Friday, August 25, 2006

They're having 2: I want 12

Do the math.
In a bid to boost its military arsenal against a perceived threat from archfoe Iran, Israel has signed a contract with Germany to buy two submarines capable of carrying nuclear weapons, a newspaper report said Wednesday.

Under the contract signed in July, the two Dolphin-class submarines, called U212s, will be assembled in Germany and fitted with a propulsion system allowing them to remain underwater for far longer than submarines already in use by the Israel navy, the Jerusalem Post said.

The state-of-the-art submarines, manufactured by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG, will be bought by Israel for 1.27 billion dollars, a third of which will be financed by the German government, the English-language daily said.

The U212s are designed for a crew of 35, have a range of 4,500 kilometers (2,810 miles) and can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads, the paper quoted the Jane's Defense Weekly as saying.
The 212 is varsity football. It's stats are better than that.
* Displacement: 1450 tons surfaced, 1830 tons submerged
* Length: 56 m
* Beam: 7 m
* Draft: 6 m
* Propulsion:
--o 1 MTU 16V 396 diesel-engine, 3.12 MW
--o 9 HDW/Siemens PEM fuel cells, 30-40 kW each (U31)
--o 2 HDW/Siemens PEM fuel cells 120 kW (U32, U33, U34)
--o 1 Siemens Permasyn electric motor, driving single seven-bladed skew-back propeller
* Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h) submerged, 12 knots surfaced
* Depth: over 250m (official), greater than 400 m (estimated)
* Range:
--o 8,000 nautical miles (14,800 km) at 8 knots (15 km/h) surfaced,
* Endurance: 3 weeks without snorkeling, 12 weeks overall
* Armament:
--o 6 x 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes with 12 torpedoes
--o 24 external naval mines (optional)
* Countermeasures:
--o Torpedo defence system Tau, 4 launchers, 40 jammers/decoys
* Sensors:
--o STN Atlas DBQS40 sonar suite:
----+ TAS-3 passive low-frequency towed array sonar (deployed from sail)
----+ FAS-3 passive Low-, and med-frequency hull-mounted flank array sonar
----+ MOA 3070 mine detection sonar
--o Periscopes:
----+ Carl Zeiss SERO 14, with FLIR and optical rangefinder
----+ Carl Zeiss SERO 15, with laser range-finder
--o Kelvin Hughes Type 1007 I band navigation radar
--o EADS FL 1800U ESM suite
* Complement: 27
I'll do the math for you. That is $635 million a copy (a Virginia class will run you $2 billion a copy). Only 20% more than a mission capable LCS. With economy of scale, a 12 unit run would keep a ship yard busy for 6 years at a lower per-unit cost, and you don't have to hire Swedes to show you how to do business. Contract build in the U.S. Good enough for a side-arm, good enough for this. Homeport 6 in Japan and 6 somewhere in the Med. Split Croatia would be a nice spot.

And yes, I know I have kicked a nest. Good.

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