Diesel Sub Sets Record
I have to admit I'm impressed with the news that the German Type 212A sub, U 32, made a two week transit from Germany to Rota, Spain, without snorkeling. While a nuclear boat could have made the trip in two or three days without breaking a sweat, it's stilll a phenomenal demonstation of the advances in AIP technology that a boat can stay moving for two weeks without having to run the diesel generator.
While this might make some think that the U.S. should invest in AIP boats, the Navy's PEO for Submarines, RADM William Hilarides, just put out a very concise explanation of why diesel boats might be good for some countries, but not the U.S. Excerpts:
“A diesel submarine sitting on the bottom is relatively quiet thing, but it has to get there, and it has to be relatively supportive there,” he said.
"Hilarides and Polmar also had some disconnect on the cost of non-nuclear submarines.
"The admiral said that diesel subs would cost $1 billion for the hull and for installing modern U.S. equipment on the vessel. While nuclear submarines are projected to cost $2.4 billion, Hilarides suggested that savings for diesel subs would be inadequate.
“So it would be two-for-one . . . if you were to buy a submarine like that,” he said. “And it has nowhere near the stealth, endurance, deployability and on-station time that we need for our submarines.”
RADM Hilardes has been busy; he also recently discussed efforts to reduce costs in the Virginia Class program.