Monday, August 20, 2007

More AIP Intrigue: True Story, No Book to Buy

Some History

- -Taiwan reverted to Chinese control after World War II. Following the Communist victory on the mainland in 1949, 2 million Nationalists fled to Taiwan and established a government using the 1946 constitution drawn up for all of China. While the United States recognizes the legitimacy of mainland China's government, the U.S. has also obligated itself to help Taiwan remain independent of the Peoples Republic.

--Sweden, a country of 9 million residents, has not engaged in war since 1814. Yet, it not only deploys state-of-the-art diesel submarines, Kockums builds them for other countries. Certainly, Sweden learned some detection weaknesses of its Gotland class from the joint-US exercises. Will it now sell upgrades?

Submarines as Arms Background [emphasis added]:

In April 2001, President Bush approved Taiwan's request for arms, a weapons deal heralded as a turning point in U.S. relations with Taiwan, which for years had insisted its four, aging submarines -- two are WWII-era boats -- could not deter China's rapidly strengthening navy.

Rep. Rob Simmons, whose Connecticut district included General Dynamics' Electric Boat division until the 2006 election, speaks Mandarin fluently and was stationed in Taiwan as a CIA officer in the 1970s. Simmons, a Republican, had been a member of the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2007. Simmons was a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

The (Open-Press) Intrigue Until Now
Molten Eagle believes the Gotland lease was about more than mere anti-AIP submarine exercises, and will be of real significance to arsenals of democracy (the following facts and headlines are suggestive to those who can read between lines fed to the press). The following time-line is true and it tells an interesting story:

In March 21, 2005 the United States Navy and the Swedish Navy signed a memorandum of understanding for the U.S. to lease HMS Gotland with crew for anti-submarine warfare exercises. Exercises with United States 3rd Fleet began by July, 2005, and continued for at least 12 months. In 2006, the lease was extended another 12 months.

In CongressDaily Megan Scully reported Apr 6, 2006, Navy works to stall submarine deal with Taiwan :"Last summer, the U.S. Navy billed the Taiwan government $2.5 million to cover the cost of a little-known operation dedicated to helping Taipei close a ground-breaking arms deal to acquire eight American-made diesel submarines. But after investing about $8 million since 2001, Taiwan refused to pay, despite Navy warnings in two August 2005 memos that it would shut down its submarine "pre-selection" operation without more money, a move sure to trigger long delays and higher costs."

May 25 2007, Swedes To Say Farewell to San Diego The Götland is expected to wrap up its training in early June and could leave San Diego by the end of the month.

From The Taipai Times Aug 20, 2007, Page 3
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Shuai Hua-min (帥化民) said on Saturday US officials have told a delegation of Taiwanese legislators that Washington will go ahead with the sale of diesel-powered submarines to Taiwan even if the Democrats win next year's US presidential election. The delegation was also told that four US companies that intend to participate in the bid have found European manufacturers to cooperate with, Shuai said.

Reading Between the Lines Points to Ponder:
1- Did the U.S. Navy stall the Taiwanese submarine deal until the Gotland lease was completed?
2- Will the sale of diesel subs to Taiwan (and others) involve modern, AIP diesel subs using AIP and other components outsourced to Sweden, Germany the U.K. , or all of the above?
3- Did HMS Gotland arrive and depart San Diego aboard a heavy-lift ship (no chance it would disappear)?
4- Did HMS Gotland stick strictly to anti-submarine exercises with navy ships, or could it have tested something else, too, like a submarine laser? The fire control (system) power requirement for HMS Gotland (without abundant nuclear power) was 75 kW in 1997; related power requirements for the 688I class subs was over 7x more at 550 kW. Minimum power for weapons laser had generally been considered to be 100kw.

Earlier M.E. Speculation
From April 21, 2006 - The DOD sees big advantages to deploying AIP subs in anyone's fleet. Unit cost is closer to $100 million than over $2 billion for the latest Virginia class submarines. Operating costs and deployment cycles are much lower, as well, without nuclear powerplants and nuclear operator training. While U.S. companies will build these subs, Sweden will not sell upgraded stealth technology to foreign countries, because Sweden will provide AIP and perhaps other key hardware to Electric Boat. The U.S. boats will be between 236 and 256 feet in length, around 3,000 tons displacement and still crewed by 30 sailors (with room for 20 or so SEALs or mission hardware).

Only time will tell, but submarines are always silent and strange.



At 23 August, 2007 17:57, Blogger RogerL said...

Gotland on way home on heavy lift M/S Eide.

Swedish Kockums that built HMS Gotland is now owned by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.

At 23 August, 2007 18:02, Blogger RogerL said...

Without formating that did not work...

At 23 August, 2007 19:24, Blogger Vigilis said...

Many thanks, RogerL. As of January 5th, apparently. The pace of international investment these days is aboslutely breathtaking. Always glad to be factually corrected (i.e. learn). -Vigilis


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