PS:This is terrible news .One can replace the sub,but the 18 missing submariners.One's heart goes out to the families..While not trying to throw blame at anyone at this tragic time,it underscores the difficulty of keeping old weapon systems fighting fit. Most of our all our Kilos are elderly and replacements for them should've already been in the pipeline.Knowing that the Scorpenes have been delayed so much,an interim solution should've been found much earlier.Now the IN/MOD will have no alternative but to go in for urgent interim orders since one sub appears to have been lost and another damaged.
If the explosion was as massive as has been reported,with 16 fire tenders required to put out the blaze,one can write off the sub.Even if it is repaired,it will take about 2 years to repair,test,etc.This is a highly suspicious incident especially when the sub fleet is in deep trouble,due to declining numbers.While in the past,WW2 era,subs have been lost to battery explosions,battery tech has come a long way with much better safety.Here is an excpt. from Exide,a long time sub battery manufacturer.
The Kilo has two 120-cell storage batteries.We are supposed to have developed our own superior batteries for the sub many years ago.http://www.naval-technology.com/contrac ... l/deutsche
SUBMARINE PROPULSION BATTERIES
The areas of operation of modern diesel-electric submarines are no longer just in coastal waters - long transits for many weeks on the open seas are typical today.
Exide Technologies has developed submarine propulsion batteries with low-density active materials and low-volume, high-conductivity copper negative grids (patented 'CSM technology'), thereby achieving unsurpassable submerged sailing ranges. The latest submarine propulsion battery designs are protected from repeated underwater explosion by non-destructible shock elements. To minimize the dangerous snorkelling time the submarine propulsion batteries can be fitted with our patented 'Bottom Lug Connection'.
Other advantages of our submarine propulsion batteries are:
High power density
Excellent life span - many batteries have been running for up to ten years and capacities of more than 100% after six years of operation is not unusual.
High reliability and safety
Minimal hydrogen evolution
Prevention of overheating and electrolyte stratification
Thru-life warranty with technical service worldwide
However,if the sub is the Sindhurakshak,it suffered an earlier similar problem in 2010 at Vizag.that left a sailor dead.http://www.livefistdefence.com/2010/02/ ... s-sub.html
An accident involving the battery compartment on the Indian Navy's INS Sindhurakshak (S63) Kilo-class submarine, docked at Visakhapatnam, has left one sailor dead. The crew of the submarine has conducted full repairs and the boat is reported to be fine -- it will shortly depart on deployment in the Indian Ocean. The Sindhurakshak was commissioned in 1998 and was the second-last Kilo to be commissioned.
Here is a blog of an accident aboard a US sub.http://bubbleheads.blogspot.in/2010/02/ ... ttery.html
"I hate to hear of anyone dieing on a boat. I dislike the whitewash of a "defective battery" being the cause. We learned a lot lessons and changed a lot of procedures to make our batteries safe. I don't see a defective battery blowing up without the help of poor procedures or lack of procedural compliance."
Add to your list equipment errors. In the case of POMODON, an overhauled battery exhaust fan had been reinstalled wired backwards, causing a closed-loop ventilation path for the well. As result, during an in-port battery charge the battery ventilation was recirculating rather than being exhausted to the engines. Battery ventilation was at that time measured in this loop rather than external to the well, but the hydrogen detector was in the ship's ventilation line, external to the well. When the boat hit the finishing rate, the readings were 'correct' - good ventilation flow (though only recirculating the well) and low H2 (external to the well and isolated from it). But H2 was sure enough building up to explosive levels in the forward battery well and - sure enough - it exploded.
Photos from the blast show the decking, all the joinery, and all the gear in the forward battery compartment plastered in a concave shape against the pressure-hull overhead. Four submariners were killed outright in the compartment and a fifth, just stepping through the WT door from the torpedo room, was popped like a cork the full length of the room and crushed against the jeep between the tubes.
The effects of the explosion somehow caused a permanent port list that was finally fixed by removing #2 engine and giving the enginemen the best set of storage lockers in the fleet where #2 had been. I spent a day in the boat at Eureka CA in 1959 and got the whole story from the guys who lived through it - was stationed at a nearby SOSUS station at the time. That day and the crew's hospitality convinced me to stay in and reenlist for submarines.
Meanhwhile while we continue to dither and fart,look at what the PLAN is doing!
China to build 15 more Yuan-class submarines with German engines
2 ⋅ April 11, 2013
The Hindustan Times said in its report on April 9: China is scaling up its underwater capabilities, and the Indian Navy‘s submarine force levels will be the lowest in its history by 2015, a confidential defence ministry report has revealed.
In comparison, “China may plan to construct 15 additional Yuan-class attack submarines, based on German diesel engine purchases.
“It is said the Yuan-class submarines could be equipped with air-independent propulsion systems to recharge their batteries without having to surface for more than three weeks, a capability currently unavailable with the Indian Navy,” said the newspaper.
In addition, China is purchasing advanced submarines from abroad. It has ordered 4 Russian Lada-class submarines, which are believed to be 8 times less noisy than Kilo-class ones.
China will purchase German engines to build 15 more Yuan-class submarines The “confidential” report said: By the end of 2015, “the Indian navy will be left with merely six to seven submarines, including India’s first and only nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarine INS Arihant, as it begins phasing out the Russian Kilo-class submarines and German HDW Type 209 submarines.”
“The report warned India had ‘never before been poised in such a vulnerable situation’ and the undersea force levels were ‘at a highly precarious state.’
“The size of India’s submarine fleet will roughly be the same as that of the Pakistani navy in two years. ‘As this critical (undersea) capability is eroded, there is an inverse increase in both capability and strength of the Chinese and Pakistani navies,’ the [confidential] report stated.”
The newspaper says, “Six Scorpene submarines are currently being built at the Mazagon Dock Ltd in Mumbai with technology from French firm DCNS under a Rs. 23,562-crore project codenamed P-75.
“But the first of these boats will not be ready before 2016-17, though it should have been commissioned into the navy last year. The report said the delay had set off a capability gap that will widen in the coming years.”
In comparison, China now has 13 Song-class, 12 Kilo-class, 7 Yuan-class and 18 Ming-class submarines. China only has 3 Han-class nuclear attack nuclear submarines as regarding nuclear submarines, China still faces many challenges.
Nevertheless, Han-class attack nuclear submarines have been launched, that type of submarine is very noisy and easy to be discovered by Western sensors. From 1974 to 1991, China built 5 Han-class submarines, two of which have been decommissioned.
China has also commissioned 4 relatively new Shuang-class nuclear submarines, but they are similarly noisy. At the same time, the Chinese navy have designed and built Type 039 Song-class submarines, which was designed and manufactured with stress on silencing effect.
That class of submarines have been developed very quickly, and the newest 4 Song-class submarines have been designated as Yuan-class (type 039A or 041) submarines. According to the Indian report, in consideration of China’s purchase of German diesel engines, China perhaps plans to build 15 additional Yuan-class submarines.
It is said the Yuan-class submarines could be equipped with air-independent propulsion systems to recharge their batteries without having to surface for more than three weeks, a capability currently unavailable with the Indian Navy,” said the newspaper.
Type 039 submarines emerged for the first time in 2001. China has built 13 of them, but in 2008, an obviously different Type 039 submarine emerged. That type of submarine is referred to as Type 039A or 041 submarine.
Having built two Type 039A submarines, China built two submarines of a type derived from Type 039 with the code name of 039B. That evolution is going on. At present, China already has 6 or 7 Type 041 Yuan-class submarines (including at least three different types).
The newest version of that type of submarine is obviously equipped with an air-independent propulsion system and new type of electronic equipment, and is undergoing internal improvement.
The quick evolution of the Type 039 submarine is perhaps an example of the incorporation of Russian submarine technology in the design ideas and new technology in that type of submarine.
Since China began to build submarines in the 1960s, China has always been doing this. However, the design of the newest Type 41 indicates that the Chinese navy’s engineers have already had more creative ideas.
It is believed that two or even more Yuan-class submarines are equipped with the air-independent propulsion system that enables them to stay for as long as two weeks under water. Western countries’ air-independent propulsion systems enable submarines to stay under water for two weeks or longer, but the functions and reliability of Chinese ones are a little inferior to similar Russian or Western ones.
China will keep on improving its air-independent propulsion system just as it is doing in other areas of military technology.
The Song-class submarine is very similar to he Russian Kilo-class submarine in appearance. Both Types 039 and 041 are 1800-ton grade, carry a crew of 60 and are installed with 6 tornado tubes. That is also very similar to the Kilo-class submarine, which is only a little larger.
In the late 1990s, China began to purchase Russian Kilo-class submarines. At that time, it was the most advanced submarine available to China. The first two Type 041 submarines are obviously copies of the early type (Type 877) of Kilo-class submarine, but the next two seem to be copies of the relatively new Type 636 submarine.
The newest Yuan-class submarines still look very similar to the Kilo-class submarines, but there may be evolution to make them similar to Lada-class submarines. Type 039 is the first Chinese submarine with a teardrop hull.
The Type 041 submarine is regarded as an improved version of the Song-class submarine, but upon careful observation, especially on the Russian perspective, that type of submarine looks like a copy of the Kilo-class submarine.
Russian people believe the entire project of Song/Yuan-class submarine is China’s long-term plan to successfully copy Kilo-class submarines. If that is the case, Chinese efforts seem quite successful.
Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Foreign Media: China Will Buy German Engine to Build 15 More Yuan-class Submarines”
China to buy super quiet Russian submarines to counter US aircraft carrier (chinadailymail.com)
More noise from China: Submarines (chinadailymail.com)
China’s submarines in Indian Ocean worry Indian Navy (chinadailymail.com)
Japanese technology could improve Australia’s Collins-class submarines (craighill.net)
SUBMARINES: China Buys Some New Ideas (strategypage.com)
China eyes $3.5 billion Russian arms deal despite ire over Sukhoi copy (news.terra.com)
Lada-class subs may provide China with new technology: report (wantchinatimes.com)
Germans may find it hard to sell their subs (thehindu.com)
Submarine INS Sindhurakshak [S63] On Its Way Back Home [Photographs] (aame.in)
Moscow to aid Vietnam with submarine fleet launch (panarmenian.net)