Speaking of Proliferation

Twisted steel and sex appeal

Twisted steel and sex appeal

Ahhh, the Type 214, otherwise known as the German Export version of the Type 212. I saw a 212 in Rota, Spain as Navigator and I can’t lie. That is one sexy submarine. Almost made me wish I was on a diesel for a second.

But only a second.

However, when trying to get the most bang for your buck, the small size is not a deterrent compared to the potential power of an AIP system based on hydrogen fuel cells when you operate a coastal navy.

Consequently, South Korea has just ordered six more of these sexy beasts.

Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) has been contracted to provide South Korea with six additional Type 214 submarines. Announced Jan. 7, the deal has been struck between the South Korean procurement authority and a consortium comprising HDW – part of Hamburg-based ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems AG – and MarineForce International.

The batch of six conventional submarines will be supplied as packages for assembly by local shipyards. The first of the batch is to be built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. Tenders for the production of the second vessel will be submitted in summer 2009.

You know the Germans always make great stuff!

You know the Germans always make great stuff!

As these submarines continue to proliferate, the need to re-evaluate ASW tactics will increase. Simply put, I don’t think the current methods (which seem firmly rooted in Cold War ideology) will cut the mustard when used against an impossible to find enemy.

Say what you will about Theater ASW or Full Spectrum ASW… if the fundamental tasking is still “Go Find the Enemy” the fundamental result will be the expenditure of thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars with minimal contact gained.

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