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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Defence to buy equipment off the shelf

AUSTRALIA will buy a growing proportion of its military equipment ready-made from overseas as a way of ensuring that multi-billion dollar purchases are delivered on time and on budget, according to Defence secretary Ian Watt. 

Collins class Drawing

Dr Watt said recent success stories such as the trouble-free purchase of C-17 heavy airlifter aircraft and Abrams tanks from the US had convinced Defence that so-called off-the-shelf military purchases from overseas were a viable, cost-effective way of funding future Defence capability.

"I think there is a greater appreciation of the benefits of off-the-shelf (purchases)," he told The Weekend Australian in his first interview since becoming Defence secretary on August 31.

"We didn't have off-the-shelf success stories (in the past) but now we do,' he said.

Dr Watt's comments confirm a steady sea-change in Defence thinking away from Australian-based programs such as the failed modifications to the navy's Seasprite helicopters which forced the government to write off the entire $1.2 billion project.

However, greater emphasis on overseas purchases is likely to alarm the nation's $5bn defence industry which is hoping to reap lucrative contracts from the $100bn-plus defence equipment program outlined in this year's Defence white paper.

"There is a concern (in the defence industry) to the extent that you don't want a mindset in the defence bureaucracy that automatically buys off the shelf," said John O'Callaghan, executive officer of the peak defence industry body, the Australian Industry Group Defence Council.

"You want careful analysis of the reasons for buying off the shelf and the costs and benefits of doing so."
Dr Watt said the decision to buy off-the-shelf military equipment would be made on a case-by-case basis, but he would like to see the balance tilt towards buying ready-made equipment from overseas. "The issue we have as an organisation is, yes, to make more use of off the shelf, but some things you can get off the shelf and some things you can't.'

Defence has traditionally found itself facing the greatest blowout in costs when it invests in development defence projects, such as the F-111 strike bomber in the 1960s, the Collins Class submarine project in the 1980s, and the current Joint Strike Fighter project and Wedgetail early warning aircraft projects which are both late and over budget.

Although the government has said it will construct the next generation of submarines in Australia, it is unclear how much Australian input there will be to the design, weaponry, communication and combat systems of the new boats.

Collins launch

The decision to build the Collins Class submarines from scratch resulted in a sub-standard combat system, unreliable main engines, noisy machinery, cracked propeller blades, poor communications and a problem-plagued periscope.

Dr Watt said the $2bn C-17 purchase and the $500 million Abrams tanks order, which were both delivered on time and on budget, had convinced Defence it could buy off the shelf successfully.
"Replicate these and the balance shifts," he said. "(The debate) becomes, `why wouldn't you buy off the shelf?" (Original News)

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Navy to get three CN-235 surveillance aircraft

The Defense Ministry signed a contract Friday with state aircraft producer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (DI) to procure three CN-235-220 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) for the Navy to be delivered in two years.

The US$80 million contract was signed by PT DI president director Budi Santoso and the director general of defense facilities at the ministry Vice Marshal Eris Herryanto at the closing ceremony of a national workshop to revitalize the Indonesian defense industry.

Attending the ceremony were Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro, State Minister for State Enterprises Mustafa Abubakar, Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Djoko Santoso, and National Police deputy chief Comr. Gen. Makbul Padmanegara.

The officials signed a joint agreement on using domestic defense industry products to fulfill TNI and National Police needs.

“We are committed to procure domestic weapon systems,” Purnomo said.

Meanwhile, Budi said in a  media statement that the patrol aircraft had sensors to carry out surveillance and targeting missions. They are also ready for future anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

“The three aircraft are the first batch of six needed to fulfill a Minimum Essential Force concept while ideally the Navy should have 16 patrol aircraft,” he said.

Navy chief spokesman Commodore Iskandar Sitompul told The Jakarta Post the Navy currently was operating three smaller NC-212 MPA, procured from PT DI in 2007.

The Air Force also operates a CN-235-220 MPA similar to the Navy’s.

When asked whether there would be overlapping missions between the Navy and the Air Force, Navy chief of staff Vice Adm. Agus  Suhartono said it was not the case.

“Our aircraft missions are more tactical such as for firing and acquiring target data [for our warships],” he told the Post at the sideline of the ceremony.

“Meanwhile, the Air Force missions are more strategic.”

Budi said while both Navy and Air Force versions used French-made Thales systems, they have different specifications.

“The Navy version is looking downward with its sensors on the belly of the aircraft while the Air Force version is looking upward with its sensors in the nose of the aircraft,” he told the Post.

“The Navy version is capable of, tracing small contacts on the sea surface such as the retracted periscope of a submarine, while the Air Force is capable of tracing aircraft.”

Budi said the Air Force’ CN-235-220 MPA managed to track an Australian P-3C Orion surveillance aircraft well inside Indonesian territorial waters during a test flight along Java’s  southern coast.

He added another reason to have the French Thales system for the Navy’s patrol aircraft was so they could communicate with four Dutch-made SIGMA corvettes which are also using the Thales system.

PT DI is currently working on four CN-235-110 MPAs for the South Korean Coast Guard in a contract worth $96 million and is involved in upgrading Turkish CN-235s  for maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare roles in a contract worth $30 million.

Meanwhile, state shipbuilder PT PAL Indonesia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with state oil and gas producer PT Pertamina to design, construct, maintain and repair vessels.

The MoU was signed by PAL president director Harsusanto and Pertamina president director Karen Agustiawan.

“It is Pertamina’s commitment to develop synergy between state-owned enterprises with a mutual benefits principle,” Karen said.(Original News)
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Scientists ready for Centaur search

It was an Australian wartime disaster of incredible loss, and so close to home.
The sinking of the Australian Hospital Ship (AHS) Centaur off Brisbane was in fact one of the nation's worst maritime disasters.
A total of 268 non-combatants died when Centaur was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-177 in May 1943.
After 36 hours clinging to wreckage, 64 people were rescued.
The Centaur has never been found.
But a group of scientists and explorers, armed with millions of dollars worth of equipment, are making preparations to search an area more than 59km wide, 30km east of Moreton Island.
The ship is believed to be in up to 4000m of water on rough, sloping terrain.
Leading the charge will be the Seahorse Spirit, a 72m multi-purpose vessel normally hired for training by the navy.
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Behind the scenes on a nuclear submarine

 Trident subs are 30 yards longer than a football pitch

Beneath the oceans of the world, somewhere, silently and undetected, lies a British submarine carrying 16 nuclear tipped ballistic missiles and up to 160 men.
Its role is very straightforward: to maintain a constant readiness to unleash nuclear retaliation if the order ever comes.
The aim: to deter any pre-emptive attack on the United Kingdom.
The Royal Navy has four of these Vanguard class boats and one always has to be cruising the depths to provide a "continuous at-sea deterrent", the argument being that a weapon based on land would be too vulnerable to a surprise attack.
The vessels themselves are huge. Thirty yards longer than a football pitch, or 18 double-decker busses long.
HMS Vengeance is part of the United Kingdom's independent Nuclear deterrent, armed with 16 Trident II D-5 missiles carrying nuclear warheads of varying firepower.

Elite crew
But if the technology of both submarine and missiles are remarkable and very different from other branches of armed forces, then so is the crew.
They see themselves as the Navy's elite, the Dolphins on their uniform as prized as a paratrooper's wings.
As they rehearse their launch drill, the uniqueness of their role in the British armed forces becomes apparent as the guardians of the nation's nuclear arsenal.
Virtually incommunicado for three months at a time, each sailor receives only two 60-word "family grams" a week to which he cannot reply.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

New Russian missile failure sparks UFO frenzy

Russia's new nuclear-capable missile suffered another failed test launch, the defence ministry said Thursday, solving the mystery of a spectacular plume of white light that appeared over Norway.

The Bulava missile was test-fired from the submarine Dmitry Donskoi in the White Sea early Wednesday but failed at the third stage, the defence ministry said in a statement.

The pre-dawn morning launch coincided with the appearance of an extraordinary light over northern Norway that captivated observers.

Images of the light that appeared in the sky above the Norwegian city of Tromso and elsewhere prompted explanations ranging from a meteor, northern lights, a failed missile or even a UFO.

Describing the latest failure of the Bulava as a major embarrassment for the military, leading Russian defence analyst Pavel Felgenhauer said the images were consistent with a missile failure.

"Such lights and clouds appear from time to time when a missile fails in the upper layers of the atmosphere and have been reported before," he told AFP.

"At least this failed test made some nice fireworks for the Norwegians," he joked.

The White Sea, which is the usual site for such missile tests by Russian submarines, lies close to Norway's own Arctic region.

This was the 12th test launch of the Bulava and the seventh time the firing has ended in failure, the Interfax news agency said.

The submarine-launched missile is central to Russia's plan to revamp its ageing weapons arsenal but is beset by development problems.
"The first two stages of the rocket worked but in the final and third stage there was a technical failure," the defence ministry said in a statement.

The statement said the problem was with the engine in the third stage, while in past launches the first stage had been faulty.

The problems with the Bulava have become an agonising issue for the defence ministry, which has ploughed a large proportion of its procurement budget into ensuring the missile becomes the key element of its rocket forces.

The previous failure in July forced the resignation of Yury Solomonov, the director of the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology which is responsible for developing the missile.

Felgenhauer said that it had dealt a serious blow to Russia's bid to maintain a credible nuclear deterrent.

"By the year 2030, Russia could lose its position as a global nuclear power if the problems are not solved. And it could be that these missiles will never fly properly.
"The Russian defence industry has disintegrated to such an extent that it simply cannot make such a complicated system work. Technology and expertise have been lost," he said.

The problems are also a major political embarrassment, coming as Russia negotiates with the United States the parameters of a new arms reduction treaty to replace the 1991 START accord.

The treaty expired on December 5, and despite intense negotiations the two sides have yet to agree the text of a new deal.

In a separate development, a successful test-firing took place of Russia's intercontinental surface-to-surface ballistic missile Topol RS-12M, news agencies quoted a statement from the strategic rocket forces as saying.

The missile -- introduced to the rocket forces before the fall of the Soviet Union -- was fired from the southern Russian region of Astrakhan and hit its target at a testing range in neighbouring Kazakhstan.
The Bulava, which can be equipped with up to 10 individually targeted nuclear warheads, has a maximum range of 8,000 kilometres (5,000 miles).

It is the sea-based version of the Topol-M, Russia's new surface-to-surface intercontinental missile, and designed to be launched from Moscow's newest Borei class of submarines.
Defence analysts say that a further headache for the military is that the new submarines are designed to be compatible with Bulava and if the new missile fails to work the vessels will be virtually useless.
(Original News)

UFO-like lights over Norway 'not linked' to failed Russian missile on You Tube 
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Bagaimana Kapal Selam Berkerja?

Kapal selam merupakan sebuah wahana yang unik karena bisa mengapung dan menyelam di air sesuai kebutuhan, pembuatan kapal selam pertama kali di gunakan untuk keperluan perang dan masih berbentuk sangat sederhana ( turtle). Namun pada masa sekarang selain untuk perang, kapal selam juga di gunakan sebagai wahana rekreasi dan juga penelitian bawah air (ocean research). Ada pertanyaan menarik dari seorang teman saya beberapa waktu lalu, yaitu bagaimana cara sebuah kapal selam yang beratnya berton ton bisa menyelam. Pertanyaan menarik. Kalau masalah mengapung kita pasti tahu bahwa Hukum Archimedes (+250 sebelum Masehi) adalah jawabannya "Jika suatu benda dicelupkan ke dalam sesuatu zat cair, maka benda itu akan mendapat tekanan keatas yang sama besarnya dengan beratnya zat cair yang terdesak oleh benda tersebut". Dan itu berlaku pada setiap kapal konvensional. Sedangkan untuk menyelam kapal selam memakai Hukum Boyle dan Hukum Boayancy (pengapungan).

Kapal selam di desain memiliki tanki balast (trim), Tanki balast berfungsi menyimpan udara dan air, letaknya berbeda beda tergantung biro desain yang merancangnya.Untuk awalnya saya akan memberi visualisasi gambar potongan kapal selam seperti yang terlihat di bawah ini:

gambar atas merupakan gambar potongan sebuah kapal selam


gambar diatas menunjukkan kapal selam pada mode mengapung


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Abu Dhabi Is Seeking Stake in HDW Submarine Maker

Abu Dhabi MAR Group is considering taking a stake of less than 25 percent in ThyssenKrupp AG’s HDW submarine-building unit, which supplies navies in Europe, the Middle East and other regions, the German government said.
“The government is aware” of Abu Dhabi MAR’s interest in HDW, Economy Ministry spokeswoman Beatrix Brodkorb told reporters in Berlin today. Abu Dhabi MAR is seeking a 24.9 percent stake in Kiel, Germany-based Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft GmbH, known as HDW, Handelsblatt newspaper reported earlier today.
The proposed stake would add to the Abu Dhabi shipbuilding group’s partnership with Essen-based ThyssenKrupp, the German steelmaker and shipbuilder that’s selling assets and reducing staff to trim debt and return to profit. ThyssenKrupp spokeswoman Anja Gerber declined to comment and phone calls to Abu Dhabi MAR went unanswered after business hours. (More)

US, Russia closing in on nuclear agreement

The United States and Russia said they were closing in on asuccessor arms reduction treaty that would further slash their nucleararsenals and put their relations on a more solid footing.

"We're getting closer," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs toldreporters here, asked about the prospect for an agreement to replacethe 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). "We're optimisticthat we can get one."

Earlier in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov assured "the agreement will be signed soon."

The former Cold War foes sounded confident notes just days afterthe START treaty expired with no agreement on a replacement despiteintense negotiations to hammer out an accord under guidelines USPresident Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev setin July.

The presidents set as a goal slashing the number of warheads oneither side to between 1,500 and 1,675 and the number of "carriers"capable of delivering them to between 500 and 1,100.

The United States has said it currently has some 2,200 nuclear warheads, while Russia is believed to have about 3,000.

"We are two decades beyond the fall of the Berlin Wall, and stillthe United States and Russia deploy more than 2,000 nuclear weapons,many of which are on a high alert status and most of these weaponsexist simply to deter their use by the other country," said ArmsControl Association executive director Daryl Kimball.

"Obviously, the deal should be done well, but it needs to be done. This is a long overdue step."

US arms control experts said the intricacies of verificationmeasures were likely holding up an agreement rather than anyfundamental differences between the two sides.

They predicted negotiators would clinch an accord within weeks, ifnot days. The Russian daily Kommersant cited Russian officials Mondayas saying they wanted an agreement by December 18.

None of the issues before the negotiators are "particularly hard,or particularly deal breakers," said Linton Brooks, the chief USnegotiator of the START treaty.

Brooks, who also served under the previous administration of GeorgeW. Bush, noted that it took the United States and the Soviet Union fouryears to negotiate the START treaty, "and essentially all of that timewas verification."

"Now, (that was a) more complicated treaty, greater suspicion,scenarios we don't worry about any more. Nonetheless, it suggests thatwhat stretches this out is verification."

Particularly troublesome was how to count each side's nuclear warheads and verify any agreed reductions.

The START treaty does not provide a precedent because it countedonly delivery systems, not warheads, and assumed that each bomber,intercontinental missile and submarine carried the maximum number ofweapons.

SSBN Ohio Class


The actual number of warheads that each side possesses is believedto be significantly lower than accounted for under START. And the newtreaty is designed to measure the actual forces.

"So either you have to have all new attribution rules, or you haveto say, 'No, what we're going to count is real, no joke warheads.' Andthen you have to have a way to verify it," Brooks said.

"It's not that there's any blinding new breakthrough that isnecessary, but drafting the procedures to verify not the maximumnumber, but the actual number will be time consuming."

Russian reports have suggested that the hang-up was Russian demandsthat the United States end its continuous monitoring of Russia'sleading missile production plant in Votkinsk, about 360 miles (580kilometers) north of Moscow.

But Brooks said continuous monitoring at Votinsk no longer served auseful purpose, and the Bush administration had previously concluded itdid not want to preserve it.

The United States wants to maintain other START verificationmeasures, however, including those requiring notification andtransparency about missile tests, he said.(Original News)

Failed Russian missile visible over Northern Norway

UPDATED: This unique photo taken in Northern Norway shows a Russian intercontinental missile flying into a spiral before it exploded in the atmosphare early Wednesday morning. The missile was most likely yet another failed test launch of a Bulava missile from the Typhoon submarine "Dmitri Donskoy" in the White Sea area.

Light seen from Kvænangen in Troms at 07.49 Wednesday morning (Photo Dagfinn Rapp)

The giant spiral shaped light that could be seen in the eastern sky for several minutes on Wednesday morning was probably caused by a failed missile launch from the White Sea, several Norwegian space and defense experts believe. Interviewed by the Norwegian TV2, an anonymous Russian military source says it was failed launch of a Bulava missile from a submarine in the White Sea Wednesday morning. Researcher at the Tromsø Geophysical Observatory Truls Lynne Hansen is certain that the light was caused by a missile launch: - The missile has probably come out of control and exploded.

The peculiar spiral shaped light pattern comes from reflection of the sun in the leaking fuel, he said to Aftenposten. Spokesman in the Norwegian Defense Jon Espen Lien says that the Norwegian Defense does not know for sure what the light was, but that it probably was a Russian missile: - It is quite normal that Russia uses the White Sea and the Barents Sea as testing grounds for weapons. The failed missile launch that was visible over large areas in Northern Norway are now making headlines world-wide. The Russian TV-internet site Russia Today had a news storry late Wednesday evening under the headline "UFO-show in Norway sky welcomes Obama for Nobel Prize ceremony."

According to NRK, Arkhangelsk Radio sent out an advance warning about several missile launches from the White Sea in the period December 7-10.The warning included launches on the night to Wednesday. An anonymous source in the Northern Fleet told Norwegian news paper VG that they had no information about the incident. Press Attaché at Russia’s Embassy in Oslo Vladimir Isupov did neither have any that could explain the light phenomenon over Northern Norway. On the morning of November 1, another strange light phenomenon was visible in the sky from large areas of the northern parts of Norway. This incident also caused commotion and many creative explanations to the light were given on different discussion boards.

The light was caused by a launch of a Sineva missile from the nuclear submarine “Bryansk” in White Sea, as reported by BarentsObserver. According to a warning about rocket launching in the White Sea, navigation is prohibited in the southern parts of the sea until December 15. The Bulava missile test Wednesday morning has been rescheduled several times. Last Bulava test from the submarine "Dmitri Donskoy" on July 15. That test failed and the missile self-destructed soon after launch due to a defective steering system in its first stage. Next test -launch was slated for November 24, as reported by BarentsObserver, but was then postponded. - Because of the need for coordination of several questions – including technical questions, between the producers and the Russian Ministry of Defence, the test-launch will only be conducted at the end of the year, a source told RIA Novosti.

The test was then re-scheduled to the end of December. But then, the test took place on Wednesday December 9th. With the population of Northern Norway as eyewitnesses, Wednesday's test was the seventh failed launch out of 13. The Bulava missile is designed for the “Borei” class submarines, the fourth generation nuclear subs, the first of which are now being tested in Severodvinsk, Arkhangelsk Oblast. The vessel “Yury Dolgoruky” will be the flagship in the Russian submarine fleet. Another two vessels of the kind is under construction in the yard (@barentsobserver).

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Labour campaign targets BAE Systems Barrow

THE LABOUR party is appealing to shipyard workers ahead of next year’s General Election.

The Barrow branch of the party has sent leaflets to thousands of Barrow BAE workers claiming only Labour is committed to building a new generation of Trident missile submarines that will keep the yard busy into the 2030s.

Labour has seized on an admission the Conservative defence team is considering the option of refitting the existing Vanguard class submarines instead of building new vessels if they win the election.

The hard-hitting Labour leaflet turns round a slogan that the Conservatives used to devastating effect against Labour in the 1980s – ‘If you vote Labour on Thursday, what will the lads do on Monday?’.

In the 1983 general election Conservative candidate Cecil Franks triumphed after he taunted Labour members of the anti-Trident lobby with the jobs mantra in the shipyard.

But 26 years later, Labour prospective parliamentary candidate John Woodcock has turned the tables.

He claims it is only Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown who has given a firm commitment to build the successor class submarines.

Mr Woodcock told the Evening Mail: “Every family in Furness needs to know the truth about the lack of commitment from the Conservatives to building new boats – I think it is a real shame that they are trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes by pretending there is no problem.

“The local Tories say that their party is committed to maintaining Trident – but Conservative high command down in London have admitted that their commitment may only extend to patching up the existing Vanguard class subs.

Vanguard Class

“That would mean scrapping the entire successor programme, devastating the shipyard and throwing thousands of people out of work.”

As evidence, the Labour leaflet cites a spokeswoman for Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox, who told The Times on September 11 the Conservatives may have to consider refitting the Vanguard boats rather than building the successor boats.

But the Tory leader in Barrow, Councillor Jack Richardson, dismissed the Labour leaflets and said the party had been pushing the same old line for months.

He said: “This was going around the town soon after John Woodcock was selected. It has been going round different places.

“The shipyard workers are more sensible than Labour give them credit for.

“They know who has ordered ships and submarines over the last 20 years and it certainly has not been Labour.”

He said if there turned out to be a need to extend the life of the existing Barrow-built Vanguard class it would only be because Labour had delayed getting the successor programme going.

Cllr Richardson said since the Liam Fox interview William Hague had been to Barrow and declared the Tories were committed to the new submarines and to building them in Barrow.

He said: “David Cameron and William Hague, have both said we are committed to nuclear deterrence by submarines and these submarines will be built in Barrow.”

Around 150 designers and engineers from BAE, the Ministry of Defence and other organisations, are currently working on designs for the Trident successor submarine programme in Barrow. (Original News)

Fincantieri Starts Construction of New U212A-Class Submarine for the Italian Navy

Today at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Muggiano there was the ceremony to celebrate the cutting of the first sheeting – marking the start-up of construction of the first of the second pair of class U212A “Todaro” submarines, ordered by the Central Unit for Naval Armament – NAVARM for the Italian Navy. Scheduled for delivery in 2015 and 2016 the Navy has earmarked these vessels to replace the “Prini” and the “Pelosi” submarines (“Sauro” classe– third series), built at the end of the 1980s.

Present at the ceremony were, beside Fincantieri’s representative, Admiral Dino Nascetti, General Director of NAVARM.

Construction of the two submarines is the continuation of a program which started in 1994 in cooperation with the German Submarine Consortium, which led to two submarines being built for Italy – the “Todaro” and the “Scirè”, delivered by Fincantieri in 2006 and 2007 respectively – and four submarines for Germany.
At an overall length of 56 metres, the vessels will have a surface displacement of 1,450 tons and a maximum diameter of 7 metres and be able to reach a submerged speed of 20 knots with a crew of 24. As the other submarines in the series, this new submarine will feature highly innovative technological solutions and will be entirely built employing amagnetic materials, applying the latest silencing devices in order to reduce its acoustic signature. The vessel will be equipped with a silent propulsion system based on fuel cell technology, producing energy through an oxygen-hydrogen reaction independently from external oxygen, ensuring a submerged range three to four times higher than the conventional battery-based systems. It will also feature a fully integrated electro-acoustic and weapon-control system, and a modern platform automation system.

The first two submarines of this type delivered by Fincantieri are already successfully at work within the fleet of the Italian Navy. Indeed, on the first December the “Scirè" returned to Taranto having participated in CONUS ’09 - an intense naval campaign in the Atlantic with the US Navy while in the summer the “Todaro” was also engaged in a similar mission within the framework of NATO manoeuvres. This submarine is at present anchored at Fincantieri’s Muggiano yard for scheduled maintenance to be carried out by Fincantieri which has recently also been tasked with managing the vessel’s life support program.

Commenting, Fincantieri’s Chief Executive Officer, Giuseppe Bono, said: “Continuation of this program with the Navy benefits both our national defence and our industry. These submarines constitute state-of the-art for the sector, our country cannot not afford to lose the know-how needed to work in such a high tech field.” (More)

The Bulava missile saga

The December 9, 2009 test of the RSM-56 Bulava (SS-NX-30) submarine-launched ballistic missile has failed, said the Russian Defense Ministry. There have been 12 other test flights since December 2003.

Without going into technical details, which must be clarified by experts, we must now assess the entire project's status and the implications of the latest abortive test on the future development of Russia's strategic nuclear forces.

The decision to develop the Bulava missile was adopted in 1998 when Moscow's Institute of Thermal Technology was directed to develop an advanced missile system for the Russian navy.
Institute management claimed that it could promptly develop a new ballistic missile based on the Topol M (SS-27 Sickle B) intercontinental ballistic missile, for the Russian navy. This concept was expected to simplify the deployment of the naval component of Russia's strategic nuclear forces and to require less maintenance costs.

Although it is hard to say who initiated such drastic changes, the press claims that Yury Solomonov, director of the Institute of Thermal Technology, Major-General Vladimir Dvorkin, director of the Defense Ministry's Fourth Central Research Institute, Navy Commander Fleet Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, the then Defense Minister Marshal Igor Sergeyev, Economics Minister Yakov Urinson and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, are responsible for this.

It was decided to deploy the new Bulava missiles aboard the Project 955 Borei class and Project 955A Borei-A class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.
The first submarine of the class, the Yury Dolgoruky, is currently undergoing sea trials. Another two submarines are under construction, and the keel of the fourth Borei class submarine is to be laid before New Year's Eve.

Initial tests of the new missile and its first images revealed that the Bulava will have little in common with the Topol-M. The Bulava was completely different in terms of its appearance, dimensions and warhead lay-out. Nevertheless, the plan had gone too far to back out.

Eleven full-fledged flight tests were conducted between September 27, 2005 and December 9, 2009. Only three launches, specifically the first, second and eighth, were deemed fully successful. Two other launches were rated partially successful.

Facilitating due control over missile component production and ready-made missile assembly, rather than project funding, is the main problem. Moreover, the companies involved require skilled, well-paid workers. However, wage raises alone cannot boost missile quality.

More expensive missiles would be manufactured, unless other measures are implemented.
Some experts think it would be appropriate to upgrade the Bulava missile and to hold a tender for another missile system, due to be installed aboard Project 955 submarines. In their opinion, the program should involve several leading design bureaus, and the most promising project should be implemented.

This would make it possible to develop another missile system for replacing the Bulava if its reliability is not improved.

Russia's president, who oversees the state of the Armed Forces as Commander-in-Chief, would be expected to personally monitor the program because this will ensure due supervision.
The project managers involved should be held personally liable in case of failure because material incentives are ineffective and because resignations no longer scare anyone.

Nuclear-tipped missiles largely facilitate national defense capability. Since the end of World War II and the break-up of the Soviet Union, too many high-ranking officials and production workers have become accustomed to the fact that resignations are the ultimate punishment for incompetence and mismanagement.

Obviously, this concept must be changed with regard to logistics support of the strategic nuclear forces, to say the least, because the price of possible mistakes is becoming too high.(Original News)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Testing of nuclear submarine in Arctic waters

The strategic nuclear Delta-IV class submarine K-18 “Kareliya” has returned from its second sea trial in the White Sea following modernization to improve its tactical and technical performance.

Submarine Kareliya (Photo

This was the second successful round of a total of three planned sea trials, Zvezdochka Shipyard’s press service reports, according to ARMS-TASS. The submarine is planned to be returned to the Northern Fleet before the end of the year.

The submarine has been at the Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk, Arkahangelsk Oblast, since October 2004. The modernization has prolonged the submarine’s lifetime with approximately ten years and improved its tactical and technical performance considerably.

According to Wikipedia, “Kareliya” is one of seven Delta-IV class nuclear submarines built from 1985 to 1992. All are still in service in the Russian navy today. Five submarines have already gone through modernization at the Zvezdochka shipyard.

After the modernization the submarine’s main weapon system is the Sineva ballistic missile. According to Wikipedia, it can carry ten 100kT warheads. In a test launch on 11 October 2008, an R-29RMU travelled 11,547 kilometers downrange.(Original News)

Pearl Harbor mini-submarine mystery solved?

Japanese warplanes hit, from left, the USS West Virginia, USS Tennessee and USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor. (Associated Press / December 7, 2009)

The remains of a Japanese mini-submarine that participated in the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor have been discovered, researchers are to report today, offering strong evidence that the sub fired its torpedoes at Battleship Row.

That could settle a long-standing argument among historians.

Five mini-subs were to participate in the strike, but four were scuttled, destroyed or run aground without being a factor in the attack. The fate of the fifth has remained a mystery. But a variety of new evidence suggests that the fifth fired its two 800-pound torpedoes, most likely at the battleships West Virginia and Oklahoma, capsizing the latter. A day later, researchers think, the mini-sub's crew scuttled it in nearby West Loch.

The loch was also the site of a 1944 disaster in which six tank landing ships preparing for the secret invasion of Saipan were destroyed in an ammunition explosion that killed 200 sailors and wounded hundreds more.

When the Navy scooped up the remains of the so-called LSTs and dumped them outside the harbor to protect the secrecy of the invasion, it apparently also dumped the mini-sub's remains, which were mingled with the damaged U.S. ships.

"It's not often that a historian gets a chance to rewrite history," said marine historian and former Navy submariner Parks Stephenson, who pieced together the evidence for the television program "Nova." "The capsizing of the Oklahoma is the second most iconic event of the attack. If one submarine could get in in 1941 and hit a battleship, who knows what a midget sub could do today. Iran and North Korea are both building them. It's very worrying."

Stephenson and his colleagues have put together a convincing chain of circumstantial evidence, but it is just circumstantial, said Burl Burlingame, a journalist at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and author of "Advance Force: Pearl Harbor."

"There is a good chance that this is the Pearl Harbor midget, but I don't think the case is closed on it," Burlingame said. "At this point, it is not hard evidence."

The two-man, 80-foot-long sub in question does not have a name of its own. Each of the five subs in the attack was carried by a conventional submarine and took its name from the mother boat. It is thus called the I-16-tou -- tou being Japanese for boat. Powered by a 600-horsepower electric motor, the sub could reach underwater speeds of 19 knots, twice as fast as many of the U.S. subs of the day.

The three pieces of the sub were found during routine test dives between 1994 and 2001 by Terry Kerby, chief pilot of the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory's submersibles Pisces IV and Pisces V. But Kerby and others assumed they were a part of a war trophy that had been captured by allied forces at Guadalcanal or elsewhere, towed back to Hawaii and scuttled.

Stephenson got involved in 2007 because he was looking for the fifth Japanese mini-sub.

In 1941, a crewman on the I-16 had received a radio call from the I-16-tou at 10:41 p.m. on Dec. 8 reporting the success of its mission. That indicated to Stephenson that the mini-sub had found a calm place in the harbor and hidden until the next night before surfacing and sending the call.

The crew members would have then scuttled the craft because they could not get it out of the harbor. The West Loch would have been a good location to hide, but researchers could find no trace of the boat there.

A diver who had been looking for the mini-sub suggested that Stephenson talk to Kerby, who sent him pictures of his find.

"As soon as I saw the bow section with the distinctive net cutter, I knew that we had found the fifth midget sub," Stephenson said. The Japanese navy modified net cutters on the subs for specific missions, and the one on the wreck was identical to those on the other mini-subs.

No torpedoes were found on the wreck, and evidence suggests that they were not present when the boat was sunk. A newly declassified photograph taken by a Japanese plane during the attack appeared to show a mini-sub firing a torpedo into Battleship Row. A report to Congress in 1942 by Adm. Chester W. Nimitz describes an unexploded 800-pound torpedo recovered after the battle. That's twice the size carried by the torpedo bombers.

That torpedo was apparently a dud that missed the West Virginia.

But an examination of the remains of the Oklahoma shows that it apparently had underwater damage much larger than that associated with aerial torpedoes. An underwater blast would have caused it to capsize, Stephenson said. "Otherwise it would have settled to the bottom upright," like the other sunken ships.

The 1944 disaster at West Loch occurred on May 21 as the Navy was preparing to invade the Mariana Islands in Operation Forager. The Navy clamped a top-secret classification on the incident to keep it from the Japanese, and few records are now available. What is known is that it was crucial to clear out the debris because the loch was by then the site of an ammunition dump.

Records from the salvage ship Valve showed that it was brought into the loch during the cleanup and its 250-ton crane was used for an undisclosed reason. Stephenson thinks it lifted the I-16-tou, but there are no records to confirm that.

The remains of the mini-sub were then dumped three miles south of Pearl Harbor along with those of the LSTs, to be found by Kerby 50 years later.

Bulkheads on the wreck are sealed, so researchers don't know whether the mini-sub crew was trapped. But a map taken from one of the other mini-subs showed the location of a safe house in Pearl City, Hawaii, suggesting the crew might have scuttled the boat and escaped.

The "Nova" episode describing the search for the I-16-tou will air Jan. 5.(Original News)

Sperry Marine to Supply Radar for Virginia-class Block III Subs

Sperry Marine, a Charlottesville, VA-based unit of Northrop Grumman, received a $20.9 million firm-fixed-price contract (N00024-09-C-5304) to supply AN/BPS-16(v)5 navigation radar systems for 8 US Navy Virginia-class Block III nuclear attack submarines.
The AN/BPS-16(v)5 is an X-band submarine navigation radar and electronic navigation system that provides navigation surface surveillance. The radar includes a naval electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS-N) which runs on Sperry Marine’s voyage management system (VMS) software.

Virginia Block III bow mods

The Virginia-class Block III submarines are being built by General Dynamics Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding…
The Virginia-class Block III submarines run from SSN 784 through SSN 791. The lead submarine in the Block III build, USS North Dakota [SSN 784], is scheduled to be delivered in 2014; SSN 791 has an expected delivery date of 2019.
Virginia Block III: The Revised Bow” has more information on the changes being incorporated into the Block III subs.(Original News)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Vietnam close to procure Russian submarines and fighter aircraft

Kilo Cutaway

MOSCOW | Vietnam could become a key importer of Russian weaponry if several contracts on the purchase of diesel submarines and aircraft are signed in the near future, a Russian newspaper recently reported, according to RIA Novosti.

According to the Vedomosti business daily, Moscow and Hanoi are close to sign deals on the purchase of six Kilo class diesel-electric submarines and 12 Su-30MK2 Flanker-C multirole fighters.

The submarine contract, worth an estimated $1.8 billion, includes the construction of on-shore infrastructure and training of submarine crews and will be the second largest submarine contract concluded by Russia since the Soviet era after the 2002 deal on the delivery of eight subs to China.

The Project 636 Kilo class submarine is thought to be one of the most silent submarine classes in the world. It has been specifically designed for anti-shipping and anti-submarine operations in relatively shallow waters.

Russia has built Kilo class submarines for India, China and Iran.

Vedomosti also cited sources in Russia's aircraft manufacturing industry as saying a new contract on the delivery of 12 Su-30MK2 fighter jets in addition to eight aircraft of the same type ordered by Vietnam in January 2009.

Su-30MK2 is an advanced two-seat version of the Su-27 Flanker multirole fighter with upgraded electronics and capability to launch anti-ship missiles.

The new contract could be worth at least $600 million, not including the price of on-board weaponry.

In addition, Russia could sign a deal with Vietnam on the delivery of a large number of Mi-17 helicopters, a source in the Russian Helicopters company said during the LIMA 2009 arms show in Malaysia on Wednesday.

According to Russian military analyst Konstantin Makiyenko, the new deals will push Vietnam to the top of the list of major buyers of the Russian weaponry, as the share of China and India in Russia's arms exports is gradually declining. (Original News)

Powering Up Arihant

Six months ago, with great fanfare, india launched its first nuclear submarine, the INS Arihant (Destroyer of Enemies). This came after over a decade of planning and construction. India has since revealed that the nuclear power plant for Arihant is not yet operational, and it may take up to a year to get that taken care of. Then will come a year of sea trials, followed by the commissioning of Arihant into service. Even then, Arihant will not be a regular member of the fleet, but a "technology demonstrator" ship. That's why Arihant has only four silos for SLBMs (sea launched ballistic missile). Arihant will be used to develop and test firing SLBMs while submerged. India's existing SLBM, Sagarika,   has been test fired by silos fitted to pontoons, but appears too large to fit into the Arihant silos. The Arihant is based on the Russian Charlie II sub, which it resembles. Russia retired all its Charlie class subs in the early 1990s. India leased one from 1988-91, and gained a great deal of familiarity with it. The Charlie class had eight launch tubes, outside the pressure hull, for anti-ship cruise missiles. The Arihant has four vertical missile silos. The exact purpose of vertical launch tubes on the Arihant is unclear. The navy revealed very little detail on the new sub (which, until two years ago, the government refused to say anything about.) Access by photographers was restricted. It's possible that a Sagarika II, which may already be in development, is designed to fit the Arihant silos.
The new Indian SSN was long referred to as the ATV (Advanced Technology Vessel) class. The ATV project was kept secret. One reason for the secrecy was that so much of the ATV project involved developing a compact, light water reactor technology that would fit in a submarine. This 83 MW reactor makes the Arihant underpowered by the standards of other SSNs, and the Indians give the Arihant's top speed as 55 kilometers an hour.
Once the Arihant class design is proven, a slightly larger version will be built as a class of three SSBN (ballistic missile carrying sub). This was how everyone else did it, including the Chinese and Americans. Get an SSN operational, then modify the design to include some SLBM launch tubes. India also plans to build six SSNs based on the Arihant. All ten subs are part of a program that will eventually cost over $10 billion.
Early next year, India will take possession of a leased (for ten years) Russian Akula II nuclear sub. The Akula II is normally armed with cruise missiles, in its four larger (530mm) torpedo tubes. Since these have a range of 3,000 kilometers, they cannot be sold to India because of the Missile Technology Control Regim treaty Russia signed. Instead, the Indians will use the shorter (300 kilometers) range Klub missile. The Akula II also has four normal sized torpedo tubes. The Akula II boat will mainly serve to train Indian sailors who will operate the three SSBNs (nuclear powered subs carrying SLBMs) and six SSNs (torpedo armed attack boats.)(Original News)

Unbuilt Kockums Submarines Viking Class

Despite having been cancelled nearly 5 years ago, a .pdf brochure is still online at the Kockums site:

Kockums has been at the leading edge of technology for a long time. In marine engineering, this has been demonstrated by a long succession of innovations, particularly in the latest Gotland and Collins class submarines. Developments are foregoing ahead. The Viking submarine is the next generation.


Improved stealth technology

The Viking submarine is characterised by substantial investments made in stealth technology and further development of Kockums advanced modular construction technique. The Combat Management System integrated in the newly developed weapon system will co-ordinate all sensor functions, weapon functions, the navigation system and the communication system.

Air independent propulsion

Improved AIP performance is one of the most significant developments that enables the submarine to complete her mission submerged for extreme periods of time, making her invaluable both in peacetime and in all possible conflict situations.

The Viking Class submarine
Technical data

Single pressure hull
Length over all
52 - 60 m
6.7 m
1100 - 1700 tonnes
Stirling Air Independent Propulsion
Multi-purpose homing torpedoes, cruise missiles, ASW torpedoes, mines and countermeasures
Submerged endurance
Up to 100% of mission time
22 - 28

Further information PDF 

Indo-Russian relations good for world peace: Indian PM

Good relations between India and Russia are "a factor of peace and stability" in this changing world, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said today.

Dr Singh told newsmen before leaving for Moscow on a 3-day official trip that he would exchange notes on bilateral cooperation in nuclear energy, oil and gas, defence, trade, space and scientific cooperation, regional and global situation as well as terrorism. The two countries are due to sign a civil nuclear cooperation agreement.

Reliable sources told WAM that the thorny issue of increased payment demanded by Russia over and above the originally contracted price of aircraft carrier Gorshkov for the Indian Navy had also been resolved and an announcement was expected during Dr Singh's visit.

In his statement, Dr Manmohan Singh said: "I am confident that my visit will be yet another step forward in consolidating our cooperation with Russia and in reinforcing the fact that the India-Russia strategic partnership is a factor of peace and stability in the evolving international situation," Manmohan Singh said in a statement as he left for Moscow.

"This is a partnership based on the solid foundation of long-standing friendship, deep mutual trust and strong convergence of interests," the Prime Minister said.

He stressed that "the multifaceted cooperation" between India and Russia has acquired "greater depth and maturity" through joint efforts over the years. "We seek to strengthen these ties further." Russia has actively supported India in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and India has announced two sites for new Russian atomic reactors. But Russia is he main backer for some of the existing nuclear plants.

Russia has helped design India's indigenous nuclear reactors, including the one for india's first nuclear submarine, Arihant, which is due to be commissioned in about two years from now.

One of the indigenously-built (but with Russian design assistance) fast breeder reactors at Kudankulam nuclear power plant in southern India is just about to become operational.

Its huge stainless steel main vessel - 12.9 metres in diameter and 12.94 metres in height, weighing 206 tonnes - has just been lowered into the safety vessel, and the plant will be turned critical towards generating 500 mg of power by Sep 2011.

India has excellent home-grown expertise in fast-breeder reactors, and the Kudankulam plant is a shining example of that.(Orginal News)

Israeli army chief starts visit to India

Arihant Submarine

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi Sunday departed from Israel to India on the first official visit to the country by an Israeli military chief, local daily Ha'aretz reported on its website.

"The visit to India is part of the process of strengthening the ties between Israel and India, and the nations' militaries," the report quoted an IDF statement as reporting.

During the visit, which is part of a five-day Southeast Asia tour, Ashkenazi will meet government officials and his Indian counterpart Deepak Kapoor, who visited Israel last month.

According to the army, the IDF chief is also scheduled to meet with the Indian National Security advisor, the commander of Indian Air Force and the commander of Indian Navy.

Israel and India enjoy close defense ties and last year Israel overtook Russia as the number one supplier of military platforms to India, said local daily The Jerusalem Post.

According to press reports, India is interested in working with Israel on submarine-launched cruise missiles, ballistic missile defense systems, laser-guided systems, satellites as well as unmanned aerial vehicles.  (Original News)   

Still a long wait until Navy can operate more submarines

KRI Cakra-401 Indonesian Submarine

Because of limited government budget allocations, the Indonesian Navy will have to wait for up to four years before procuring two additional submarines to strengthen the current fleet of two submarines.
"This isn't our call because we have to coordinate with the Indonesian Military *TNI*, the Defense Ministry and the government," Navy Chief of Staff Vice Adm. Agus Suhartono was quoted as saying by Antara news agency in Surabaya on Saturday.
"We have proposed the plan for quite some time now and the budget is still being studied. Hopefully, the two submarines can be procured by 2014," he said.
Agus was speaking at the sidelines of a ceremony to commemorate Fleet Day at the Navy's Eastern Fleet Command headquarters in Surabaya.
Agus said during the selection and assessment process, the Navy had singled out Italy, the Netherlands and Russia as potential suppliers of the two submarines.
"We will choose a country that can provide us with a product at a competitive price and offers better transfer of technology options," he said.
"The tender process will be open using a credit export financing scheme."
Each submarine is estimated to cost around Rp 3.5 trillion (US$371.85 million).
Agus added the two additional submarines will increase the Navy fleet's capabilities in securing Indonesian maritime territories.
Currently Indonesia operates the German-made U-209 class KRI Cakra and the KRI Nanggala submarines that were commissioned in 1981.
Indonesia first started using submarines in 1959 when two Russian-made Whiskey class submarines moored at the Tanjung Perak harbor in Surabaya.
Indonesia operated 12 Whiskey class submarines.
Before being replaced this year, former defense minister Juwono Sudarsono had narrowed the list of possible suppliers to South Korea and Russia.
Commenting on this, Navy chief spokesman Commodore Iskandar Sitompul said there might have been new assessments since "the Navy Chief of Staff mentioned *different potential suppliers*".
Iskandar said with such a challenging geography, Indonesia needed submarines to safeguard its maritime territories.
"Our closest neighbors also operate submarines," he told The Jakarta Post on Sunday, referring to Australia, Malaysia and Singapore.
"We need submarines to maintain a regional balance of power to secure peace."
Iskandar insisted the government was still prioritizing sectors such as education and health.
Two other countries in Southeast Asia also operate submarines.
Singapore currently has four Challenger class submarines, formerly the Swedish-made Sjoormen class. One submarine was procured in 1995 while the rest were acquired in 1997. These submarines were originally built for the Swedish Navy in the late 1960s.
Singapore added two Archer class (formerly known as Vastergotland class) submarines from Sweden in 2005. The submarines were built in the 1980s and were placed in reserve by the Swedish Navy.
The first submarine, RSS Archer, was launched on June 16 for sea trials and expected to return to Singapore in 2010.
Recently, Malaysia has just received its first of two French-made Scorpene class submarines.
Ordered in 2006, the KD Tunku Abdul Rahman was launched on Oct. 24, 2007 and arrived on Sept. 3 this year.
Meanwhile, the Royal Australian Navy has six Collins class submarines and plans to acquire 12 new submarines by 2025. (Orignal News)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Soviet Navy Project 748 submarine landing ship

From the early 1940s to the ultimate collapse of the USSR, the Soviet Navy pushed its submarine design bureaus to develop submarines specifically for troop and cargo transport. While many of these "submarine LST" concepts were not pursued, the effort offers a fascinating look at the technical challenges and strategic thought inherent in modern submarine design.

In August 1965 TsKB-16, later Rubin, was directed to respond to the Tactical-Technical Elements (TTE) requirement for a large diesel-electric submarine LST designated Project 748. The design bureau, realizing the limitations of conventional propulsion for this submarine's missions, additionally initiated nuclear-propelled variants.

Six variants of Project 748 were developed with surface displacements from 8,000 to 11,000 tons. Most variants had three separate, cylindrical pressure hulls side-by-side, encased in a single outer hull. The first variant met the basic TTE; the second variant carried a larger number of PT-76 amphibious tanks; the third variant had VAU-6 auxiliary nuclear power plants; the fourth variant had two OK-300 reactor plants generating 30,000 horsepower; the fifth variant had the VAU-6 system with a single pressure hull; and in the sixth variant the OK-300 plant was replaced by four VAU-6 units.

This large submarine could carry up to 20 amphibious tanks and BTR-60P armored personnel carriers, and up to 470 troops. In addition to a torpedo armament of four bow 21-inch torpedo tubes with 18 to 20 torpedoes, the submarine was to be fitted with anti-aircraft guns and surface-to-air missiles. And, of course, the submarine could serve as a minelayer.

TsKB-16 recommended proceeding with the fourth (nuclear-propelled) variant. Still, construction was not initiated because the Navy, Ministry of Shipbuilding Industry, and General Staff of the Armed Forces ordered a review of the features of Projects 632, 648, 664, and 748 in an effort to develop a "ubiquitous" or all-capable nuclear submarine. TsKB-16 (now named Volna) was directed to develop a preliminary design for the submarine designated Project 717. More

Cold War Submarines: The Design and Construction of U.S. and Soviet Submarines by Norman Polmar and Kenneth J Moore, Brassy's, Inc., 2004

Kapal Selam Terealisasi 2014

SURABAYA(SI) – Pengadaan dua unit kapal selam untuk TNI Angkatan Laut (AL) diperkirakan baru terealisasi pada 2014.Departemen Pertahanan (Dephan) masih menimbang sejumlah negara yang dianggap layak sebagai penyuplai kapal selam.

Sebanyak tiga negara sudah masuk dalam kriteria yang ditetapkan, yakni Italia,Belanda dan Rusia.Selanjutnya Dephan akan menentukan satu di antara tiga negara tersebut yang dinilai mampu menyediakan kapal selam sesuai kebutuhan TNI AL. Kepala Staf Angkatan Laut (KSAL) Laksamana Madya TNI Agus Suhartono mengatakan,pembelian kapal selam baru tidak semudah yang dibayangkan.Kendati untuk kepentingan AL, tapi juga harus melalui persetujuan Angkatan Darat (AD) maupun Angkatan Udara (AU).

”Perkembangan terakhir,kapal selam baru akan masuk ke Indonesia pada 2014.Kita masih dalam tahap menyeleksi negara mana yang akan menyediakannya,” kata Agus Suhartono seusai upacara peringatan ke-64 Armada RI di Dermaga Koarmatim,Ujung,Surabaya. KSAL menjelaskan, Indonesia yang memiliki wilayah perairan yang sangat luas,idealnya mempunyai kekuatan minimal empat kapal selam. Saat ini Indonesia baru mempunyai dua unit kapal selam, dan itu pun usianya sudah terbilang tua. Khusus kapal selam baru nanti, TNI AL tak hanya berpikir pada harga murah.

”Pertimbangan terpenting adalah teknologinya mampu menjawab kebutuhan yang ada. Kalau hanya murah saja,nanti khawatirnya malah tidak sesuai harapan,” tambak Agus Suhartono. Selain pengadaan kapal selam, pada 2010 nanti TNI AL juga akan menambah kekuatan dengan kapal perusak berpeluru kendali.Kapal tersebut akan dibuat PT PAL dengan bekerjasama dengan galangan luar negeri. Tapi KSAL tak merinci negara mana yang akan bekerjasama dengan PT PAL. Sementara itu, peringatan ke- 64 Armada RI kemarin jauh berbeda dibanding seremoni sebelumnya.

Balutan seni sangat terasa dalam upacara tersebut. Misalnya hiburan orkestra symphony Korps Musik TNI AL, sekaligus penyanyi dari Korps Wanita TNI AL. Mereka tak sekadar membawa lagu mars, tetapi juga lagu komersial seperti Kuch Kuch Hotta Hai. Selain itu ada Military Dance yang dipersembahkan 300 personel gabungan dari perwira, bintara dan tmtama. Masih ada lagi paduan suara 600 prajurit Koarmatim. ”Kali ini memang sangat berbeda. Kita menekankan unsur seni agar peringatan ke-64 Armada RI tidak terlihat kaku.

Tadi malam juga ada hiburan musik yang menghadirkan vokalis Boomerang Roy Jeconiah di Dermaga Ujung,” jelas Kadispen Koarmatim Letkol Laut Toni Syaiful.(Original News)

  Moray 1400 class (Dutch)

S 1300 (Sauro-class) Italian

Possible sale of submarines to Indonesia
Italy Submarine Export Behavior
Russia, Italy present new diesel submarine at Euronaval 2006