Type 09V/09VI (095/096) Nuclear Submarine Thread


AndrewS

Colonel
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That is an interesting part in bold letters. What are the cost factors?
Once a ship or submarine has been sealed up and launched into the water, it is difficult to get men or equipment inside. You may need a drydock as well.

So it's easier when still in superblocks in the assembly hall, and easier still when the individual modules are being fabbed.
 

Godzilla

New Member
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That is an interesting part in bold letters. What are the cost factors?
This was from Huntington Ingalls.
The ratio should be significantly different in that Chinese yard, mainly due to the assembling hall being essentially similar to the shop, and the Chinese habits of going crazy on scaffolding rather than rely on fixed permanent access and getting modules designed around those. (If the scaffolds are smashed the way the Chinese does it, then its cheaper and more efficient). I would say it might be 1-1.5-6 from what I saw at Zhenhua & CSIC yards, given HSE requirements are definitely different and less paperwork.
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Also, highly unlikely that China will build them the same way. The US modules are basically fully assembled and fitted out when it comes to the assembly yard. Still takes lots of time at a sub assembly shop getting those super modules all fitted out. The Chinese ones would be at best sub assemblies of all structural steel blasted and painted, with probably the larger bore pipes fitted in place before heading into the hall to complete the fit out and final assembly. If you have the physical infrastructure in place like here, I would think this is the way to go, sizing the modules for the paint shop since that would most likely be the schedule bottleneck, and avoid having SPMTs double handling the modules every where and kind of hide the progress from everyone by doing it under a roof.
 

MarKoz81

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Perhaps they just hadn't got round to putting the cross rails in when the photo was taken, or it is not sufficiently high definition to see them.

That's what gantry cranes are for. The structure of the construction hall can be either already rated for such tool or it can be a mobile crane that can be moved between locations. I think this link will be sufficient evidence:

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1000t or 2000t lift is not a problem if you intend to build nuclear submarines and it is unlikely that a single module for SSNs will weigh more because it is not practical to make modules larger than that. Ideally the modules should be as small as possible because it makes any repairs or upgrades during the boat's life so much easier.

A gantry is preferable to having tracks because it allows flexibility in planning of production. With a gantry you can freely move the module between stations where work is onging. It doesn't matter if you need to move the module from one end of the hall to the other which is impossible if you have to move it on tracks - you can't move along the track if something blocks your way.

If you can only move the modules along tracks then your entire production process must follow a rigid schedule like on an assembly line for cars. But cars are tested at the end of each assembly stage and if a car is faulty it's discarded because the volume of production allows it. An automated assembly line is not used for aircraft for the very reason - the individual cost is too high for a faulty product to be discarded or even returned for fixes. A submarine module is even costlier so you have to be able to organize your production around potential errors and delays that can happen for reasons that have nothing to do with your work. For example the steel can be of improper quality or testing was done badly and during welding cracks appear and the module is not ready for further work or assembly. What do you do then? Do you stop the entire floor until the problem is fixed? And if it can't be fixed do you move all the other modules out of the way to discard the faulty one?

The reason why construction halls have rail tracks because that's how you launch the hull. Even if the submarine is manufactured in a static scaffolding you will have to move it to a track to take it out of the hall and into the water. That's it. Any lateral movement is done with a gantry and if there are tracks for such movement it is not for individual modules but for moving an entire assembled hull from one track to another.

Such solutions would be used in old shipyards which have limited space and have only one track leading to the dock. Then you have to move the entire hull from one side of the hall to another and that's what the tracks would be for. Not for modules because it's ridiculously impractical. If you build a new shipyard for the express purpose of high-volume production of submarines it would be criminal to design it without high-capacity heavy-lift mobile gantries being included in the design. And I mean it when I say criminal - that's national security kind of offense because of the obvious potential for sabotage or disruption of production.

And that's assuming that you couldn't somehow move one module from one side to the other on a mobile platform with a hydraulic lift. That's more complicated than a gantry because it requires that you clear the floor before moving but it's still orders of magnitude more practical than tracks.

All in all in a country that is responsibly for 40% of world's shipbuilding the people who design new shipyards will know what is necessary in a new facility. If anything we're the ones lacking expertise and trying to guess answers using our limited knowledge - and as a result often getting them wrong.
 
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Saibotz

Just Hatched
Registered Member
I have a question for the more knowledgeable members here, as I am very much a layman on this subject. To what extent might the Type 095 be able to rival the Virginia/Suffren/Astute/Yasen classes of SSN's? Will the type 095 be able to rival (or surpass?) these models in terms of quietness, sonar, etc?
 

styx

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I have a question for the more knowledgeable members here, as I am very much a layman on this subject. To what extent might the Type 095 be able to rival the Virginia/Suffren/Astute/Yasen classes of SSN's? Will the type 095 be able to rival (or surpass?) these models in terms of quietness, sonar, etc?
china is sperimenting many new technologies for this sub, i can only say that. They can launch a sub class that is on par with the west best.
 

Bltizo

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I have a question for the more knowledgeable members here, as I am very much a layman on this subject. To what extent might the Type 095 be able to rival the Virginia/Suffren/Astute/Yasen classes of SSN's? Will the type 095 be able to rival (or surpass?) these models in terms of quietness, sonar, etc?

We know nothing about the 09V to be able to answer that.

We've had indications that it is meant to be competitive with the world leading classes of SSNs and certain characteristics that are meant to enable it. And it also wouldn't make sense to build facilities for such a large production capacity of SSNs if they didn't have a design that they deemed sufficiently competitive.

But what sufficiently competitive in practice means, is not something we can determine.
 

ZeEa5KPul

Senior Member
Registered Member
I have a question for the more knowledgeable members here, as I am very much a layman on this subject. To what extent might the Type 095 be able to rival the Virginia/Suffren/Astute/Yasen classes of SSN's? Will the type 095 be able to rival (or surpass?) these models in terms of quietness, sonar, etc?
Let me take a stab at this. The PLAN nuclear submarine program is even more opaque than the rest of the PLA, and that's saying something. But I believe there's a helpful analogy to be drawn with the PLAN surface fleet. PLAN destroyers really came into their own with the introduction of the Type 052D class, the first ship of which (DDG Kunming) was launched in 2012 - the Type 052D is a solid contemporary destroyer, if not really what you would call "world-leading". It inherited too many limitations from its small hull form and the baggage of its lineage, but it was nonetheless a worthy ship that incorporated a suite of advanced technologies, so the PLAN procured it in numbers.

The first world-leading Chinese warship was the clean sheet Type 055, which was launched five years after the first Type 052D. Its propulsion, weapons, sensors, electronic warfare suites, datalinking, command facilities, etc. give nothing to any competitor.

I think Chinese SSNs are somewhere in the Type 052D phase. The latest Type 09-IIIs (which with tongue firmly in cheek I'll call "Improved 09-III") correct many of the defects of the earlier iterations by using much more advanced technologies and production methods, but they remain held back by the inherent limitations of their design. I speculate that since the PLAN likes to eat risk in manageable chunks, we'll see a production run of these Improved 09-IIIs in the new Bohai yard for a few years before the first Type 09-V, to validate the new yard. The clean sheet 09-V is the Type 055 in this scenario - a first rate submarine that gives nothing to any competitor - and I think we're still some years away from the first one being built.

Incidentally, this pattern repeats itself frequently in the PLA's modernization. For instance, the first DF-31 ICBM was very limited - it was heavy (as in structurally heavy, not a desirable trait in a ballistic missile), it used mediocre propellant (HTPB), and was carted around on a Tonka toy truck. Then along came the DF-31A which greatly increased the range by lightening the structure and using an improved propellant (NEPE), and MIRVed the missile to 3 warheads. The DF-31AG solved the TEL issue by attaching the missile to a much more rugged, off-road truck. The DF-31AG is the "Type 052D" in this analogy. But it's limited by its form factor, it's just small for an ICBM.

Then along came the much larger and heavier (in fuel, i.e., the good kind of heavier) next-generation DF-41 (the Type 055 analogue), which increased the number of warheads from 3 to 6-10.
 

Bltizo

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We have examples of the meaning of "sufficiently competitive" in the surface warfare domain:
So I'd say that it's not a matter of us not being able to determine, but rather whether we have the willingness to reasonably extrapolate from precedent.

What makes for reasonable extrapolation is debatable.
Just because 052D and 055 were examples of competitive destroyers with world leading destroyers that were mass produced, does not mean that we can assume the 09V will be equally competitive to the same extent with other world leading SSNs.

Precedent goes both ways.

After all, there are certainly more than a few cases in the recent past and present where China has mass produced certain major air and naval products despite being significantly inferior to other leading platforms in the wold at the time (though logical for China's overall strategy and MIC context).



So yes, this is too early for us to make a confident statement about the extent of competitiveness that 09V may have with other world leading designs.
 

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