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Das Boot? Das Running Shoe, More Like (new French sub design)
Aviation Week ^ | 5/24/2011 | Bill Sweetman

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."


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: dcns; france; ssk; submarine

1 posted on 05/24/2011 6:20:48 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

With the black-and-white colors and streamlined design, it looks like an orca.


2 posted on 05/24/2011 6:26:42 AM PDT by arderkrag (Georgia is God's Country.----------In the same way Rush is balance, I am consensus.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Only the French would want to sneak up on someone to surrender.


3 posted on 05/24/2011 6:27:04 AM PDT by edcoil (Democrats doing to America what Reagan did to russia. Driving it to bankrupcy.)
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To: edcoil

ROFL!


4 posted on 05/24/2011 6:28:53 AM PDT by To Hell With Poverty (CAIN/WEST 2012 - Because two bros are better than THE 0NE!)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
the boat can submerge completely and run on diesel (via a snorkel) or batteries, driving retractable motor-propeller units.

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.

5 posted on 05/24/2011 6:29:17 AM PDT by grobdriver (Proud Member, Party Of No! No Socialism - No Fascism - Nobama - No Way!)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Nice design for a chainsaw. Just sayin.


6 posted on 05/24/2011 6:30:09 AM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast (I stand with Israel!)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Dubbed the “French naval vessel - Le Penis”.
7 posted on 05/24/2011 6:30:27 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ ("Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." A. C. Clarke)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

"Professor, I've just got to steal this Frenchie Sub, the design is just way to cool and the tightwads at the institute are cutting the budget next year. Hey, what's that wet on my leg? Johnny, Bandit pissed me again!"
8 posted on 05/24/2011 6:39:21 AM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: sukhoi-30mki

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.


9 posted on 05/24/2011 6:41:31 AM PDT by ken5050 (Save the Earth..It's the only planet with chocolate!!!)
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To: edcoil

South American drug smugglers ahve already put deposits down on the first 25..


10 posted on 05/24/2011 6:42:29 AM PDT by ken5050 (Save the Earth..It's the only planet with chocolate!!!)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

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.


11 posted on 05/24/2011 6:42:29 AM PDT by Fred Hayek (FUBO, the No Talent Pop Star pResident.)
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast
30 days of endurance.....hmmmm, they don't expect to be coming back?

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.

12 posted on 05/24/2011 6:43:24 AM PDT by Puckster
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Heaven is a place with
German engineers,
British police,
French cooks,
Italian lovers,
Swiss bureaucrats.

Hell is a place with
German police,
British cooks,
French engineers,
Italian bureaucrats,
Swiss lovers.
13 posted on 05/24/2011 6:43:30 AM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 852 of our national holiday from reality. - OBL Dead? The TSA can go away!)
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To: grobdriver

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.


14 posted on 05/24/2011 6:50:40 AM PDT by Little Ray (The Gods of the Copybook Heading, with terror and slaughter return!)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
OK, let's approach this from another angle: based on the design, the SMX-25 is aimed at filling a anti-surface capability gap. Why? What threat do the French foresee which requires high-speed surface maneuverability and the ability to ripple-launch ASMs from ambush?

In other words, could this be an attempt to market an anti-CVBG weapon on the world market?

15 posted on 05/24/2011 6:51:53 AM PDT by Jonah Hex ("To Serve Manatee" is a cookbook!)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

looks like something to light your BBQ

16 posted on 05/24/2011 7:00:10 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Jonah Hex

Sounds like it; that’s how I read the article.


17 posted on 05/24/2011 7:01:26 AM PDT by dangus
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To: null and void

That’s great!


18 posted on 05/24/2011 7:13:54 AM PDT by Travis McGee (Castigo Cay is on Kindle)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

I seem to remember our own testing of the X-shaped stern plane configuration on USS Albacore did not work so well.


19 posted on 05/24/2011 7:29:39 AM PDT by EricT. (I'm going to spend 68% more than I make this year- I hear it's the responsible thing to do..)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

A French pig boat? Is there room for a pastry compartment?


20 posted on 05/24/2011 7:44:41 AM PDT by WKUHilltopper (Fix bayonets!)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

How much does it cost?


21 posted on 05/24/2011 8:36:51 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: blueunicorn6

Indeed, it would seem to be extremely expensive for a patrol boat. I’d like to see this war-gamed against other weapons systems.


22 posted on 05/24/2011 8:47:21 AM PDT by Cincinnatus.45-70 (What do DemocRats enjoy more than a truckload of dead babies? Unloading them with a pitchfork!)
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To: ken5050
I don’t understand..designed for “high-speed runs ON the surface?”

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

23 posted on 05/24/2011 11:01:04 AM PDT by tophat9000 (Global Warming, undeniable truth; Obama, infallible genius; Apple perfect, invented everything)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
I know where they got the idea


24 posted on 05/24/2011 12:29:47 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Monarchy is the one system of government where power is exercised for the good of all - Aristotle)
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To: blueunicorn6

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.


25 posted on 05/24/2011 12:40:42 PM PDT by Fred Hayek (FUBO, the No Talent Pop Star pResident.)
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To: Jeff Head; Cincinnatus.45-70

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.


26 posted on 05/24/2011 12:43:57 PM PDT by Fred Hayek (FUBO, the No Talent Pop Star pResident.)
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