Thursday, June 27, 2013

US Ready? Deadly new sub warfare tactics: AUV Spoofing, Swarming and ...

LINKOPING, Sweden, May 30 (UPI) --  - Unidentified customer orders Saab AUVs
 System deliveries will be made take during 2014.  The latest version of the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle is configured as target for Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) training.

"The AUV62 is a competent and advanced system that will enhance and strengthen the customer's underwater capabilities," said Gorgen Johansson, senior vice president and head of Saab's Dynamics business unit. "We are, of course, very satisfied to have been able to secure yet another order for the system."

The AUV62s, with acoustic payloads, will mimic submarines in a way compatible with any torpedo and sonar system on the market. When outfitted with a Synthetic Aperture Sonar payload, it is an efficient system for mine search, reconnaissance and seabed mapping.

"With the AUV62, Saab offers a state-of-the-art Autonomous Underwater System for demanding customers investing in the future," Saab said.


With a maximum operating speed of 20k [20 knots] and 500m [1,640 feet ] maximum depth rating, the 4m-7m-long autonomous system is equipped with Hydro Acoustic Link for submerged communication and WLAN, UHF/VHF, SatLink for surface communications. Designed for launch from a submarine, ship or from shore, the vehicle features obstacle avoidance, a high-degree of positioning and user adaptability to battlefield threats.

 Several military customers have already ordered AUV62s for anti-submarine target practice.


Reverse engineering (capability of China, Russia, Iran, etc) AUV62s would permit clandestine mass production by actors potentially hostile to US interests.  In WW2 German wolfpacks were a threat to allied shipping. Wolfpacks fell out of use during the Cold War; modern submarines have far better weapons and underwater speed than those of World War II, so there is no need for them to operate in large groups. Instead, the United States Navy deploys its attack submarines on individual patrols, with the exception of one or (rarely) two attack submarines in each carrier group.
Now consider the updated threat potential to a US submarine suddenly beset by a swarm of dozens of UAVs configured to suddenly activate and mimic submerged packs of hostile subs. Would the sudden distraction allow a real enemy sub to penetrate a protected patrol zone, torpedo the US sub?   How long would it take to verify the actual threat? The hostile force could easily increase complexity (add confusion) by mimicking several types and nationalities simultaneously. Some swarm units might also be configured as high tech torpedoes. 

Remember, submarines avoid operating with surface and air units whenever possible due to downsides to their inherent stealth envelope.

Submarining has suddenly gotten an order of magnitude more complicated for the US and other countries.

Submarines are always silent and strange.


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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"Lemon" submarines worse even than we knew

"The diesel engines were designed for railroad locomotives and not the rapid stops and starts required of submarines."

Better Options for Canada's "Lemon" Submarine Fleet
THE CANADIAN PRESS - Ottawa is committed to bringing all four of its Victoria-class submarines into service and isn't considering scrapping the troubled fleet, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Friday. ... When the Liberals first bought the submarines, they planned to outfit them with an air-independent propulsion system to allow the boats to operate in the Arctic. But the Defence Department shelved the idea in 2000 in the face of design complications and a projected cost of $300 million.

UPDATE - 2013 24 June 
Defence Minister Peter MacKay blames the Liberals for Canada’s troubled fleet of second-hand Victoria-class submarines. It was the Liberals who purchased the four British-made vessels for the suspiciously low price of $750-million in 1998. Yet it was none other than MacKay himself who, 10 years later, persuaded his Conservative colleagues not to scrap them. It was MacKay who signed taxpayers up for another $1.5-billion worth of refits and repairs, thereby throwing good money after bad. It was apparent long before 2008 that the submarines were deeply flawed. The diesel engines were designed for railroad locomotives and not the rapid stops and starts required of submarines. [underlined emphasis is mine]- National

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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