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Scorpène class submarines' (Scorpion class submarines) are a class of diesel-electric attack submarine. It features diesel propulsion and an additional air-independent propulsion (AIP), jointly developed by the Frenchmarker company DCNS, formerly DCN, and the Spanishmarker company Navantia (Formerly Bazan, then Izar).

The Chilean Navy ordered two Scorpène, which replaced two Oberon class submarine retired by the Chilean Navy. The Royal Malaysian Navy ordered two, and the Indian Navy ordered six. All Indian boats will be built in India at Mazagon Dock Limited, and the last three will have the AIP module. In 2008, the Brazilian Navy ordered four Scorpène. There are also reports that a fifth hull has been ordered to be fitted with an indigenously developed nuclear propulsion plant. Although it might also be a Barracuda class hull.

The Chilean Scorpène class O'Higgins and Carrera were completed in 2005 and 2006, respectively, and are currently the only two in operation.

The Royal Malaysian Navy Scorpène class "KD Tunku Abdul Rahman" arrived at Port Klangmarker on September 3, 2009 after departing from Toulon, Francemarker on July 11 on its maiden voyage to its home country

Scorpène characteristics

The Scorpène class of ships has three subtypes [183741]: the Basic, Basic-AIP (with the MESMA air-independent propulsion) and Compact as shown in the specification section.

The Chilean and Malaysian boats are fitted with the TSM 2233 Mk 2 sonar. The class can also be with an 'S-Cube' sonar suite from Thales.

Air Independent Propulsion

The French MESMA (Module d'Energie Sous-Marine Autonome) system is being offered by the French shipyard DCN for the Scorpène class submarines. It is essentially a modified version of their nuclear propulsion system with heat being generated by ethanol and oxygen. A conventional steam turbine power plant powered by steam generated from the combustion of ethanol (grain alcohol) and stored oxygen at a pressure of 60 atmospheres. This pressure-firing allows exhaust carbon dioxide to be expelled overboard at any depth without an exhaust compressor.

Each MESMA system costs around $50–60 million. As installed on the Scorpène, it requires adding a new 8.3 meter (27 foot), 305 tonne hull section to the submarine, and results in a submarine able to operate for greater than 21 days underwater, depending on variables like speed.

Orders

In 2003 the Spanish government ordered 4 Scorpène-AIP submarines worth €1,756 million. Implying a cost of 439 million Euros each.. However the order of 4 Scorpène submarines for the Spanish navy was canceled and four S-80 class submarines have been ordered instead, these submarines take for basis the Scorpène design but include electronic equipments from Lockheed Martin instead of French one, as well as other improvements. This has caused conflicts and controversies between DCNS and Navantia as the latter is still involved in the construction of the submarines sold to India, Malaysia, Brazil and Chile while the S-80 is offered on the export market. As an answer to the concurrence from the S-80, DCNS designed its own enhanced version of the Scorpène called the Marlin class but little is known about this design and the Scorpène is still offered by France on the export market.

In 2005, India chose the Scorpène' design; purchasing six for US$ 3 billion (US$500m per boat). These submarines are to be manufactured under a technology transfer agreement by the state-owned Mazgoan Docks in Mumbai and delivered between 2010 and 2015. Construction started on 23 May 2007.

In 2009 Brazil purchase 4 Scorpène for US$ 9,9 billion with a big technology transfer agreement and a second agreement to develop a French/Brazilian nuclear powered submarine, everything built in Brazil, the nuclear powered submarine could be a variant of the Scorpène class (which would make it similar in concept to the Rubis class submarine) or a more powerful Barracuda class one.

Gallery

Image:Scorpene cg.svg|Graphics image of Scorpene submarine.

Image:Scorpene Tunku Abdul Rahman.jpg|Malaysian Navy Scorpene submarine.

References

  1. http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htsub/articles/20080314.aspx
  2. http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NAVY/Scorpene.html
  3. http://www.deagel.com/Conventional-Attack-Submarines/Scorpene-Basic-AIP_a000425003.aspx
  4. http://www.meretmarine.com/article.cfm?id=108546
  5. http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/sep/12def.htm
  6. http://www.naval.com.br/blog/?p=17332


See also

External links




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