Blekinge, Barracuda, Taigei: how do modern conventional submarines perform? - 2nd part

According to the staff of the American Navy, submarines represent today the best response to the rise of certain naval powers, citing China in particular. It is true that in Asia the number of submarines in service in the various navies to more than quadrupled in 20 years, and that all major navies are engaged in the renewal or even the extension of their submarine fleet. In the second part of this article intended to present the submarines with conventional propulsion which enter service today, or will do so in the years to come, we will present the last 5 models of this panel, classified in alphabetical order according to their country of conception.

France: Model Shortfin Barracuda

Of all the submarines featured here, Naval Group's Shortfin Barracuda is unique in more than one way: it is the only conventionally powered submarine to be derived from a nuclear submarine, and the only one to have, in fact, many of the attributes specific to this type of ship. Indeed, the Shortfin Barracuda, and its Australian version the Attack class, derive from the new class of Nuclear Attack Submarine (SSN) Suffren, whose first eponymous unit is currently completing its trials in the Mediterranean with a view to entering service in the coming months in the French Marine National. 6 units have been ordered by France to replace its 6 first generation SSN of the Rubis / Amethyste class, the last unit due to enter service in 2028.

The Suffren, the first unit of the eponymous class, is completing its sea trials and should soon enter service in the French Navy

The Shortfin Barracuda has retained many of the attributes of the initial Barracuda, in particular its optimized hydrodynamics, its propulsion using a "Pump-Jet" to prevent cavitation noises around the propeller, its Saint-André cross dive bars, as well as its imposing dimensions, with a length of 97m and a underwater displacement of 4500 tons. In fact, the Shortfin is designed, like its big brother, to go fast, and even very fast for a submarine with conventional propulsion. This is what, it seems, made the difference for the Royal Australian Navy, the Shortfin being designed to move silently at speeds of up to 12 to 15 knots, triple that of its German and Japanese rivals.

However, for Australia, and its immense maritime domain, speed is an essential factor, and the strategy of hunting on the prowl, acclaimed by conventional NATO submarines in the Baltic, North Sea and Mediterranean. , cannot be applied effectively to the hearings of the Pacific bordering the island continent. What is more, if the Japanese, South Korean or Indian submarines have the potential to face Chinese AIP Type 39A / B submarines, or maybe Russian 636.3, the Australian ships, for their part, will have to high probability to confront nuclear-powered submarines, such as the Chinese Shang-class Type 09III, or the Akula and other Russian Anteys, capable of bursts of speed much greater than that of any conventional conventional submarine.

The Shortfin Barracuda of the Attack class will be equipped with a pump-jet just like the SNA Suffren and the SSBN le Triomphant français, making it possible to reduce the noise of the propeller at high speed

Due to its imposing size, the Shortfin has a great underwater range , thanks in particular to its latest generation batteries, and a carrying capacity of weapons and systems that is beyond comparison with other conventional submarines. It will thus have no less than 28 anti-submarine torpedoes, or a mix of torpedoes, anti-ship missiles and cruise missiles, with an autonomy at sea of ​​80 days, for a crew of 60 men. Australian submersibles will benefit from a combat system developed by Lockheed-Martin, and sonar developed by Thales UK. The first copy will enter service in the early 2030s. The model is also offered by Naval Group in the Netherlands to replace its Walrus class submarines, with some technological additions, again exclusive.

Japan: Taigei class

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