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Belesarius

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Good looking boats, and it seems that they're also using modular construction like the Virginias (I assume the Russians and Chinese build modular also, but I don't know offhand).

 

Are they still fucking around with low-enriched reactors for some dumb reason?

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10 hours ago, LostCosmonaut said:

Good looking boats, and it seems that they're also using modular construction like the Virginias (I assume the Russians and Chinese build modular also, but I don't know offhand).

 

Are they still fucking around with low-enriched reactors for some dumb reason? 

 

Yes, AFAIK the reactor is still a K15 (slightly enlarged but still the same reactor).

So the fuel is probably still around the same enrichment.

 

Original K15:

 

Spoiler

2249.jpg

 

Barracuda's reactor as well as it's ground based test reactor (RES):

 

Spoiler

SC_HF30042016_DCNSBARRAC.jpghttps://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSPXYGtjXEyfis1LHsOANcO6iblM5Sw9Y-idsZFBXhgUVcXbO7l

 

I did heard hearsay from old timers that at some point we experimented with metallic fuel (don't know the enrichment though) and that they dropped it rather quickly.

On paper it was nice to have the ability to vastly change the power output even faster, especially for a sub, but the stuff was deemed a bit too delicate to be put into the hands of sailors.

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Here's a document (2002) from technicatome (designer of the reactor) from the INIS database

 

https://inis.iaea.org/collection/NCLCollectionStore/_Public/33/048/33048066.pdf

 

Spoiler

2.5.2 Choix techniques principaux pour la conception de la chaufferie du BARRACUDA

2.5.2.1 Options techniques résultant directement du besoin navire

 

- Puissance thermique dans la gamme couverte par les programmes antérieurs. Discrétion acoustique au niveau requis (capacité de fonctionnement en Circulation Naturelle).

- Consommation prévisionnelle d'énergie sensiblement augmentée par rapport au sous-marin du type RUBIS/AMETHYSTE.

 

2.5.2.2 Options techniques générales propre à la chaufferie

 

- Reconduction du concept de réacteur compact à architecture intégrée.

- Augmentation de l'énergie extractible des cœurs. L'objectif est de parvenir à 10 années d'activité opérationnelle entre rechargements et si possible de rendre l'énergie du cœur dans une certaine mesure "adaptable à la demande".

-Limitation de l'utilisation d'uranium enrichi à teneur élevée ; de façon à réduire les coûts,

-Réduction du délai nécessaire pour le rechargement du combustible (3 mois contre 5 actuellement).

-Organiser une gestion du parc des éléments combustibles incomplètement usés. Le mode de gestion des cœurs de propulsion

navale implique de facto une usure incomplète des cœurs en fin de vie puisque le déchargement doit nécessairement intervenir assez longtemps avant la fin de vie du cœur sauf à rendre le navire inapte à remplir une mission décidée inopinément.

-Amélioration et rationalisation de l'interface homme/machine. Il s'agit d'un thème en pleine évolution dans l'ensemble des techniques. La propulsion nucléaire navale est d'ailleurs relativement en avance sur ce thème puisque le programme Kl 5 aété l'occasion de nombreuses avancées dans ce domaine.

 

2.5.2.3 Options techniques générales relatives à l'amélioration de la sûreté

 

On donne ci-après quelques axes de progrès relatifs à la sûreté des installations :

 

-Prise en compte du retour d'expérience de l'accident de l'EMERAUDE (cf. chap. 3.5.3) ; ceci concerne :

• la technologie des circuits d'eau de mer,

• le risque vapeur à prendre pleinement en compte (dessin des condenseurs),

• l'examen systématique des conséquences des isolements des circuits d'eau de mer (isolements intempestifs notamment),

• la gestion rigoureuse des accès aux locaux à risques.

 

- Examen des conditions de prise en compte d'un accident grave de fusion cœur au port :

• meilleure gestion de la puissance résiduelle au retour du sous-marin au port,

• définition de moyens de parade éventuels vis-à-vis d'un accident grave survenant au port.

 

-Renforcement de la fiabilité de l'alimentation électrique de la chaufferie.

- Définition d'un moyen simple et sûr de réfrigération de l'enceinte post-accident.

- Amélioration de la prévention vis-à-vis des "Corps Migrants".

-Rationalisation de la démonstration de sûreté (réduction du coût de la démonstration).

-Achèvement de l'alignement complet sur les applications électrogènes (pour mémoire car déjà pratiquement réalisé).

 

If I translate the block relevant to the Barracuda program it gives something like that:

 

Spoiler

2.5.2 Main technical choices for the conception of the Barracuda's powerplant

2.5.2.1 Technical choices linked to the operational requirements

 

-Thermal power in the same range than previous programs.

-Acoustic discretion at the required level (capability to function on natural circulation if needed)

-Increased consumption of energy expected compared to the last generation of SSN (going from a 2670t ship to a 5300t ship that was to be expected)

 

2.5.2.2 Technical choices directly concerning the powerplant

 

-Integrated reactor concept is kept (same general architecture)

-Increase of the total energy available in the core. Goal is to be able to last ten year between each refuel (compared to ~5-7 for the CdG IIRC) and if possible to make the total available power scalable to a certain extent.

-Limitation of the use of high enriched uranium to limit the cost.

-Reduction of the refueling time (goal is 3 month compared to 5 actually)

-Improve the management of fuel assembly at the fleet level.

-Improved man-machine interface

 

2.5.2.3 Technical choices directly concerning safety improvements

 

Below a few improvement axis

 

-Lesson learned from the accident on the EMERAUDE SSN (see chapter 3.5.3):

  • Sea water loop technology
  • Steam hazard (improved design of the condenser)
  • Systematic examination of consequences of sea water loop isolation (especially when unintentional)
  • Strict management of access to hazardous area

-Examination of the consequences of a reactor meltdown when in a harbor:

  • Improved management of residual heat
  • Definition of better risk management procedures

-Improved reliability of the electrical supply

-Definition of a simple and safe way to cooldown the containment vessel after an accident

-Improved prevention of foreign object insertion inside the loops

-Rationalization of the proof of safety study (cost reduction)

-Complete alignment on electro generative applications

 

 

So all in all the reason given to stick to LoE is that it's cheaper in our case and that apparently they hope to achieve a 10 year period between each refueling even with LoE.

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Turns out that pausing the T31e competition wasn't a complete waste of time, as we've had another candidate throw their hat into the ring. I didn't know atlas did full ship design

 

https://navaltoday.com/2018/12/10/three-shipbuilding-consortia-get-funds-for-their-type-31e-frigate-plans/

Quote

Three shipbuilding consortia get funds for their Type 31e frigate plans

Three shipbuilding teams have received funds from the UK to continue developing their plans for the construction of Type 31e frigates.

On December 10, 2018, the country’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) awarded three contracts for the Competitive Design Phase.

The contracts have been awarded to consortia led by BAE Systems, Babcock and Atlas Elektronik UK and are valued at up to £5 million each, according to Stuart Andrew, UK’s Defense Minister.

 

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2 hours ago, VPZ said:

Netanyahu-171218-2-1.jpg

Gabriel 5, or ANAM, for those wondering. 

I don't know exactly why it was kept semi-secret for so long, despite being seen several years ago, but I believe the IDF will soon buy it in large quantities, as they never upgraded their Harpoon missiles since they bought the outdated Block II.

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Quote

   On December 21, 2018, Admiralty Shipyards JSC (St. Petersburg, part of United Shipbuilding Corporation JSC - USK) began construction of the project 00903 drifting ice-resistant self-propelled platform "North Pole" (factory number 02404).

/.../

Ice-resistant self-propelled platform "North Pole" - a unique vessel in its purpose. In fact, this is a polar station with the functionality of a research and development center that will drift in the Arctic Ocean for two years without entering the port.

6347076_original.jpg

 

https://bmpd.livejournal.com/3466929.html

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That's an odd vessel - 4.2 MW driving 10k tons is out of the ordinary for ships. I wonder why they decided on a drifting platform, vs a normal research ship? It's not as if russia cannot build icebreakers

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Another lithium SSK joins the east-asian arms race:

https://www.janes.com/article/85421/south-korea-completes-preliminary-design-for-second-batch-of-kss-iii-submarines

Quote

South Korea completes preliminary design for second batch of KSS-III submarines

South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) has completed the preliminary design phase for the second batch of KSS-III (also written as KSS-3) diesel-electric submarines for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN), the country’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced on 26 December.

The shipbuilder began working on the boat’s design in July 2016, and is expected to begin building the first of these submarines, which are expected to feature enhanced capabilities for underwater operations, in the second half of 2019, said DAPA.

The new submarines are set to be equipped with locally developed lithium batteries, which store considerably more energy than lead-acid batteries, as well as with advanced sonar and weapon systems designed to enhance the boats’ target detection capabilities and overall survivability.

 

With the japanese launching one this year, I'm sure it won't be long before china gets one in the water (wouldn't be surprised if lithium batteries were fitted to that weird sub with a tiny sail that showed up recently). The battery chemistry would suggest an order of magnitude increase in submerged range is possible, and given that batteries can be refilled underway I expect to see lithium based subs (SSL's?) replace AIP systems quickly. Not having to store strong oxidisers on board the submarine is another plus, those things have a long history of being lethal to the wrong side.

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7 hours ago, Belesarius said:

Will believe it when I actually see it. they don't really have the logistical ability to do this easily.

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-usa-navy-idUSKCN1OY0SX

 

A one-off deployment to the atlantic isn't too challenging, it's not war so there's plenty of ports to call in. AFAIK there's no sanctions preventing countries from selling fuel to iranian vessels. It won't achieve much, but it should be possible

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2 minutes ago, Xlucine said:

 

A one-off deployment to the atlantic isn't too challenging, it's not war so there's plenty of ports to call in. AFAIK there's no sanctions preventing countries from selling fuel to iranian vessels. It won't achieve much, but it should be possible

I'm thinking of the situation with the Russian carrier when Spain wouldn't let them refuel and had to get a tanker to come and refuel it. It could be embarrassing for them if something like that happens. I've seen a breakdown of the ranges of the ships unrefuelled and it's not an easy go for what they have. The War Zone did an article breaking down why it is unlikely for them to actually deploy to Venezuela.

 

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7 minutes ago, Belesarius said:

I'm thinking of the situation with the Russian carrier when Spain wouldn't let them refuel and had to get a tanker to come and refuel it. It could be embarrassing for them if something like that happens. I've seen a breakdown of the ranges of the ships unrefuelled and it's not an easy go for what they have. The War Zone did an article breaking down why it is unlikely for them to actually deploy to Venezuela.

 

 

I'm also sure they'll bring their tanker (this is dependent on said tanker being available, and it was overhauled recently so they're likely to want to show it off). If they don't have the training to replenish while underway it's possible to transfer fuel while stationary at sea (even commercial oil tankers can do that, as demonstrated by north korea evading sanctions), so I'm sure iran has the capability to get a few ships to america if they wanted to. Bringing the tanker also means they'll have a helicopter hangar available (AFAIK it's the only one afloat in their navy, which sort of explains their "helicopter carrier" moniker for it)

 

It's nothing to do with demonstrating any kind of military effectiveness, of course

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On 1/5/2019 at 9:29 PM, Xlucine said:

 

It's nothing to do with demonstrating any kind of military effectiveness, of course

 

That might be true for people who know what they’re talking about, but to many of Iran’s citizens, this is ground breaking (or should I say, wave breaking :P). Hell, they might tout his as “our warships are so advanced, we can invade America!” Or something along those lines. 

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