054B/next generation frigate


Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
Come on... IEP doesn't specify what types of engines you use. Sure, Diesel-Electric is arguably a type of IEP and it's by no means a new tech. But it's not the same concept as the modern IEP that doesn't merely focus on "propulsion" but is actually more about "integrated". You regulate the main engines for propulsion and the generators all together. Diesels surely have better speed/load characteristics than gas turbine, but still far from perfection. By using IEP, there's still a big margin for diesels to boost overall efficiency. Ma calls their solution with medium-voltage DC distribution the 2nd generation, relative to the current western systems with AC distribution. There's a significant gain brought by the DC distribution. Another factor here is, the modern IEP usually involves energy storage. As far as I know, the Chinese IEP likely incorporates a flywheel energy storage mechanism. Just think about hybrid cars versus traditional cars. IEP optimizes the speed and load for each engine, and therefore boosts its overall efficiency. Gas turbines may gain even more, but it doesn't mean diesels don't have benefits. For surface combatants, future electronic and weapon systems will surely consume a lot more electricity. I do see IEP is a must. As for PLAN's future frigates, it would be good to change to gas turbines for the main propulsion, but all-diesel is also fine. IEP can improve its acoustic characteristics, electricity generation, and average fuel efficiency. Theoretically, it is easier to operate and maintain too.

Connection between Ma's IEPS and 054B is iffy at best. This can be another Internet making connections, then repeatedly passed along the media that people begin to take it as a fact. Because you think its better does not mean it will come true. Its very likely that Ma's IEPS will see an application somewhere but that application is not necessarily the 054B. There are quite a load of even likelier candidates like government operated oceanographic vessels and those SURTASS SWATHs we see around. Every time you see the shipyard in Guandong Huangpu you see loads of both these vessels. Other areas where IEPS or diesel electrics are being used are coast guard vessels and tugs, especially the large deep water navy tug (est. displacement over 6000 tons), things not coincidentally are also made in Guandong Huangpu and other CSSC shipyards.

An enormous reason why the 054A continues to be built might lie in the basis of its platform and this is why the 054B won't rock this boat. Its four diesel powertrain is elegantly simple and rock solid. You also have an enormous base of personnel trained to operate and run it. You may not want to fix what ain't broken. The PLAN can be very conservative in some areas. Regardless of all the technical advantages of IEPS and diesel electric you may lay down, what matters is the way they think, not what you think.

But even if you go IEPS, even if you go diesel-electric, none presents such a deep and complex problem that you need to go feely deely testing it on a few ships before jumping into with both feet. As of late, the PLAN's approach to new ships is binary --- you have to be able to produce a lot of these ships from the get go, or you don't produce them at all. If they are producing 054B with IEPS or diesel electric, this isn't going to be a test batch used to test the waters before going to the next. They will produce the ship for as many as they need and will only end it for various other reasons.
 
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blindsight

Junior Member
Registered Member
Connection between Ma's IEPS and 054B is iffy at best. This can be another Internet making connections, then repeatedly passed along the media that people begin to take it as a fact. Because you think its better does not mean it will come true. Its very likely that Ma's IEPS will see an application somewhere but that application is not necessarily the 054B. There are quite a load of even likelier candidates like government operated oceanographic vessels and those SURTASS SWATHs we see around. Every time you see the shipyard in Guandong Huangpu you see loads of both these vessels. Other areas where IEPS or diesel electrics are being used are coast guard vessels and tugs, especially the large deep water navy tug (est. displacement over 6000 tons), things not coincidentally are also made in Guandong Huangpu and other CSSC shipyards.

An enormous reason why the 054A continues to be built might lie in the basis of its platform and this is why the 054B won't rock this boat. Its four diesel powertrain is elegantly simple and rock solid. You also have an enormous base of personnel trained to operate and run it. You may not want to fix what ain't broken. The PLAN can be very conservative in some areas. Regardless of all the technical advantages of IEPS and diesel electric you may lay down, what matters is the way they think, not what you think.

But even if you go IEPS, even if you go diesel-electric, none presents such a deep and complex problem that you need to go feely deely testing it on a few ships before jumping into with both feet. As of late, the PLAN's approach to new ships is binary --- you have to be able to produce a lot of these ships from the get go, or you don't produce them at all. If they are producing 054B with IEPS or diesel electric, this isn't going to be a test batch used to test the waters before going to the next. They will produce the ship for as many as they need and will only end it for various other reasons

Connection between Ma's IEPS and 054B is iffy at best. This can be another Internet making connections, then repeatedly passed along the media that people begin to take it as a fact. Because you think its better does not mean it will come true. Its very likely that Ma's IEPS will see an application somewhere but that application is not necessarily the 054B. There are quite a load of even likelier candidates like government operated oceanographic vessels and those SURTASS SWATHs we see around. Every time you see the shipyard in Guandong Huangpu you see loads of both these vessels. Other areas where IEPS or diesel electrics are being used are coast guard vessels and tugs, especially the large deep water navy tug (est. displacement over 6000 tons), things not coincidentally are also made in Guandong Huangpu and other CSSC shipyards.

An enormous reason why the 054A continues to be built might lie in the basis of its platform and this is why the 054B won't rock this boat. Its four diesel powertrain is elegantly simple and rock solid. You also have an enormous base of personnel trained to operate and run it. You may not want to fix what ain't broken. The PLAN can be very conservative in some areas. Regardless of all the technical advantages of IEPS and diesel electric you may lay down, what matters is the way they think, not what you think.

But even if you go IEPS, even if you go diesel-electric, none presents such a deep and complex problem that you need to go feely deely testing it on a few ships before jumping into with both feet. As of late, the PLAN's approach to new ships is binary --- you have to be able to produce a lot of these ships from the get go, or you don't produce them at all. If they are producing 054B with IEPS or diesel electric, this isn't going to be a test batch used to test the waters before going to the next. They will produce the ship for as many as they need and will only end it for various other reasons.
Of course I can't be 100% sure that 054B will use IEP. But I feel it's very likely. I've explained why I think so. And if it does, I don't think PLAN will be that confident to mass produce it from the beginning. That holds true for any surface combatant that'll first incorporate IEP. No matter whether it's 054B, 055A or anything else.
 

Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
Of course I can't be 100% sure that 054B will use IEP. But I feel it's very likely. I've explained why I think so. And if it does, I don't think PLAN will be that confident to mass produce it from the beginning. That holds true for any surface combatant that'll first incorporate IEP. No matter whether it's 054B, 055A or anything else.

Whether or not the 054B will use IEP or straight diesel, it will not be released half baked. There is no "trial period" for 1 to 4 ships. Just not their policy any longer, not the 1990s to early 2000s PLAN here, it will be straight out all gung ho, all gutsy mass produce as many as they need. Their only real bottleneck is the available of trained personnel to fill the ships, and the only time they may pause or stop production is when they have an improved variant under the wings.
 

blindsight

Junior Member
Registered Member
Whether or not the 054B will use IEP or straight diesel, it will not be released half baked. There is no "trial period" for 1 to 4 ships. Just not their policy any longer, not the 1990s to early 2000s PLAN here, it will be straight out all gung ho, all gutsy mass produce as many as they need. Their only real bottleneck is the available of trained personnel to fill the ships, and the only time they may pause or stop production is when they have an improved variant under the wings.
We'll see
 

blindsight

Junior Member
Registered Member
I agree. But remember this, both the 055 and the 075 were produced in their numbers going all out. No more build one or two, then sort out the problems and build the rest. This is a combination of how confident the Chinese shipyards are, and how strict the PLAN has become for QC.
None of them could have any serious issue in design but the all-new IEP system could.
 

Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
None of them could have any serious issue in design but the all-new IEP system could.

Huh? What makes you think that an IEP system could? You are referring to a country that appeared to have taken a global lead in electromagnetics, ranging from MAGLEVs to railguns to EM catapults to EVs. As I said, if the PLAN thinks its going to have trouble, they will not install on the ship. Whatever technical advantages IEP is, is not going to outweigh the disruption of their building schedules. They will install it on the 054B only if it is ready. The IEP system will have to be proven itself, either on the ground, on test platforms, and on test ships, before it will be on the 054B. You will be foolish to assume the 054B will be used as a test ship itself. By the way, IEP itself is not shown to be a problem with on the Daring class, it is the cooling equipment on the ship that failed. Cooling is critical on destroyers with AESA, such as the Daring, and its going to be more so when the 055 not only has panels larger than any ship, but it also has a second set, not to mention its communications and EW are also set in flat array form. This is a tremendous amount of RF and EMF the 055 is emitting with all the possibilities for interference. IEP isn't the problem on the Zumwalt either but it has issues with its radars. These two cases illustrate where a ship can potentially fail, never mind that it took years for the 052C radars to fix its problems, for the AEGIS to work with littorals, years to fix the Admiral Gorshkov's radars and fire control system, this being Russia's most modern warship.

The 075 happens to be the country's first ever LHD, second flat top, and the first to be built by this shipyard which has no experience in building flat tops. Its a risky move there that they are already building the third without having to wait for the first to be commissioned.
 
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blindsight

Junior Member
Registered Member
Huh? What makes you think that an IEP system could? You are referring to a country that appeared to have taken a global lead in electromagnetics, ranging from MAGLEVs to railguns to EM catapults to EVs. As I said, if the PLAN thinks its going to have trouble, they will not install on the ship. Whatever technical advantages IEP is, is not going to outweigh the disruption of their building schedules. They will install it on the 054B only if it is ready. The IEP system will have to be proven itself, either on the ground, on test platforms, and on test ships, before it will be on the 054B. You will be foolish to assume the 054B will be used as a test ship itself. By the way, IEP itself is not shown to be a problem with on the Daring class, it is the cooling equipment on the ship that failed. Cooling is critical on destroyers with AESA, such as the Daring, and its going to be more so when the 055 not only has panels larger than any ship, but it also has a second set, not to mention its communications and EW are also set in flat array form. This is a tremendous amount of RF and EMF the 055 is emitting with all the possibilities for interference. IEP isn't the problem on the Zumwalt either but it has issues with its radars. These two cases illustrate where a ship can potentially fail, never mind that it took years for the 052C radars to fix its problems, for the AEGIS to work with littorals, years to fix the Admiral Gorshkov's radars and fire control system, this being Russia's most modern warship.

The 075 happens to be the country's first ever LHD, second flat top, and the first to be built by this shipyard which has no experience in building flat tops. Its a risky move there that they are already building the third without having to wait for the first to be commissioned.
Of course it could, just as any untested new design. The IEP system on Zumwalt did cause some trouble, although that won't happen in the Chinese design, since the issue was associated with AC distribution. But there's no guarantee DC distribution won't have its specific problem. Even Ma himself said it wasn't a mature tech yet.
 

Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
Of course it could, just as any untested new design. The IEP system on Zumwalt did cause some trouble, although that won't happen in the Chinese design, since the issue was associated with AC distribution. But there's no guarantee DC distribution won't have its specific problem. Even Ma himself said it wasn't a mature tech yet.

Yet to what amount of trouble? Big? Small? Unresolved? The Zumwalt itself is already long past that, and its been going around to a few places. Yet compare that to its radars which we have not heard news since.

If Ma thinks its not a mature tech yet, the PLAN won't put it on the 054B. What is so hard for you to understand? That the PLAN is obligated to put untested tech on a mission critical platform? They can decide not too. They have no obligation to put it on the 054B if it isn't mature. Next generation frigate is such a strategically important platform that they should want zero risk to it. Do you think they are so set in stone that 054B must absolutely have IEP? No it is not and decision making has to be flexible to say we can't do this, we can't accept this, let's go with the proven method instead. If IEP is not mature, the 054B is going in with conventional diesel approaches. The thing is, they have a schedule and they will maintain it. They need to have an X number of ships by this year and this year and it needs to be done.

Read up what went on with the Constellation class FFG. The RFIP calls for an existing mature and proven platform. The USN actually wanted something that was already designed and placed in the water as opposed to designing from scratch. They wanted zero risk. They don't want to experiment any longer.
 
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Gloire_bb

Senior Member
Registered Member
If Ma thinks its not a mature tech yet, the PLAN won't put it on the 054B
New hull/propulsion plant isn't some video game "research accomplished" combination.
It's inherently quite risky.

Canonical case a german ww2 ship propulsion - which, contrary to common belief, was seen as mature enough, was reasonably tested both on land and civilian ships(and worked there well!). The "only" thing was it wasn't really tested on warships(KM had no time to do it) - and this small detail alone crippled Kriegsmarine for the whole ww2.
Next generation frigate is such a strategically important platform that they should want zero risk to it.
Zero risk is raft with the sail - and it won't buy you maritime parity with the US.
In a by default tech-intensive fighting domain(which seas 100% are), you take calculated risks and take risk-mitigation measures.
And contrary to beliefs of many, such measures don't mean that country x "isn't a leader in field y".
Irresponsible behavior with public money is a sign of political whatsoever meddling, not of a solid innovation process.
 

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