SMX-23 was offered to PN in IDEADS 2006
France’s DCN (Stand 1300, French Pavilion) is showing a new low-cost coastal submarine concept aimed at navies looking to modernise their existing submarine force or acquire a submarine capability for the first time.
The design, known as SMX-23, has been conceived “to address a perceived market requirement for a robust, affordable and supportable submarine, capable of performing a range of littoral defence missions”, said the company, adding: “It is clear that while many navies are attracted to the advantages offered by conventional submarines in the 1,400 to 1,800-ton displacement range, not all have the financial or technical resources to operate boats of such cost and complexity.”
DCN’s approach has been to engineer a significantly smaller submarine design that could be built for about half the cost of a typical diesel-electric boat. Building on its experience from the Scorpene submarine programme, the company has performed a value analysis to understand the individual worth of each equipment on board.
This has allowed it to make informed judgements on the balance of performance versus cost.
At 48.8m in length and displacing 855 tonnes surfaced, the double-hulled SMX-23 would be capable of remaining submerged for up to 60 hours at 4 knots. Operated by a crew of 19 (with space for an additional two trainees), it would have a mission endurance of up to 15 days.
According to DCN, SMX-23 “is designed for precise navigation in shallow waters, with the ability to conduct surveillance while ‘bottomed’ on the sea floor”. It would also be “ideally suited for special forces missions [a lockin/ lock-out trunk for special forces is housed in the fin], intelligence gathering and minelaying”.
Heavyweight torpedoes and/or anti-ship missiles could be carried in six torpedo tubes forward. There is no provision for reloads as an additional weapon stowage compartment would have required a significant increase in hull volume.
The baseline combat system produced by DCN as part of its SMX-23 study comprises a fourconsole sensor, weapon and command system, a multi-array integrated sonar system, and an above-water sensor suite comprising a primary optronic mast, electronic support measures (ESM) and a navigation radar. A secondary optronic sensor would be fitted on the ESMmast.
a quick list
4 Nuclear power sub
a nice looking PN force.