operate at a significant indiscretion rate.

The Japanese have the liquid oxygen and the Stirling engines in a separate bulkheaded section ahead of the engine room. So its more of a complete addition to the original capability.

Then as you said, it also depends on your mission profiles. The Japanese tend to dive deep and go slow under some high traffic areas. Australia probably has a much more varied mission profile doing all sorts of other things in all sorts of other places.

Lithium is going to be very attractive to Australia because of our mission profiles. It can assist in transit and on mission. While having some hazards, I would say its safer than having liquid oxygen in the hull of your sub, and much safer than having hydrogen and liquid oxygen in your sub.

While AIP can work for some subs and some mission profiles, Australian subs won't ever be slipping out of port and making their entire mission running off AIP like the Europeans or the Japanese can probably manage.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Unveiled at Euronaval, a concept for a full-electric, all-battery-powered submarine: Euronaval: Naval Group unveils the SMX31E new full electric "Concept Submarine" - Naval News

30 days at 8 knots submerged on batteries alone. That would be pretty phenomenal, and for Canada's desire to have an under-ice patrol capability, a game changer.
Interesting but going up North with no recharging ability seems risky to me. At 8 knots and 30 days running that’s just under 6,000 nm so 3000 nm up and then return. Not sure what range is planned for Arctic sub patrols. In any event something like this with diesels and larger sounds good, perhaps an evolved Attack class with more LIB capacity or future battery technology which no doubt will be even better 20-30 years from now.
 

Calculus

Well-Known Member
Interesting but going up North with no recharging ability seems risky to me. At 8 knots and 30 days running that’s just under 6,000 nm so 3000 nm up and then return. Not sure what range is planned for Arctic sub patrols. In any event something like this with diesels and larger sounds good, perhaps an evolved Attack class with more LIB capacity or future battery technology which no doubt will be even better 20-30 years from now.
Yes, you would definitely need another power source for the transit portion. However, these batteries combined with diesels (or perhaps fuel cells) would definitely allow for under-ice sovereignty patrols. And when I re-read the article it was "more than 30 days at 8 knots".
 
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