Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR AUG 2016 Contents COVER STORY
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 23 | AUG 2016
painfully aware that if you scale up the hull you need to scale up
the onboard equipment. Pumps need to be bigger, electric motors,
compressors, air conditioning plants, refrigeration, basically all of
the auxiliary systems need to be scaled up or larger capacity items
selected and integrated. These scaled systems, their components,
operate at different frequencies than those on the original in-ser-
vice boats. The larger hulls have different signatures than the small-
er hulls they are evolved from, the location of the various systems
internally differs as does the resonance of the different systems with
the hull and each other.
DTR understands the primary reason the Shortfin Barracuda
was selected relates to noise signatures. Australian experts, through
years of operating the Collins-class, have extensive experience in
measuring and modelling noise and vibration on large conventional
submarines, know what works and what doesn’t.
The Shortfin Barracuda design makes use of existing and prov-
en equipment and components throughout its auxiliary, hull and
propulsion systems developed for and evolved from those used on
current French Nav y submarines, including their ballistic missile
submarines. The noise generated by these systems, including where
and how they are installed, is well understood and mitigated.
The French operate large submarines across five oceans and their
know-how and experience in signature management and propul-
sion technology was telling in the DCNS bid.
This would not be the case on the Type 216 as the Germans had
built nothing near that size previously and so had no experience to
even model the boat’s signature. Australia has been working with
the Collins-class for 20 years and has, in part through the special
relationship with the US Nav y, access to some of the best test ranges
and signature management techniques in the world.
The Soryu-class is ver y quiet but it is understood that the Japanese
bid was set aside quite early in the CEP as some of their design fea-
tures were considered less advanced than those of the Collins-class.
Other factors in the selection may have included habitability and
provision of space and facilities for the deployment of special forces,
a key mission of the RAN’s existing submarine fleet.
It will be interesting to see how the project progresses, how much
input Australia will have in the final design and whether, as was
the case with Collins, there is significant scope in the selection of
RAN-specific systems. Or will the project simply use DCNS’s exist-
ing supply chain, as has been seen on the AWD project. DTR
SHORTFIN BARRACUDA BLOCK 1A
The DCNS Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A is a 4,500 tonne, 97m
derivative of the Barracuda-class nuclear-powered attack submarine
currently under construction for the French Navy, and will incorporate
France’s most sensitive and protected submarine technology to be
the most lethal conventional submarine ever conceived.
Pump jet propulsion means the Shortfin Barracuda can move more
quietly than submarines with obsolete propeller technology. In a
confrontation between two otherwise identical submarines, the one
with pump jet propulsion always has the tactical advantage, cites
DCNS in its Sea 1000 executive summary.
The sonar suite is to be supplied by Thales and will be the “best
available ever for a submarine this size”, ac cording to DCNS.
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ABOVE: Australia’s significant experience at operating
large conventional submarines and expertise in signature
management was a factor in selecting the French Sea 1000
solution. Image: ADF
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