A unique feature of each of the Indian Navy’s six Scorpene SSKs is an on-board tactical situational awareness display console (above) of the kind normally found on SSNs, SSGNs and SSBNs. On this single console, the SSK’s Commanding Officer can view overlaid electronic navigation charts, the tactical situation picture, as well as a THALES-provided track table interface to the US Naval Research Laboratory-developed display and analysis tool set, called SIMDIS. The SIMDIS is a set of GOTS software tools in use to support 2-D and 3-D analysis and visualization of the undersea battlefield. SIMDIS allows an integrated real-time view of both time-space position information (TSPI) and telemetry data, and it also provides an intuitive view of complex system interactions before, during and after an event.
The sails of the Indian Navy's CM-2000 Scorpene SSKs (above) differ from those of the CM-2000 Scorpene SSKs of the Royal Malaysian Navy (below) in both looks and content, since the former play host to the VLF buoyant cable antenna suite.
France’s Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) has mandated that the F-21 HWT will equip all French Navy nuclear submarines. The F-21 has also been ordered by the Brazilian Navy. Naval Group has developed an important component for safe deployment: an energy pack based on an aluminium/silver oxide electric battery that needs seawater for activation—an element unlikely to be found in the submarine. To meet submarine safety requirements, the F-21 will be launched by a technique in which it is pushed out of the boat by a piston (rammer), after which a valve in the torpedo opens and lets seawater into the battery to activate it. The battery provides high energy density, and is sufficiently compact that the overall length of the F-21 HWT—6 metres (19.6 feet) long with a 21-inch (533mm) diameter—is compatible with legacy launchers. One problem with competitive torpedoes that are equipped with older-generation batteries is that to achieve the energy for their missions and countermeasures, they need long batteries, which add so much to their length that they no longer fit into launchers. The torpedo must also have enough energy left once it has reached its target to attack and sink high-value targets such as aircraft carriers and frigates. This explains the importance of the primary battery as the energy source. The UK, Russia, US and Sweden have chosen thermal systems as their energy source. France specified the electric system because it is safe and silent. In underwater missions, silence is of the utmost importance to avoid detection by the enemy. This system enables a totally silent attack.
The F-21 is digital and operates in depths of 15-500 metres, which means it can be used in littoral and blue-water operations. In shallow waters there are “parasite” sounds that confuse torpedoes, which home in on targets acoustically. The F-21 treats the sound signals digitally with the same up-to-date processing as in modern warship sonars, which enables the F-21 to largely overcome this difficulty. The F-21 weighs 1.2 tons, has a range of 50km, speed of 50 Knots., and 1-hour endurance. It can attack multiple targets and has extended fibre-optic wire guidance that is resistant to most countermeasures. The warhead contains PBX B2211, a high-impulse, high-bubble-energy, insensitive explosive that conforms to NATO’s STANAG-4439 and France’s MURAT (Munitions a Risques Attenues) standards. The torpedo uses an all-electric “fuse-and-slapper” detonation technology. Primarily used in guided-missiles, the plasma-based slapper system is more stable and safer than the conventional electro-mechanical detonation systems in most torpedoes. The torpedo configuration can be changed from a weapon to a training device by just puting an exercise section on it instead of an explosive one. One can also change the primary battery, providing it with a secondary battery based on lithium-ion technology, which is reusable a great number of times.
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