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Author Topic: DCNS SMX-24 "Plug-and-Fight" submarine  (Read 17458 times)

Offline Triton

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DCNS SMX-24 "Plug-and-Fight" submarine
« on: September 13, 2009, 11:41:38 pm »
Direction des Constructions Navales Services (DCNS) unveiled a concept for a new submarine named SMX-24 at the Euronaval 2008 show in Paris held on October 27-31, 2008.

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Stealth aircraft have been compared to submarines, and there are similarities between the two. Both depend on a smooth outside mould line for survival and carry their weapons internally, restricted by the ability to cut holes in the skin.

But then DCNS unveiled its SMX-24 concept for an advanced submarine at the Euronaval show in Paris, and turned those presuppositions on their head.

SMX-24 is a concept for a submarine that would be in service about 2020. Its size and capability fall between today's biggest diesel-electric boats and the smallest nukes:  the 3450-ton boat would have an all fuel-cell propulsion system, would be capable of 20 kt submerged and could stay underwater for 30 days. The core vessel would have interchangeable modules for weapons or special forces equipment. The stub wings carry tip-mounted propulsors for high speeds - allowing the central pumpjet to be sized for cruise - and fighter-like pylons for fuel tanks - above the wings on the model - and weapons
 
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a746c0b19-3d2c-4f1f-ab90-b68183d15701&plckComment


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The all-new SMX 24 submarine will incorporate ‘plug-and-fight’ modules enabling it to be reconfigured on demand to changing mission needs. DCNS has already identified 25 modules suitable for ‘plug-and-fight’ according to Navy needs. These include the submarine’s weapons (mines, missiles, etc.), sensors and performance-enhancing add-ons (offering greater speed, manoeuvrability or endurance, as the case may be). The modules will be housed at the wings level, in the sail and under the bridge. Different combinations of modules result in high-performance SMX 24 configurations with capabilities tailored to specific missions.

All DCNS-designed warships combine highly modular design and production. The SMX 24 offers new prospects and a new level of modularity. This concept sub exercise has enabled DCNS to identify both architectural and technological solutions meeting the future needs of client navies.

Increased modularity means a lower cost of ownership because ‘plug-and-fight’ modules can be shared by multiple submarines and crews. Note also that the SMX 24 requires a crew of just 22.
http://www.digital-battlespace.com/2008/11/%E2%80%98plug-and-fight%E2%80%99-dcns-presents-next-generation-sub-at-udt-pacific/
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 12:15:42 pm by Triton »

Offline vajt

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Re: DCNS SMX-24 "Plug-and-Fight" submarine
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2009, 10:18:25 am »
Interesting concept. Thanks for posting.

-----JT-----

Offline TomS

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Re: DCNS SMX-24 "Plug-and-Fight" submarine
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2009, 08:17:18 am »
The external weapons carriage on a submarine looks like a strikingly dumb idea -- lots of drag and noise for remarkably little actual payload.  The external payload would also be very exposed to shock damage. 

Offline Aeroengineer1

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Re: DCNS SMX-24 "Plug-and-Fight" submarine
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2009, 06:48:50 pm »
External payload means less hull penetrations, and is the desired direction for the USN to go as well.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: DCNS SMX-24 "Plug-and-Fight" submarine
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2009, 08:35:12 pm »
The external weapons carriage on a submarine looks like a strikingly dumb idea -- lots of drag and noise for remarkably little actual payload.  The external payload would also be very exposed to shock damage. 

Yeah in the 1980s. But things are different now and in the future. Submarines are increasing using autonomous vehicles to do their dirty work. To operate these systems you either need very large, complex and risky ocean interfaces or external carriage requring no major pressure hull penetrations. Since the external payloads can be shapped for low drag and noise it becomes a rapid no brainer.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline TomS

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Re: DCNS SMX-24 "Plug-and-Fight" submarine
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2009, 08:12:33 am »
External payload means less hull penetrations, and is the desired direction for the USN to go as well.

Yes and no.  Outside the pressure hull, certainly, but not hanging out on pylons.  That's a drag and flow noise generator for certain.

Offline TomS

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Re: DCNS SMX-24 "Plug-and-Fight" submarine
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2009, 08:14:33 am »
Yeah in the 1980s. But things are different now and in the future. Submarines are increasing using autonomous vehicles to do their dirty work. To operate these systems you either need very large, complex and risky ocean interfaces or external carriage requring no major pressure hull penetrations. Since the external payloads can be shapped for low drag and noise it becomes a rapid no brainer.

Sure, conformal carriage outside the pressure hull is a sensible idea.  But stub wings and pylons are very bad ideas on subs. 

Offline Firefly 2

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Re: DCNS SMX-24 "Plug-and-Fight" submarine
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2009, 08:19:38 am »
From: http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a746c0b19-3d2c-4f1f-ab90-b68183d15701&plckComment

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But then DCNS unveiled its SMX-24 concept for an advanced submarine at the Euronaval show in Paris, and turned those presuppositions on their head.
SMX-24 is a concept for a submarine that would be in service about 2020. Its size and capability fall between today's biggest diesel-electric boats and the smallest nukes: the 3450-ton boat would have an all fuel-cell propulsion system, would be capable of 20 kt submerged and could stay underwater for 30 days. The core vessel would have interchangeable modules for weapons or special forces equipment. The stub wings carry tip-mounted propulsors for high speeds - allowing the central pumpjet to be sized for cruise - and fighter-like pylons for fuel tanks - above the wings on the model - and weapons.

At 3450 tons it would be a quite small sub, intended for the littoral theatres. I think it would make sense to optimise hull space for other equipment ( sensors and the like) than large torpedo tubes and cary optional equipment outboard. Still, this design would restrict the roles this sub could be used in. Naval interdiction, for example, would not be an option.

Offline Triton

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Re: DCNS SMX-24 "Plug-and-Fight" submarine
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2009, 03:17:16 pm »
Mission

The SMX-24 is a long-range, ocean-going conventional propulsion submarine (SSK) with an excellent payload capability.The design aims to optimise mission reconfiguration by combining maximum modularity and flexible features. The mission profile ranges from special operations to massive land strikes, in addition to the usual missions assigned to ocean-going SSKs, which is to say, attacks against enemy naval forces and fleet protection, both of which require significant anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare capabilities.


Cutting-edge technologies

The SMX-24’s systems benefit from promising concepts now emerging from DCNS’s R&D teams:

  • High performance sonar featuring extra long flank arrays
  • Advanced sensors and remotely-controlled unmanned vehicles
  • New-generation weapons (land strike and anti-air missiles, hard-kill torpedoes, etc.)
  • Augmented reality combat and platform management systems
  • Energy production system featuring dual air/LOX fuel cells
  • Superconductor technologies.


Modularity

The SMX-24’s innovative architecture offers four different types of modular areas which can be reconfigured easily and rapidly:

  • cartridges masts in wings
  • modular equipment bays
  • side structures that can accommodate modules of various sizes and shapes
  • a modular section for large modules.

The modules can be used to increase the boat’s payload (weapons, unmanned vehicles, sensors, special operation features, etc.) or performance (additional fuel, liquid oxygen, modular batteries, etc.).
More than 25 types of modules are currently available, with many more to come. The only limits on the SMX-24’s capabilities are the limits of human imagination.


Massive capabilities

Thanks to its extreme modularity and advanced technologies, the SMX-24 offers outstanding operational capabilities for its displacement:

  • Storage space for 38 heavyweight weapons of various types
  • Facilities for special operations teams of up to 18, including a 12-diver trunk, 2 drydock shelters and unmanned vehicles
  • Excellent survivability thanks to improved sensors and stealth and a three-layer defences including weapons to knock out all types of platforms, decoys against all types of torpedoes and hard-kill torpedoes.
  • Excellent mobility, sensors and communications and submerged endurance (i.e. without returning to
    periscope/snorkel depth) of up to 30 days.


Technical data

Displacement, surface: 3450 tonnes
Length overall: 88.8 meters
Diving depth: 350 meters
Beam overall: 26 meters
Maximum submerged speed: 20 knots
Submerged endurance: 30 days
Flank array area: 130 square meters
Complement: 22 to 31 (depending on configuration)

Source: DCNS Press Kit Euronaval 2008
http://www.dcnsgroup.com/files/dossier_presse/microsoft_word_-_press_kit_euronaval_2008_-_english_version.pdf
« Last Edit: September 22, 2009, 03:30:42 pm by Triton »

Offline MihoshiK

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Re: DCNS SMX-24 "Plug-and-Fight" submarine
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2009, 03:20:46 pm »
I'm not exactly an expert, but a square hull? Yeah, that promises lots of noise problems, and even without the wings and stores it'll be slower than a boat with a teardrop (or elongated teardrop) hull.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: DCNS SMX-24 "Plug-and-Fight" submarine
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2009, 04:15:10 am »
Sure, conformal carriage outside the pressure hull is a sensible idea.  But stub wings and pylons are very bad ideas on subs. 

Yet real life naval architect submarine specialists are proposing it... Strange that.

Sure any extrusion from a perfectly streamlined hull, which BTW is not tear dropped but tubular, is going to create more drag. But sometimes you have to have these surfaces to do things like control the bearing and pitch of your vessel through the water. Especially with submarines that are not being designed for high speed sprinters (<21 knots) and can afford a bit more of a drag margin than your usual torpedo.

As to flow noise just like on a submarine’s sail, diving planes and control surfaces these can be managed. To assume that ‘conformal’ carriage is going to be OK for flow noise and hydroplanes are not is very ignorant. Noise is not the same as low drag in a much less dense liquid. The conformal arrangement will have to be very precise to avoid turbulence. But in a fighter aircraft creating a low drag slipstream over the aircraft surfaces is a very different thing.

I'm not exactly an expert, but a square hull? Yeah, that promises lots of noise problems, and even without the wings and stores it'll be slower than a boat with a teardrop (or elongated teardrop) hull.

The hull isn’t square it has straight sides but they are not joined by right angles. Nor is the bow part of a square. As long as the hull form leading to the straight surfaces does not create burbles and the like then the water won’t make any more noise flowing down a straight surface as a curved one. There can even be quite a few acoustic advantages from straight sides.

To base an acoustic analysis on this submarine by simply comparing it’s rough looks with a more well known submarine is just misleading.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline JohnR

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Re: DCNS SMX-24 "Plug-and-Fight" submarine
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2009, 09:20:39 am »
What about going for double hull construction with the weapons between the outer "faired" hull and the pressure hull, in much the same way as the Los Angeles class SSN have their Cruise Missile VLS?

I know that British subs carried torpedo tubes external to the pressure hull during WWII, although in a not particularly hydrodynamic way?

Offline Triton

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Re: DCNS SMX-24 "Plug-and-Fight" submarine
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2009, 03:00:11 pm »
Thanks for the explanation Abraham.  Since this is a concept of a submarine for the year 2020, are there any new materials on the horizon that could be practical for submarine use in the next ten years that could further absorb vibration and dampen water flow noise over materials used in current designs?
« Last Edit: September 23, 2009, 03:01:45 pm by Triton »

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: DCNS SMX-24 "Plug-and-Fight" submarine
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2009, 04:19:51 pm »
What about going for double hull construction with the weapons between the outer "faired" hull and the pressure hull, in much the same way as the Los Angeles class SSN have their Cruise Missile VLS?

Why? You add the complexity of somehow getting between the ocean and the outer hull just so the UVs are "faired" when they can be perfectly fine outside all the hulls, hitching a ride from the submarine. The advantage of taking a UV inside the pressure hull is so they can be maintained, recharged, reloaded etc in conventional manners. The cost of that to the submarine is prohibitive compared to designing the UV to be sustainable while outside the pressure hull.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: DCNS SMX-24 "Plug-and-Fight" submarine
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2009, 04:21:40 pm »
Thanks for the explanation Abraham.  Since this is a concept of a submarine for the year 2020, are there any new materials on the horizon that could be practical for submarine use in the next ten years that could further absorb vibration and dampen water flow noise over materials used in current designs?

There are lots of materials and new technology being developed to reduce vibtation and improve water flow, also materials to absorb noise.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling