I am not suggesting to go with Shortfin Barracuda if that is what you are trying to infer. DCNS has certainly put in some nice pitch for potential capabilities (especially in support for the SOF front). I do understand that in terms of maturity, it would rank very much less matured than an evolved Soryu. I am not disputing any of gf's comments and in fact I think as gf has stated, the smart money will go with Soryu. I get that.Second, you think the Shortfin Barracuda is not bad? On what basis, it doesn't exist and the Barracuda currently in production in France is way over time and budget? You have no reason to believe anything about a derivitive, you speculate.
Finally, why would you risk changing a proven performer, the Soryu hull and propulsion method. The risks and costs are enormous, something to be done just because it seems trendy? No way .
None of the 3 solutions are complete MOTS solutions. Soryu by far is most likely to be the least risky, and I totally and whole heartedly agree. And with US subtle and probably not so subtle prompting to go Soryu, I think we will be silly not to.
Having said this, there are definitely stuff that we can learn from both the French and the German's offerings. We could see where they are taking SSK technology forward and probably should start thinking that an evolved Soryu could or should start having them as well. I am referring things like swim out chamber for SOFs, perhaps ability to dock SOF submersible vehicles, ability to carry submarine launched SAM, etc are some examples.
I won't blame you for mis-reading my sentiment, I'm all for Soryu but I am also open to see what capabilities the proposed Shortfin and Type 216 would provide that the evolved Soryu could consider adding in the future.