Skip to comments.Das Boot? Das Running Shoe, More Like (new French sub design)
Posted on 05/24/2011 6:20:44 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
Das Boot? Das Running Shoe, More Like
Posted by Bill Sweetman at 5/24/2011 6:55 AM CDT
French shipbuilder DCNS raised eyebrows at last October's Euronaval show with its extraordinary SMX-25 concept for a submarine like no contemporary design - sharp-prowed, with a big but low sail and a jet-like stern. At the IMDEX show in Singapore last week, DCNS gave a few more details of the design.
It doesn't look like other submarines because it's designed for a different job - primarily, anti-surface warfare, rather than anti-submarine warfare. That changes everything. The submarine needs mobility to catch and stay up with surface ships. It will be optimized for survival against active, not passive sonar. It needs a heavy missile load, ready to fire, because surface ships travel in groups and multiple shots can overwhelm the defenses.
Non-nuclear submarines can't run fast for long: batteries don't store enough energy, their circular-section hulls aren't efficient on the surface, and wave effects limit snorkeling speed to 11 knots or so. SMX-25 is therefore designed for high speed on the surface, with a wave-piercing hull and retractable air inlets for three 16 MW gas turbines driving waterjets. Top speed is 38 knots and range at 14-20 knots is 8000 nm.
In action, SMX-25 can ballast to a semi-submerged position with the sail above the surface. It can still run on turbines, the sail is a small visual or radar target, and all 16 missile tubes are ready to fire. Finally, the boat can submerge completely and run on diesel (via a snorkel) or batteries, driving retractable motor-propeller units.
It's a big submarine for a non-nuke, 360 feet long with a surface displacement of 2850 tonnes and 5460 tonnes submerged. under the water, the hull is faceted rather than rounded - like a stealthy aircraft, faceting weakens back-scattered echo from an active sonar.
DCNS argues that the SMX-25 could be remarkably survivable. It is a small target for surface attack - and if engaged by a missile it can dive. Its speed makes it a tough target for a torpedo, and it has sensors above and below the water. And although it looks like something out of Thunderbirds, it is designed entirely around existing technology.
If the SMX-25 has a predecessor in history, it's one that DCNS would rather people forgot about.
In World War 1, the Royal Navy ordered K-Class submarines, powered by steam turbines on the surface, in search of a submarine that could keep up with the battle fleet. The Ks were problematic and unlucky: six of the 18 built were lost to accidents, with one officer expressing the view that they had "too many damn holes."
With the black-and-white colors and streamlined design, it looks like an orca.
Only the French would want to sneak up on someone to surrender.
This thing is going to be noisier than hell - retractable screws are going to be cavitation-prone due to small size/high RPM.
IF we still had a P-3 fleet we could counter it with passive detection and then a MAD prosecution - fancy shapes won't keep it from making noise.
Nice design for a chainsaw. Just sayin.
I don’t understand..designed for “high-speed runs ON the surface?” Sensors, satellites, UAVs..you name it..all to detect surface traffic. Seems like a “solution” in search of a problem.
South American drug smugglers ahve already put deposits down on the first 25..
So the operating concept is to transit to the attack area surfaced at 38 knots. In spite of “stealthy features”, it is still vulnerable to MPA. With gas turbines, it’s also going to have one heck of and IR signature. Not to mention that at 38 knots, it’s going to be noisy, plus at 38 knots it’s on board sonars will be useless, making it a sitting duck for any opposition submarine in its path.
If it dives due to a missile attack, it’s submerged speed is only 10 knots. Now how is it going to get timely notice that a missile launch? What radar kit? If phased array, can it handle being submerged and at what depth? Radar warning receiver? Not all AShM rely on radar. So once this thing dives, the MPA or helo already has a good idea where the “sub” is, and will find itself in a sonobuoy field.
And so it transits to the attack area surfaced. How is it going to aquire targets? Radar will give itself away, negating any stealth benefits, plus it is dependant on antenna height. Sonar - at 38 knots, forget it? The only way I can see is working in coordinaton with an MPA.
This concept is seriously flawed. Better off with a submerged SSN.
Rather short of an appearance in whatever theater they try to cover. 10 knots under water, almost 1/4 of surface speed...another hmmmmmm? Does the crew know that it was really designed to ram? Kinda looks like that. http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/images/blpic-frenchmagazine.htm Is anyone intimidated by Frenchmen manning a sub? Has anyone ever been intimidated by the sometimes operational sometimes not Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier? I mean....it almost seems oxymoronic.
We’re looking at it wrong. Its not an SSG (Submarine, Guided Missile), its a submersible PG (Patrol Boat, Guided Missile). Its actually a throwback to the submarine’s original role.
In other words, could this be an attempt to market an anti-CVBG weapon on the world market?
looks like something to light your BBQ
Sounds like it; that’s how I read the article.
I seem to remember our own testing of the X-shaped stern plane configuration on USS Albacore did not work so well.
A French pig boat? Is there room for a pastry compartment?
How much does it cost?
Indeed, it would seem to be extremely expensive for a patrol boat. I’d like to see this war-gamed against other weapons systems.
I think it's really not meant to be a full time sub...
It a surface ship normally with surface ship performance on day to day patrol or mission ...
That can semi submerse to the sail to present a very low above surface profile during it attack
And that has the added defense of being able to fully submerge when attacked....
It main weapon is missiles not torpedo's...
it a surface missile ship...
it is no more vulnerably on the surface then any other surface ship...
it just has extra ability's it can do stupid sub tricks
Or that seem to be the idea
It costs too much. It is an overpriced, oversized fast attack craft-missile. The Russian/Soviet Oscar class is a better operational concept (maybe not the design, and definitely not the construction with shipyard workers fueled with vodka).
Even with stealth features, this is a sitting duck for MPA’s, in addition to real subs waiting in the distance. Running at 38 knots makes quite a racket, and renders the ship’s sonar useless.
Jeff, I have a custom Harpoon Classic data base. Only drawback is there is no semi-submerged option. Currently looking at a sensor fit for this puppy.