Project 75 India Diesel-electric Submarine Programs (SSK) : Updates and Discussions

dadeechi

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A US ally wants to buy Russian submarines — and the US is not OK with it

The US has been putting pressure on allies and partners to avoid purchasing Russian weapons systems. Turkey's interest in purchasing Russia's S-400 surface-to-air missile system recently tanked a deal for the acquisition of the F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter. The US has also issued warnings to India, Saudi Arabia, and others to reconsider plans to acquire Russian systems.

A US ally wants to buy Russian submarines — and the US is not OK with it
 
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dadeechi

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Who the hell cares what the US wants??
We will do whats best for our national interests just like we did with S 400 purchase.

Modi gave up on FGFA in favor of F-35 under pressure from the US.

Modi is buying NASMAS-II missile shield to get concession on S-400.
 

advaidhya

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With french submarines already 50% indigenised, India will go for french submarines only. After that, India will go for Indian submarines made in India fully. Imported submarines will have no more market in India, whether USA or Russia being the seller
 

Kvasir

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I like to imagine the Americans are asking India as though they're staging an intervention for an alcoholic. The Russians haven't built a decent submarine since the late-70s, early-80s.



French submarines are nice, India's relationship with France makes them a very appealing offer (just as French submarines lost to Germany's Type 212A due to Norway's relations with Germany), but they're not all they're cracked up to be either. Serviceable, but nothing special. They're still better then going for whatever garbage Russia needs India to finance due to the Russian Navy's diminishing budget.

Wouldn't touch Russian boats myself, other then with a destructor, might get tetanus
 

randomradio

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I like to imagine the Americans are asking India as though they're staging an intervention for an alcoholic. The Russians haven't built a decent submarine since the late-70s, early-80s.

French submarines are nice, India's relationship with France makes them a very appealing offer (just as French submarines lost to Germany's Type 212A due to Norway's relations with Germany), but they're not all they're cracked up to be either. Serviceable, but nothing special. They're still better then going for whatever garbage Russia needs India to finance due to the Russian Navy's diminishing budget.

Our officers have various opinions. The navy is split between using proven Russian the while the French subs have more modern man-machine interfacing. So, indeed, the Russians have lost a lot in that front.

But both sides agree that the Russian sub is more versatile. Primarily because the Russian sub will come with an 8-cell VLS for Brahmos whereas all other competing subs will come with torpedo-fired Brahmos.


There's also the option of using a DRDO supplied AIP for the Russian sub, since that's really the only aspect we should be worried about. We are doing that already with the Scorpene. And it will likely be the case that the Russian sub will come primarily with Indian sensors and CMS, like the upgraded Kilos.

So it's not an easy choice.

Compared to the advantages of VLS, and the possibility of Indian AIP and sensors on the Russian sub, the French advantage is that the Scorpene is already in production in India and will come with an Indian AIP.
 

Parthu

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Our officers have various opinions. The navy is split between using proven Russian the while the French subs have more modern man-machine interfacing. So, indeed, the Russians have lost a lot in that front.

But both sides agree that the Russian sub is more versatile. Primarily because the Russian sub will come with an 8-cell VLS for Brahmos whereas all other competing subs will come with torpedo-fired Brahmos.


There's also the option of using a DRDO supplied AIP for the Russian sub, since that's really the only aspect we should be worried about. We are doing that already with the Scorpene. And it will likely be the case that the Russian sub will come primarily with Indian sensors and CMS, like the upgraded Kilos.

So it's not an easy choice.

Compared to the advantages of VLS, and the possibility of Indian AIP and sensors on the Russian sub, the French advantage is that the Scorpene is already in production in India and will come with an Indian AIP.

The way procurement works in this country, as far as I understand, is that you need to simply meet the set technical requirements. If you meet them, you are shortlisted for the price bidding process where L1 and L2 are determined.

Whether you score any points over and above what the requirements call for has no effect on the shortlist or on the bidding process.

And AFAIK, the IN has no express intent to procure SSKs with VLS, it is not a requirement. So the fact that Russia offers an Amur model with VLS is not likely to get them placed any better with regard to the process. And as for VLS itself - it is unnecessary in my opinion. VLS only made sense if:

  • The BrahMos-NG which can fit inside of 533mm torpedo tubes was not being developed.
  • If the Nirbhay would not fit inside the same tubes.
  • If IN had an outstanding requirement for sea-based land attack capability which no current or future surface combatants are capable of fulfilling.
  • If we had not thought of converting the Arihant-class boats into SSGNs once the bigger SSBN class comes online and takes over deterrence patrols.

So there you have it - we don't need the VLS and the Russian sub is quite frankly inferior to Scorpene in most other parameters, including those that deal with reliability, life cycle cost, and allowing the customer to outfit customized equipment now or in future (where France is on par with Russians).

And one more thing - If France or UK with scope for global operations have no need of VLS on their attack subs, neither do we. Come to think about it, even the Russian Navy itself has no interest in procuring SSKs with VLS. The diesel subs which they used to attack targets in Syria fired Kalibrs from torpedo tubes.

Procuring additional Scorpenes (improved variants with MAREEM AIP, and incorporating Indian-made ASCMs and LACMs) makes every bit of sense, to me and to the IN from the looks of it. So if India buying Russian subs has US worried, I'd say they need not be cuz we're not buying any. Last one we bought was around 20 years ago and there doesn't seem to be any real scope for the future either.

Except of course the SSN leases, but technically that's not buying. :cool:
 

randomradio

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The way procurement works in this country, as far as I understand, is that you need to simply meet the set technical requirements. If you meet them, you are shortlisted for the price bidding process where L1 and L2 are determined.

Whether you score any points over and above what the requirements call for has no effect on the shortlist or on the bidding process.

And AFAIK, the IN has no express intent to procure SSKs with VLS, it is not a requirement. So the fact that Russia offers an Amur model with VLS is not likely to get them placed any better with regard to the process. And as for VLS itself - it is unnecessary in my opinion. VLS only made sense if:

  • The BrahMos-NG which can fit inside of 533mm torpedo tubes was not being developed.
  • If the Nirbhay would not fit inside the same tubes.
  • If IN had an outstanding requirement for sea-based land attack capability which no current or future surface combatants are capable of fulfilling.
  • If we had not thought of converting the Arihant-class boats into SSGNs once the bigger SSBN class comes online and takes over deterrence patrols.

So there you have it - we don't need the VLS and the Russian sub is quite frankly inferior to Scorpene in most other parameters, including those that deal with reliability, life cycle cost, and allowing the customer to outfit customized equipment now or in future (where France is on par with Russians).

And one more thing - If France or UK with scope for global operations have no need of VLS on their attack subs, neither do we. Come to think about it, even the Russian Navy itself has no interest in procuring SSKs with VLS. The diesel subs which they used to attack targets in Syria fired Kalibrs from torpedo tubes.

Procuring additional Scorpenes (improved variants with MAREEM AIP, and incorporating Indian-made ASCMs and LACMs) makes every bit of sense, to me and to the IN from the looks of it. So if India buying Russian subs has US worried, I'd say they need not be cuz we're not buying any. Last one we bought was around 20 years ago and there doesn't seem to be any real scope for the future either.

Except of course the SSN leases, but technically that's not buying. :cool:

The P-75I has asked for a Brahmos VLS. There is no confirmation from the French, but the Germans have offered their subs with Brahmos VLS as well. It's a different story whether it will actually work out in terms of costs. But the lack of VLS on Scorpene is a very big drawback. The idea is to use Brahmos-M.

Anyway, the IN's requirement is to have 2 different submarine lines. They want a P-75 and a P-75I line which will make 6 submarines each. And then both lines will later switch to making indigenous SSKs, 6 each. If this is what they are focused on in the new tender, then it's obvious the French will not win. Instead, the option of 3 more Scorpenes can be exercised, to allow for parallel induction alongside the 6 P-75I. Followed by the construction of the P76 after 2030 or so, with MDL taking over the lead deliveries.

In fact, MDL wasn't even considered as an option for SPM initially.
An Alternative Plan For P-75I, India’s Submarine Construction Program
...the IN has apparently long sought a design for P-75I that is different from the Scorpene-2000...

This is part of the original submarine plan from 1997.

And other Indian companies participating are obviously opposed to MDL's participation in the tender.
L&T opposes plan to give submarine project to Mazagon Dock

It's not a good idea at all to make PSUs take part in SPM contests, it defeats the entire purpose of the SPM. If the objective is to save money, then MDL must be chosen. And if the objective is to build capability for the future of the country, then MDL should not get the contract.

We will know what the IN wants once the RFP is out.
 

Parthu

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The P-75I has asked for a Brahmos VLS.

There is no need for full-size BrahMos on VLS anymore. All those plans were from before the NG development began.

Full-size BrahMos is an obsolete form factor for the capabilities it delivers. Especially when you are looking at a post-2020 platform.

There is no confirmation from the French, but the Germans have offered their subs with Brahmos VLS as well.

Never heard of it. Any source?

Never seen HDW/TKMS offering any new SSK with VLS. I saw a Saab-Kockums A26 with vertical launcher, but never a HDW model. Even the Dolphin class subs they built for Israel has no VLS despite them having to carry much smaller missiles than BrahMos.

It's a different story whether it will actually work out in terms of costs. But the lack of VLS on Scorpene is a very big drawback.

The whole concept of VLS on SSK was because we were unable to fit a missile with those capabilities in the torpedo tubes.

No one uses VLS on diesel subs. Even the SSNs of most countries don't have VLS (unless they are large, multi-purpose boats that are basically a cross between SSN and SSGN like Virginia-class).

Anyway, the IN's requirement is to have 2 different submarine lines. They want a P-75 and a P-75I line which will make 6 submarines each. And then both lines will later switch to making indigenous SSKs, 6 each. If this is what they are focused on in the new tender, then it's obvious the French will not win. Instead, the option of 3 more Scorpenes can be exercised, to allow for parallel induction alongside the 6 P-75I. Followed by the construction of the P76 after 2030 or so, with MDL taking over the lead deliveries.

In fact, MDL wasn't even considered as an option for SPM initially.
An Alternative Plan For P-75I, India’s Submarine Construction Program
...the IN has apparently long sought a design for P-75I that is different from the Scorpene-2000...

This is part of the original submarine plan from 1997.

And other Indian companies participating are obviously opposed to MDL's participation in the tender.
L&T opposes plan to give submarine project to Mazagon Dock

It's not a good idea at all to make PSUs take part in SPM contests, it defeats the entire purpose of the SPM. If the objective is to save money, then MDL must be chosen. And if the objective is to build capability for the future of the country, then MDL should not get the contract.

We will know what the IN wants once the RFP is out.

Having 2 (or even 3) diesel sub building lines is ok. But operating two very different types of SSKs with no commonality in tech or production infrastructure, both doing essentially the same roles is stupidity, a mistake we've been doing since before Soviet collapse when we started with the whole Western-Russian mix of subs.

The situation is still salvageable however, but only if we ensure that P-75I is an improved Scorpene with AIP, and also by ensuring P-76 has a lot in common with Scorpene design. P-76 should essentially be like an Indian Shortfin Barracuda.

The underlined part is that while it's alright (and well advised) that we should have minimum 2 lines building SSKs, we should ensure that both lines are essentially building the same submarine model.
 

randomradio

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There is no need for full-size BrahMos on VLS anymore. All those plans were from before the NG development began.

Full-size BrahMos is an obsolete form factor for the capabilities it delivers. Especially when you are looking at a post-2020 platform.

The IN had always asked for a Bhramos-M VLS, not Brahmos 1.

Never heard of it. Any source?

The Germans have offered VLS with their Type 216.

The whole concept of VLS on SSK was because we were unable to fit a missile with those capabilities in the torpedo tubes.

No one uses VLS on diesel subs.

Most diesel subs are very small and light, that's why they do not have VLS. But the sub we are asking for will be bigger, making it feasible to have VLS. So this is specific to our requirement. And not everybody has a medium to long range supersonic cruise missile to make effective use of the VLS anyway.

We need the ability to launch salvos towards CBGs, which we can't do with just torpedo tubes. The AShMs in torpedo tubes are generally meant to protect the sub from surface hunters, and are not meant for dedicated offensive operations for anti-shipping.

The utility of an SSK without VLS is significantly inferior to an SSK with VLS.

The new Korean KSS-III will have 10 VLS cells.

Having 2 (or even 3) diesel sub building lines is ok. But operating two very different types of SSKs with no commonality in tech or production infrastructure, both doing essentially the same roles is stupidity, a mistake we've been doing since before Soviet collapse when we started with the whole Western-Russian mix of subs.

This is a problem for small navies in richer countries where labour is very expensive, not for us. We are not restricted by the number of types, so don't think of trying to save money for strategic systems, it's pointless to think of these things. Even as far back as the 90s, the IN always planned to operate 3 different SSKs.

And since we import, our operation prices will be very similar, regardless of how many types we operate. It doesn't matter to us if we buy 12 German engines or 6 German and 6 French engines, all 12 subs will come with pretty much the same offer price. And any savings by going for one supplier for all 12 will only benefit the supplier, not us. The supplier will give you a tiny discount for the bigger order and then shaft you later on, so you won't have any savings in the end. What we have been doing throughout our history has always been the smart move.

The situation is still salvageable however, but only if we ensure that P-75I is an improved Scorpene with AIP,

The navy will likely have to give up on the VLS Brahmos then, if the Scorpene cannot be modified for VLS.

and also by ensuring P-76 has a lot in common with Scorpene design. P-76 should essentially be like an Indian Shortfin Barracuda.

Very bad idea. Why should our new sub be a re-hash of what will be an obsolete submarine by 2030, whether it be the Barracuda or the Scorpene? The P-76 should reflect its time. By the time the P-76 begins construction, the Scorpene and Barracuda will be 30+ year-old designs.

The underlined part is that while it's alright (and well advised) that we should have minimum 2 lines building SSKs, we should ensure that both lines are essentially building the same submarine model.

That won't happen from a business PoV. If we choose Scorpene, then MDL will win, and they will simply churn out subs from the same line.

If the navy really want to have their way, they can easily reject the Scorpene during tech evaluations. But then, there is a good chance the French will participate with the SMX Ocean anyway.
 

Parthu

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The IN had always asked for a Bhramos-M VLS, not Brahmos 1.

BrahMos-M (M standing for Mini) was the old name of BrahMos-NG.

This is the missile which delivers superior capabilities compared to Block-I/II BrahMos 1 and is capable of fitting inside torpedo tubes.

We do not need VLS for this missile. Or for Nirbhay. Or Klub/Kalibr (already use Klub SLCM from Kilo class).

The Germans have offered VLS with their Type 216.

No source? Never seen such a model.

Most diesel subs are very small and light, that's why they do not have VLS. But the sub we are asking for will be bigger, making it feasible to have VLS. So this is specific to our requirement.

The VLS does not come out of our requirement. It comes from a Russian offer (one which they don't use themselves). The only prerequisite for P-75I (aka the submarine Strategic Partnership Model program) is AIP.

And not everybody has a medium to long range supersonic cruise missile to make effective use of the VLS anyway.

The cruise missiles we will have will not need VLS.

We need the ability to launch salvos towards CBGs, which we can't do with just torpedo tubes. The AShMs in torpedo tubes are generally meant to protect the sub from surface hunters, and are not meant for dedicated offensive operations for anti-shipping.

What CBGs? Chinese sending an active CBG on a combat mission into IOR is at least 2-3 decades away (not counting trips for PR and showmanship). Even then it is suicide. The surface, air and land (A&N-based) anti-shipping capabilities we will have will far exceed sufficiency.

And torpedo tube-launched ASCMs can deliver enough of a punch even if we can replace 6-8 torpedos with ASCM containers (which is about what you will have on VLS anyway).

The new Korean KSS-III will have 10 VLS cells.

Only see 6 cells on the models.

This is a problem for small navies in richer countries where labour is very expensive, not for us. We are not restricted by the number of types, so don't think of trying to save money for strategic systems, it's pointless to think of these things. Even as far back as the 90s, the IN always planned to operate 3 different SSKs.

And since we import, our operation prices will be very similar, regardless of how many types we operate. It doesn't matter to us if we buy 12 German engines or 6 German and 6 French engines, all 12 subs will come with pretty much the same offer price. And any savings by going for one supplier for all 12 will only benefit the supplier, not us. The supplier will give you a tiny discount for the bigger order and then shaft you later on, so you won't have any savings in the end. What we have been doing throughout our history has always been the smart move.

This is not a question of labour alone. This is about the question of training said labour. About procuring & maintaining multiple different stocks of spares, infrastructure and support services. All this costs billions extra. And for what purpose? The two sub types essentially do the same roles.

You are asking us to engage in practices which even US Navy does not.

We do not have some endless source of money. Don't just look at our economy and GDP figures - also take a look at annual budget figures. That gives you the picture of where we stand with regard to first world countries. If we are not smart with the way we spend the money, we end up having little to spend on other things for IN.

Imagine how much money could have been saved if we hadn't ever bought the Kilo and just license built more Type 209s. And make no mistake - the reason why we bought Kilos was Soviet pressure, and IN was forced to adjust their outlook accordingly. Same reason why IAF was forced to buy so many different types of MiGs instead of additional Mirages which is what they wanted.

Gross waste of capital. Sure this is according to plan...according to Soviet plan. Not our's. We get no advantage with such disparity in operating types - and especially when there is no difference with regard to the role being fulfilled by said types.

The navy will likely have to give up on the VLS Brahmos then, if the Scorpene cannot be modified for VLS.

Navy already gave up on VLS the moment a BrahMos which can fit in torptubes was sanctioned for development.

Very bad idea. Why should our new sub be a re-hash of what will be an obsolete submarine by 2030, whether it be the Barracuda or the Scorpene? The P-76 should reflect its time. By the time the P-76 begins construction, the Scorpene and Barracuda will be 30+ year-old designs.

By 2030 Australia will still be taking deliveries of the first half of their order for Shortfins. Don't see how a submarine which will begin construction only in 2021 will be obsolete by 2030.

Anyway it won't be the same sub as what we operate today. There is space for significant improvements. And it will be infinitely superior to the S-26 class AIP SSK operated by PN by that time and any conventional Chinese boat.

Nonetheless the cutting-edge of IN will be our SSNs by that time anyhow.

That won't happen from a business PoV. If we choose Scorpene, then MDL will win, and they will simply churn out subs from the same line.

Let them. Give P-76 to L&T (they will build SSNs as well).

If the navy really want to have their way, they can easily reject the Scorpene during tech evaluations. But then, there is a good chance the French will participate with the SMX Ocean anyway.

If IN has their way they will want nothing except more Scorpenes (with AIP) under P-75I.
 

randomradio

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BrahMos-M (M standing for Mini) was the old name of BrahMos-NG.

This is the missile which delivers superior capabilities compared to Block-I/II BrahMos 1 and is capable of fitting inside torpedo tubes.

We do not need VLS for this missile. Or for Nirbhay. Or Klub/Kalibr (already use Klub SLCM from Kilo class).

We most definitely need VLS. The torpedo room can't hold enough missiles, nor can they fire off missiles, since the tubes have to be drained and filled with water with every reload. So there's a long reload cycle. VLS are all ready to fire.

No source? Never seen such a model.

No official source. Only from journalists like Jha.

The VLS does not come out of our requirement. It comes from a Russian offer (one which they don't use themselves). The only prerequisite for P-75I (aka the submarine Strategic Partnership Model program) is AIP.

VLS is going to be a common feature in future SSKs in serious navies. And the Koreans will have the first such subs, followed by India hopefully.

The cruise missiles we will have will not need VLS.

Yes, they do.

What CBGs? Chinese sending an active CBG on a combat mission into IOR is at least 2-3 decades away (not counting trips for PR and showmanship). Even then it is suicide. The surface, air and land (A&N-based) anti-shipping capabilities we will have will far exceed sufficiency.

The Chinese will have 4 carriers before 2025. They will have a CBG in our waters before our first sub even begins construction.

And torpedo tube-launched ASCMs can deliver enough of a punch even if we can replace 6-8 torpedos with ASCM containers (which is about what you will have on VLS anyway).

Not fast enough. And no salvo mode.

Only see 6 cells on the models.

Those are just models of Batch I. The VLS numbers will scale up with new batches, like we are doing with Arihant. So 10 in Batch II.

The Amur will come right away with 10 cells. We don't know much about the German and Swedish options yet, anywhere between 6 and 10 for them as well.

This is not a question of labour alone. This is about the question of training said labour. About procuring & maintaining multiple different stocks of spares, infrastructure and support services. All this costs billions extra. And for what purpose? The two sub types essentially do the same roles.

Regardless, to have 2 lines, we need new manpower trained and new facilities built anyway.

By the time we get to 2030, we will need 2 lines each of SSKs and SSNs. And three of those should belong to the private industry.

Maintaining different stocks is fine by us. We have multiple ship types also, and multiple bases. We will also have 3 entirely different carriers, which is more expensive than having 3 types of different SSKs. Scorpenes will be dedicated to the Western Fleet, while the P-75I will go to the Eastern Fleet, so it's not like we need duplication of facilities.

Do you know there was a plan to give HSL 1 submarine to build under the original P-75I, alongside 3 subs to MDL?

You are asking us to engage in practices which even US Navy does not.

What practice are you referring to? Imports?

We do not have some endless source of money. Don't just look at our economy and GDP figures - also take a look at annual budget figures. That gives you the picture of where we stand with regard to first world countries. If we are not smart with the way we spend the money, we end up having little to spend on other things for IN.

Then we will just get stuck with old stuff, like more Scorpenes that do not have VLS. This is not a smart thing to do.

Imagine how much money could have been saved if we hadn't ever bought the Kilo and just license built more Type 209s. And make no mistake - the reason why we bought Kilos was Soviet pressure, and IN was forced to adjust their outlook accordingly. Same reason why IAF was forced to buy so many different types of MiGs instead of additional Mirages which is what they wanted.

There was nothing wrong with the procurement. We were supposed to buy 2 more Type 209, but that didn't pan out, but this had nothing to do with the Soviets. It was always Type 209 and Kilos, just like Jaguar and Mig-27, M-2000 and Mig-29, Hunters and Su-7, and so on.

Gross waste of capital. Sure this is according to plan...according to Soviet plan. Not our's. We get no advantage with such disparity in operating types - and especially when there is no difference with regard to the role being fulfilled by said types.

There are major tactical advantages to having multiple types. It's a pain in the backside for the enemy to deal with.

Navy already gave up on VLS the moment a BrahMos which can fit in torptubes was sanctioned for development.

Tube launched Brahmos and VLS Brahmos are entirely different concepts.

If your sub gets VLS, it will be far superior to just subs with tube launched missiles, even if the missile is the same type. But you can have both tube launched Brahmos and VLS Brahmos on one sub.

By 2030 Australia will still be taking deliveries of the first half of their order for Shortfins. Don't see how a submarine which will begin construction only in 2021 will be obsolete by 2030.

The Barracuda hull was designed in the early 2000s. By the time we begin construction of our first P-76, which could be all the way in 2035, the Barracuda will be a 35 year old design. It's like claiming Su-35 is a modern design simply because it's being produced today.

If IN has their way they will want nothing except more Scorpenes (with AIP) under P-75I.

Nope. The navy itself created the requirement of a different sub for P-75I.

Handing over P75(I) submarine project to Mazagon will sound death-knell for private players
Former navy chief Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat said it was imperative for the government to include private players in defence manufacturing. “I am shocked at the decision. During my tenure I had drawn up a 30-year plan and given it to (the then) Defence Minister. In India, very sadly, the Ministry of Defence and its procurement team hardly understand their business,” Bhagwar told BTVI.

The IN's 30-year submarine plan was signed under his name.

By our standards, even the Scorpene will be outdated by the time the P-75I starts production and the first sub is delivered. In fact, without AIP, it was already outdated when construction began. So it's ridiculous to base our future sub requirements on something that old even with the new AIP, let alone the P-76, which will consider the P-75I outdated by then. You always move up the value chain, because the enemy is doing the same.

The Scorpene is like the M-2000, while the SMX Ocean is like the Rafale. But we will know what the IN wants only when the RFP is out.
 

Kvasir

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Very bad idea. Why should our new sub be a re-hash of what will be an obsolete submarine by 2030, whether it be the Barracuda or the Scorpene? The P-76 should reflect its time. By the time the P-76 begins construction, the Scorpene and Barracuda will be 30+ year-old designs.

What makes a submarine obsolete? We've been using the same submarines going on thirty years and, despite Russian and American advancements in anti-submarine warfare, are still considered among the best around today, a rival for most AIP boats. Overtime they've become more quiet, able to operate in a wider array of waters, been outfitted with newer electronics and weapons like IDAS and NSM and have continued to evolve, despite little changes to the hulls themselves. What suddenly makes them obsolete as they approach 30 years in service?

This pic's pretty cool for what it shows. Can anyone guess what that is that's unique to these boats?


None of this is theoretical, we pit our subs against the most sophisticated MPAs, submarines and ASW vessels Europe and North American have to offer on a regular basis. And the Russians have given us a lot of practical experience of their own.



Submarine hull design age doesn't mean much. Though newer, the Type 214 is considered a downgrade of the Type 212. It's what's inside of each that makes the biggest difference. That's what's allowed the Ula class to remain effective despite approaching the end of its service life.





For submarines tactics are more important. Knowing the waters, where to hide, it's these that turn a near thirty year old design like Sweden's Gotland into vaunted "carrier killers".



Allows the 40 year old Ohio to remain the backbone of American nuclear deterrence.



And what keeps the 60 year old Type 207 in Russian minds in the Baltic where its small size and modern sensors allow it to operate in waters that would beach nearly any other vessel.





What specifically, in your mind, makes a submarine obsolete. Because working with underwater systems has shaped for me a different view.
 
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