Taiwan's indigenous submarine

aonestudio

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View: https://twitter.com/YDN_NEWS/status/1707257897204531693

 
Mk48s are mentioned. Has the armament otherwise been described? I assume probably the usually half dozen 533mm forward tubes, but I can't pick out their outline under the paint and I have seen no mention of them. They looks like solid ships and I admit to being surprised that Taiwan was able to build them, even with external help. It will be interesting to see how well it stands up to tests and trials given the fact the country has no experience building this type of vessel. I suspect there will be a lengthy introduction to service.
 
The torpedo tube hatches are likely going to be hidden under the bow tarp, as it'll probably not follow US practice of a spherical bow sonar and mid-ships torpedo room. But yes, I'd assume a fairly standard 4-6 tube fit.
 
Mk48s are mentioned. Has the armament otherwise been described? I assume probably the usually half dozen 533mm forward tubes, but I can't pick out their outline under the paint and I have seen no mention of them. They looks like solid ships and I admit to being surprised that Taiwan was able to build them, even with external help. It will be interesting to see how well it stands up to tests and trials given the fact the country has no experience building this type of vessel. I suspect there will be a lengthy introduction to service.

It's still a fairly direct evolution from the Barbel/Zwaardvis design, so there should be six tubes in the bow, with a chin-mounted cylindrical sonar under that.

Armament probably also includes SubHarpoon:

 
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Does this submarine have independent air propulsion system? I read an article that said it wasn't equipped with one.
 
Does this submarine have independent air propulsion system? I read an article that said it wasn't equipped with one.

No. They seem to be following Japan's current lead and using lithium batteries instead of AIP. Quoting the Naval News article above:

Senior military officers told local media that the submarine will be fitted with ‘high-efficiency batteries developed and produced by domestic manufacturers” instead of an Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system. This most likely refers to the use of Lithium Ion battery technology.

Edit: Background on Japan's switch to lithium-ion batteries instead of AIP.

 
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I’m impressed if they made the leap to LiH vice lead acid. AFAIK only a couple of newest JMSDF boats have that.
 
Okay, but is this a better system than AIP?

Japan thinks so, having transitioned from Stirling AIP to LiH batteries in new construction. It may not be true for all navies, though. There are certainly some services that are looking at both technologies in the same subs, for example.

But Taiwan doesn't need super-long operating range, so the batteries may be the best option for them. It's much simpler than Stirling or fuel-cell AIP, which they might not have been able to source anyway.
 
I’m impressed if they made the leap to LiH vice lead acid. AFAIK only a couple of newest JMSDF boats have that.
Taiwanese experience with commercial battery production has been leveraged to help them get into it without having to default to lead acid.
 
Mk48s are mentioned. Has the armament otherwise been described? I assume probably the usually half dozen 533mm forward tubes, but I can't pick out their outline under the paint and I have seen no mention of them. They looks like solid ships and I admit to being surprised that Taiwan was able to build them, even with external help. It will be interesting to see how well it stands up to tests and trials given the fact the country has no experience building this type of vessel. I suspect there will be a lengthy introduction to service.
Building is one thing and actually employing it in service is another, as you've said. S80 programme was pain in the arse for Spain. We'll see.

Does this submarine have independent air propulsion system? I read an article that said it wasn't equipped with one.
There's basically no design they can actually get their hands on.

Okay, but is this a better system than AIP?
Depends on what you need, but purely from energy density and endurance perspective, FCs still have the upper hand. If you want shorter burst of high-energy deployment, ie fast underwater maneuvering, having more LiB capacity in place of any of the conventional AIP solution out there today is more favorable. This also reflects how JMSDF submarine forces doctrine has changed over the years.

Japan thinks so, having transitioned from Stirling AIP to LiH batteries in new construction. It may not be true for all navies, though. There are certainly some services that are looking at both technologies in the same subs, for example.

But Taiwan doesn't need super-long operating range, so the batteries may be the best option for them. It's much simpler than Stirling or fuel-cell AIP, which they might not have been able to source anyway.
For Japan it was quite straight forward question, since they had to deal with maximum operational depth problem of Stirling AIP and their doctrine changed. Problem is that Taigei has a much improved engine, generator and air induction system to enable faster charging, utilizing LiB to its full potential. We're still to know if IDS has equally capable design or not, and it might just be that Taiwan had no other choice but to go conventional diesel-electric, albeit with LiB, since, as you've noted, there's no MOTS design out in the market which they can get their hands on.

Also, although Taiwan doesn't need long submerged operating range, they need long submerged operating endurance, where FC AIP still clearly has an upper hand. With newer hydrogen storage technologies, it seems like the advantage is going to be retained even when newer kinds of LiBs like SSBs are introduced to the market.
 
The LiH batteries hold more and charge faster, apparently. The disadvantage of Sterling engines is that you are still using a reciprocating engine, even if it’s external combustion. There is non zero noise. You could use both, as noted, but the Japanese at least felt there were diminishing returns to using AIP along with a battery system that needed far less diesel charging in the first place. The Australians on the other hand decided that more diesels for faster recharge rates were more important than AIP (both Collins and cancelled Attack class), ironically for the opposite reason of AIP not delivering enough power for a meaningful rate of advance.
 
Okay, but is this a better system than AIP?
Debatable.

If I was building a diesel sub, I'd have both Stirling AIP and lithium batteries. Stirling AIP so that you don't have to store hydrogen onboard, even though that makes more noise than fuel cell AIP. Working with hydrogen isn't worth the explosion risks, IMO.

AIP means you can stay down longer, lithium batteries charge faster and can be discharged faster for a higher dash speed.
 
Admiral Huang Shu-kuang, who is leading the programme, told the local media last week that lawmakers, whom he did not name, had made it difficult for the programme to purchase critical equipment, and that a contractor who had failed to obtain a bid forwarded information to China.

Taiwan’s Supreme Prosecutors Office, in a short statement, said Adm Huang’s accusations had attracted “great attention”, given the national security and defence implications.

It said it had instructed prosecutors to “investigate the case as soon as possible in order to safeguard national security”.

It did not give details or names.
 
I wonder why the leap from lead-acid to lithium without looking into intermediary battery types like NIMH? Lithium has some safety risks especially when battle damage is involved.
 
I wonder why the leap from lead-acid to lithium without looking into intermediary battery types like NIMH? Lithium has some safety risks especially when battle damage is involved.
At a guess, I would say one of the countries/companies collaborating with Taiwan on the project is Japanese.

EDIT: is it confirmed that lithium batteries are used?
 

It seems like there's quite a shitshow going on regarding the IDS prgramme. The main point of contention is if there was a leak of sensitive information regarding IDS to PRC. Alleged leaker here is a Taiwanese congressman.

Also there seems to be much more Korean involvement in the programme than what I knew, especially in the pressure hull design and welding through a Korean companny called SI Innotec. They are a company that has been involved in the KSS programme in the past, and have additionally hired two former ROKN officers and teamed up with a Taiwanese broker.

Due to SI Innotec being separately investigated in Korea for the leakge of sensitive blueprints to Taiwan, and current scandal itself, they are no longer involved in the programme and as such, a new foreign TAC is needed, who will provide guidance in pressure vessel manufacturing.

Anyways, interesting turn of events.
 
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This sub looks much less like a Barbel-class than I expected.

I wonder why the leap from lead-acid to lithium without looking into intermediary battery types like NIMH? Lithium has some safety risks especially when battle damage is involved.
Lithium batteries are pretty shock-resistant (how many times can you launch your phone across the room without hurting the battery?), and that's the primary non-catastrophic damage you'd see in a sub. Any explosion that doesn't breach the hull causes shock damage inside, the usual assumption is broken hydraulic lines causing a fire. Any explosion that does breach the hull will probably cause the loss of the boat.

Also, does anyone even make NIMH batteries anymore? Especially if we're talking industrial sized batteries?
 
This sub looks much less like a Barbel-class than I expected.


Lithium batteries are pretty shock-resistant (how many times can you launch your phone across the room without hurting the battery?), and that's the primary non-catastrophic damage you'd see in a sub. Any explosion that doesn't breach the hull causes shock damage inside, the usual assumption is broken hydraulic lines causing a fire. Any explosion that does breach the hull will probably cause the loss of the boat.

Also, does anyone even make NIMH batteries anymore? Especially if we're talking industrial sized batteries?

I am not aware of any submarine with LiB outside the newest Japanese models. I would not expect lithium to be a feature on Chinese or Taiwanese boats without one or the other making a big deal of it, though I admit to not having my finger on the pulse of either country's submarine development.
 
I am not aware of any submarine with LiB outside the newest Japanese models. I would not expect lithium to be a feature on Chinese or Taiwanese boats without one or the other making a big deal of it, though I admit to not having my finger on the pulse of either country's submarine development.
Neither am I. But lithium batteries have about 5x the power density compared to lead-acid, whether by volume or by mass, and can be charged or discharged much faster.

So for any sub that isn't nuclear powered, there's really no reason not to use lithium batteries. They're just that much better. Even nuclear powered subs would likely prefer lithium batteries, since that means you don't have to dive the well to take specific gravities of the electrolyte and can rely on cell-monitoring software instead. Nuclear subs would also benefit from the additional storage capacity, but not as much as conventionally-powered subs would.
 

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