Even More on Aussie Submarines

After our spirited discussion on submarines recently in More on Submarines and then the post Submarines – some more, I came across an article in the Sydney Morning Herald today with a title of Defence to get new supercomputer. It seems that Cray Inc., the company making supercomputers has sold the Department of Defence a $2.2 million supercomputer to help with research for the Future Submarine program.


A Defence Department sopkeperson noted that,

The system will be used to undertake computational fluid dynamic studies to increase knowledge and assist the evaluation of technical risks associated with the hydrodynamic performance of future Australian navy platforms.

The capacity of the system will enable large computational fluid dynamics simulations to be performed in the order of days rather than months.’

So, seems the Australian Department of Defence is trying to make the next batch of submarines flow through the water, better – even if they can’t get enough crew to man them.

Personally, I would have thought a $2.2 million supercomputer wasn’t that flash!

The other two interesting bits of news with regards to this is that they apparently are looking at container-housing the computer so that it is portable. Not sure why they want to do that rather than just ensure they have the necessary channel bandwidth to access back to the supercomputer.

The other interesting part of the report was where “client and vendor are expected to run performance tests to see whether the system would qualify for nomination for the biannual top 500 supercomputer list”.

Right! Not very highly I would have thought.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/government-it/defence-to-get-new-supercomputer-20130610-2nzxr.html#ixzz2VtkgBTUH

Submarines – some more

As we were speaking about Submarines the other day, Douglas sent me a link to the Telegraph. I will admit, I do prefer the UK Telegraph to the Australian abomination but I never really read the UK Telly all that much when I was there. Obviously, after this article, I should have.

It seems that the Spanish have been busily building a nice new submarine – the S-80, of which four are on order. There is only one slight problem. Apparently the submarines are too heavy. The Telegraph reported that:

Last month it emerged that the Isaac Peral sub – part of the new S-80 series and named in honour of the Spanish man credited by some as the inventor of the underwater vessel – was at least 75 tons overweight, an excess that could compromise its ability to surface after submerging

Oops. Seems the Australians are not the only ones with Submarine woes.

Oh, and in the way of things, the S-80 is being named after Isaac Peral who is credited with designing and building the first practical submarine. And yes I know, the American Civil War produced submarines on both sides, Brutus de Villeroi being credited with the first of the Union ones, but these were all powered by hand. Peral’s had an engine!


scorpene One of the searches in Thomo’s Hole recently was “Scorpene”. My first thought for “scorpene” was the submarine class “Scorpène”. These are a class of diesel-electric attack submarines. These submarines are powered by diesel propulsion as well as an additional air-independent propulsion system ((Air-independent propulsion is a term that encompasses technologies which allow a submarine to operate without the need to surface or use a snorkel to access atmospheric oxygen. The term usually excludes the use of nuclear power, and describes augmenting or replacing the diesel-electric propulsion system of non-nuclear vessels))

The submarines have been jointly developed by the French company, DCNS ((head office at DCNS – Siège Social, 2, rue Sextius Michel, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, http://www.dcnsgroup.com/)) and the Spanish company Navantia ((head office at A-84076397 C/ Velázquez 132. 28006 Madrid, Spain http://www.navantia.es/irj/portal/anonymous?lang=en)).

Fourteen Scorpène have been ordered so far – two for the Chilean Navy to replace the two Oberon class vessels that have been retired; two for the Royal Malaysian Navy; four for the Brazilian Navy; and six for the Indian Navy.

So far two have been completed and are in operation (coming into operation in 2005 and 2006). These are the Chilean Scorpène vessels, O’Higgins and Carrera.

The general characteristics of these vessels are:

Displacement: 1450 tonnes (compact)
1,700 tonnes (normal)
2,000 tones (AIP)
Length: 59.4 m (compact)
66.4 m (normal)
76.2 m (AIP)
Propulsion: Diesel-electric, batteries and AIP
Speed: 20 knots submerged
12 knots surfaced
Range: 6,500 nautical miles @ 8 knots (surfaced)
550 nautical miles at 5 knots (submerged)
Endurance: 40 days (compact)
50 days (normal and AIP)
Diving Depth: 350 metres
Complement: 32
Armament: Six 533 mm torpedo tubes with 18 torpedoes carried

There is a good write-up on these vessels at http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/scorpene/

As a final post script, there is also a link between the Scorpène class submarines and Mongolia, a land-locked country. That link is the murdered Mongolian model, Altantuya Shaariibuu. She was murdered in 2006 in Malaysia when she was shot twice in the head, stripped of her clothing and then blown-up with C4. Two Malaysian special police have been found guilty of the crime and sentenced to death – although they have appealed that sentence.

A well known analyst, Razak Baginda, was implicated in the crime as the police were his protection unit and Altantuya was his paramour. Baginda’s company also received a payout of over 500 million Ringgit for the award of the submarine contract. It has been alleged that Altantuya was murdered when she tried to claim her share of the commission. See the Wikipedia entries for Abdul Razak Baginda and Altantuya Shaaribuu for a general background on that.