Why would anyone buy french designed naval vessels?
After all the issues with the Charles de Gaulle (R91)?
Indian defence chiefs have approved $11bn of funds to boost the country's submarine fleet. The cash is intended to see India become the first non-Western nation to deploy long-touted, much feared "air independent propulsion" (AIP) submarine technology. The Times of India reports that 50,000 crores of rupees (500 billion rupees …
They are not fools unfortunately. They simply dont care. The delays are likely to be because the right people didnt get the correct backhanders.
TBH, i agtree with you. Any country that has its own space program and can afford 11b for Subs could easilly feed and clothe its own people. It has no right to be asking other countries to do it for them.
A friend of mine went to India (Specifically Jaipur), for an consultancy company. (Wont give speciifcs to protect the innocent), He said that all the government people wanted backhanders to do anything, and most of the work he was trying to do was continually stymied by the locals.
Most of the poor and starving will remain that way. One of the officials told him specifically, that the government didnt give a damn about their opinion because they didnt have any money.
After nearly a year of getting nothing done, including a visit from His boss, who couldnt believe some of the issues he was having. (I know i wouldnt!), he just left.
Lewis - you missed a few points:
First, India has working supersonic cruise missiles capable of hitting ground targets. Brahmos. Verrrrrrry unpleasant beast - same speed and same countermeasure avoidance like Russian Sunburns, but capable of terrain following and over-land navigation and targeting. This missile was designed for submarine launch from day one.
An Indian sub does not need to get within 100 miles. It is deadly to any fleet out there including "1st nations" at a range of up to 200+.
Second, your assumption that if a couple of Merlins can cover the English channel they can cover the straights of Hormuz is incorrect. Hormuz, Gulf of Aden and a lot of other "points of interest" out there are different from the Channel - they have LOTS of islands close to the coast with channels between them that are deep enough to accommodate a diesel-electric. These provide more than enough shade for a sub to hide from active sonar until it can strike. Similarly, they provide space where it can evade after it strikes.
> Just two Royal Navy Merlin HM1 helicopters, equipped with active dipping sonar, are said to be able to monitor the entire English Channel for submarines
From which it should not be inferred that one Merlin is able to monitor half the English Channel. This in case a sub gets bored with the Straits of Hormuz and decides to go on in search of cold water - I suspect the critical word is 'two' rather 'entire'.
Apart from the ongoing poor relations with Pakistan, India has an historic rivalry with China that has seen shooting wars happen. Given China's much larger nuke arsenal, it would seem a smart move for India to develop a sub-launched nuke option. An AIP sub with underwater-launched cruise missiles would be a lot harder for the Chinese to track and destroy, reducing the chances that a Chinese first strike would remove India's retaliatory capability. If India was dependent on siloed ballistic missiles alone, the Chinese could lauch an overwhelming attack that could knock out all India's missiles and the majority of the Indian air defence, then the Chinese Air Force could concetrate on hunting down any land-based cruise missile launchers. An unlikely event maybe, but the Indians might not want to bank on there never being another shooting war with India.
The same argument is used to justify our Trident subs as a better deterant than ICBMs - the Soviets could have feasibly launched a first strike against the limited number of European ballistic missile silos with a reasonable chance of success, but they can't guarantee to find our deep-diving, quiet, nuke subs, and just one sub could have removed a large chunk of Russian cities from the face of the Earth. Again, it was a highly unlikely scenario, even at the height of the Cold War, but we played safe and spent the billions (much more than the Indians). Whether we still need such a deterant is debateable.
/Come on, it's naval-related, just has to be S&Cs!
Sure subs have some clout but somehow I think the likes of Intel, IBM, etc. that have large stakes in both countries are a far better deterrence to a national scale conflict where subs and missiles would be employed. Sure, there might be local flare ups but big governments like the big dollars big companies bring to the peace negotiations. One caveat is that the inverse is true when oil is involved.
"......One caveat is that the inverse is true when oil is involved." Amazed that conspriracy theory still sees daylight outside CodePink central! Please, can we all just try and get over the Bush Derangement Syndrome and actually admit there is no oil in Afghanistan? And as it goes, oil doesn't rate that highly on the strategic materials list any more. The US has plenty of assured supply. If you want to pretend the US only "invades" countries because of economic reasons, rather than nutters aiding and hiding other nutters that deliberately fly airliners into your skyscrapers, then I suggest that the "evil Bushitler" would have been much more likely to have attacked Bolivia to gain control of their lithium deposits. Please, just try and think for yourself for a bit, rather than just swallowing what the conspiracy theorists spoonfeed you.
As for big company involvement, I'd suggest you go look at the record of several large American companies during WW2. The Ford company, for example, was blatently pro-Nazi and refused to make Merlin engines in the US for the Brits, but was accused of retaining control of German Ford factories and helping the Germans Nazis develop military vehicles even AFTER the US had joined the war. Your idea that big company interests would somehow over-rule political will just sounds like anti-capitalist paranoia - "we're all under Big Company Brother's control"! Ford not only made millions producing vehicles for both sides during the War, they even claimed a payout post-War for the damage done to their German factories by Allied bombing!
In the meantime, go look at a map of China and you'll see that the majority of China's major cities are within a hundred miles of the coast, including Beijing. An Indian cruise-armed sub that could sneak into the Yellow Sea would pose a considerable threat to the Chinese capital.
<Sigh> There is no-one so blind as those who just want to see what they want to see. If you insist on looking for conspiracy theories everywhere then that's all you'll see. The massive mineral wealth of Aghanistan has been well known for decades, a lot of it was discovered and mapped by the colonial British forces a century ago. My father was out there in the late '50s, working for an engineering firm supplying the many mining companies that were operating in the company under the old Shah's regime. Not many people know that the Afghans wanted to copy Ataturk's attempts to drag Turkey into the 20th century and were very keen on assimilating Western skills through the '20s to the '70s. If the old political structure hadn't have been messed up by the '73 coup, it's likely that Afghanistan would have become one of the leading countries in the Asian arena.
The Pentagon announcement was an effort to drive foreign investment in Afghanistan, to help build and stabilise the economy, so that the Allies can get OUT, not an announcement of what the US was going to be exploiting the Afghan situation for.
Once again, the IndyMedia dribblers have turned another Reg techmech discussion into an airing of their delusions.
India gets £250 million annual development assistance from the UK. Perhaps if the 1st world countries stopped giving aid to such a corrupt government, the population would revolt and insanities like funding their own space program while a large percentage of their population literally starved would end.
Magnetic, actually. The huge mass of metal that is a warship, cargo ship or submarine are detectable by satellite, if the satellite has a general area to look at.
An isolated audio sensor net suddenly losing/picking a signal would be a good place to start...
Whether they have gotten to the point of determining class or specific subs from the magnetic signature, well...
OK, what's the point of India fighting anybody *except* Pakistan? And really, it's all a bunch of sabre rattling anyways.
Instead of all of these problems associated with *intercepting* something, the point of a small sub should be *getting away from* something. Get within missile range and let them rip. Or go and lay some mines. How about smart mines, operating like slow torpedoes? A quiet sub laying a load of those would give somebody quite a few problems.
Oh, never mind the subs and the ships. All the high-tech nations seem to be stymied by a pauper who can mount a machine gun on a fishing boat or pickup truck. Just look at the Somali "technicals" and pirate ships.
Indeed. Bunch of captor mines (essentially a homing torpedo in a box) scattered in choke points or near important ports or naval bases or just good "old fashioned" explosive mines which come with lots of different trigger methods these days. Classic job for the sub.
As for being stymied by low tech muppets, that's just because we "play nice" to stop the media and chattering classes moaning too much, but mostly to win hearts and minds. How long do you think it would take a modern force to remove a village with all inhabitants if we dialled it up to 11? Take a look at the Basra Highway pictures from Gulf War I if you need reminding what we could do if we wanted to. NATO forces make a massive effort to avoid civvie casualties in Afghanistan and all we hear is ill-informed media talking heads and unrealistic idiots spouting off if a couple of non-combatants get killed. It is a war remember. People die, innocent or not. We try our hardest to keep that first proportion down. If we had the political will, the Somali pirates would cease to be a problem in a few hours.
We play nice. That says nothing about Indian, Russian, Chinese and other warships in the Gulf of Aden that are not under EU/NATO command.
Russian and Indian definitely do not. The former put the pirates (or whatever was left of it after Spec-naz had its way) they had captured into a dingy with no food, water and no navigational aids and "let them go". Nobody has ever seen them after that. The Indian went even further by using suspected pirate motherships for target practice.
I have not heard of any Russian or Indian ship (regardless of flag actually used) attacked since either incident. By the way this confirms something which Russians have been saying all along - that pirates have detailed information about ships to attack including crew nationality and cargo.
I guess there is a lesson in this somewhere... Shoot first, ask questions later...
India are one of the largest recipients of UK aid at over £1 billion pa.
They're spending $11 billion on these subs, have a next gen fighter project, nuclear weapons, a space program that plans to put an astronaut in space by 2015 and one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Something is seriously not right.
The Chinese have shown that the quickest way out of poverty is to industrialise as quickly as possible and get some of the population rich enough that they can generate demand for more goods. India's trying to do it even faster and to do so through high technologies such as rockets, satellites and IT.
People are being left behind and the Indian government probably should do more to help, but if we can give money to help some of the very poorest people in the World have a life that's halfway worth living, then let's do so.
You know those billions might make up for some of the countless billions the UK stole, embezzled and extorted from the Indians during our time as the resident Imperial power.
You make it sound like the the Indian government has 'forgotten' about its poor people, when the opposite is actually the case. The Indian ruling cast is quite deliberately starving its own people, whom it sees as 'unclean'. All the aid from the UK is doing is helping to support the Indian governments practices instead of actually helping the poor of India.
The £300bn they're spending on putting a man into space.
I have no problem helping the poor in developing nations, where those nations have no money, but to give the Indian government £250m of our money to spend on fireworks and toy boats is ridiculous, especially as our taxes will be going up and services are being cut.
In the '80's dodgy military deals always required bribes.
Things haven't changed much over the years, either. < http://www.againstcorruption.org/countrydetailsAll.asp?countryid=87 >.
Isn't it amazing how countries with high poverty can always put together millions of dollars to keep the military happy whilst many more millions live in abject poverty.
If you had neighbors like Pakistan and China, you too would be spending $11 billion or more on weapons. The real question is, why is the UK spending so much on defence (sitting in the happy comfort of Europe)? And aren't there poor people in the UK who would rather be taken care of? Take a good look at yourself, friend. India does not need foreign aid. The reason foreign aid comes to India is because foreign aid is looking for countries where the environment allows them to be productive, which happens to be India, with it's democratic setup and general lawfulness. And one more thing, India now has a nuclear sub. Look up "Arihant' on Google.
British 'aid' is a British decision to provide, so as to further British commercial and trade interests. You should go tell your own government if you don't like it, not come bitching at us. The World Bank gives us loans, which we repay in full. Don't believe it ? Go ask them.
These subs will be built in India. It will broaden our own military industrial complex, increasing economic activity, employing people, and therefore contributing to our economy. No different from BAE Systems Marine in UK.
By the way, India has nuclear subs too - the first SSBN is undergoing sea trials now. Google 'Arihant class submarine'.
There have been a number of occasions on naval exercises over the last few years where the Americans have been seriously embarassed by aip subs sneaking through carrier groups and "killing" their carriers. Active sonar from escort ships and helicopters can certainly make it tough to achieve, but its not a magic bullet solution to the problem. It has to be done by people who are well trained in how to use it, and who are taking the threat seriously, and even then can be bloody hard to get right, particularly in the littoral environment (near the coastline), where it is easy for subs to hide. Incidentally, its not like dipping sonar is a new tech or anything, its been around for decades, which means naval tacticians have had decades to work out how to get around it.
What ever happened to Magneto-Hydro-Dynamic propulsion? I know the US navy just spent a boatload on R&D in the subject, and Japan got the Yamamoto (Mitsubishi?) off to the tune of 20 knots without a sound. It needs some work, but seems to have potential still. Is it still like the other "just around the corner" ideas?
The MHD will NEVER be used in a military sub.
MHD systems use massive magnetic fields.
Think about it.
The magnetic signature of a sub using normal propulsion systems can be detected at great range, I've heard that some LOE satellites can do it. A sub with a MHD drive would be tactically useless. Despite what they said in "Hunt for Red October".
How do I know? I asked a guy who worked on stealth for subs.
MHD tech has its place, just not in a sub.
"The cash is intended to see India become the first non-Western nation to deploy long-touted, much feared "air independent propulsion" (AIP) submarine technology."
Pakistan deployed it's first AIP submarine (PNS Khalid - an Agosta 90b class boat) in 2008. The other two boats of this class are due to be upgraded with the same (MESMA) AIP system from 2011 when they are due for their first overhaul. I'd expect better from a former naval officer.
The Arihant("Destroyer of Enemies" in Sanskrit) Class subs are nuclear powered and are undergoing sea trials. Upto 5 subs are planned.
The Sagarika (Project K15 )missile has been tested. Underwater launches have bee proven.
The Indian FBF warhead is about 100-150kg giving 20kT. The unique warhead design WAS COPIED later and were seen in US warhead designs.
At 1000 kg, the Sagarika can reach 1200km. With a 400kg, that range can be extended quite a bit....enough to destroy major cities using subs.
india has developed and operationisled a range of missiles.
The ones with longest legs can carry a nuclear payload over 8000km .
India also has BMD programme. Both the PAD and AAD are undergoing tests now.
Agni-V test is planned for next year. Truely ICBM.
In 3 years time, the Indian Navy , Air force and Army will each get their own satellites.
India has the largest constellation of Remote Sensing Satellites in the world.
The Kaveri-GTX engine needs a few years for fruition.
A range of UAVs are being designed.
AWACS on Embraer Platform began 5 years ago. 10 AWACS are planned.
Light Combat Aircraft will be inducted in 2011-2012. LCA Navy rolled out earlier this month.
This list goes on and on.
A 300 year hiatus is not going to stop the Indians!
Here in Britain, we go by biased news and want to reinforce the image we have. Reality is different.
The Indians will have the final laugh when Uranium runs out...their Power generation programme is based on 3-stage Thorium cycle where fuel is recycled.
Yes, there is poverty. But without defending the borders, you will not have peolpe with poverty.
This is a civilization that has seen it all. From great heights to deepest pits ( Colonization ).
Those fellows know what they are doing...it will take time. In 20 years time, India will probably not be the bully the US is today...but will be a powerful , sane friend for many including African countries, not just Europe.
"Those fellows know what they are doing...it will take time. In 20 years time, India will probably not be the bully the US is today...but will be a powerful , sane friend for many including African countries, not just Europe."
Thanks for that! I will now look forward, to to future Indian Aid to supplement my dwindling UK pension.
Are you American? Must we import their bizarre political factionalism that only serves to divide and conquer?
It's absurd really, to consider people solely the components of a nation whenever that is convenient. So the government of India spends a lot of money on weapons. Yes, shame on them, but to take a great swathe of poverty-stricken people and say these are the property of a ruling class, it is for that ruling class to held or condemn them, has no basis in objective fact. A country is just a social construct. What you have in India is a lot of poor people and a group that lord it over them. We send aid to those poor people so they can have medicine, food, etc. We shouldn't damn them because they're also the victims of a callous government they can't get rid of.
They don't need to spend ALL their efforts on what recent reports suggest is greater poverty than in Africa - just some of what is being spent of defence or their space program or....
BTW The lunatics dreaming of 72 virgins are not knocking on our door because they are already inside, planning the next 7/7.
You worry about the lunatics - I'll worry about the 72 virgins. Now if they were here en masse, we might have some serious problems.
Or the lunatics and their 72 virgins are fighting the lunatics in the North Atlantic "self-defense" Treaty Organization's forces in Afghanistan .... Which Atlantic coast is Afghanistan on again? I'm misplaced my map.
"......Which Atlantic coast is Afghanistan on again?...." It's not, but seeing as your grasp on history is obviously as weak as your geography, I'll just remind you that London (the 7th July 2005), Madrid (11th March 2004) and New York (11th September 2001) were all within spitting distance of the Atlantic coasts, all attacks on NATO members, and all involved AQ which was being shielded and aided by the Taleban regime in Afghanistan. Oh, and that would be the same Taleban that want to take control in nuke-armed Pakistan too, which neighbours India, so no great surprise that the Indians want to be able to defend themselves.
"Any fleet anchorage or chokepoint or convoy guarded by a handful of Merlins or equivalent helicopters is pretty much safe from attack by AIP submarines. AIP boats would be highly effective against countries without modern ASW helicopters, but not against first- or second-ranking powers.
Third- and fourth-rank militaries usually don't have very good seagoing radar/infrared coverage either, though. So in fact a normal sub without AIP would probably do fine against them: or even a still-simpler surface ship."
If that was really true there wouldn't have been any need for the US to borrow one of our Gotland class subs for training of over a year right? Let's face it, you're a bit jealous that you don't have one yourself.
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Just a heads up, your bit about active sonar isn't exactly accurate. Pretty much every single military submarine pre-WWII has had both active (pinging) and passive (listening) sonar. In fact, nowadays, the active part is generally just the pinger part, using the passive section (which can listen on multiple selectable frequency bands) as the listening part.
Second of all, most diesel-electric submarines (whether equipped with AIP or not) don't have their diesels connected to the propshafts in any way except the electric motors. Diesels are most efficient when they run at a constant speed, so it saves fuel by keeping them decoupled even while recharging the batteries. The US Navy figured this out in the late 1920s, and pioneered the "true" decoupled diesel-electric with their S-class, but other navies didn't really adopt it 'till the end of WWII.
Although these subs seem dated and some relic from a more archaic time, they're actually packed with a lot of technology and automation, requiring an incredibly small crew and much lower development, building, and operational costs than a nuclear sub. While they may not be something you want to take out into the open ocean, they're perfect for coastal areas. And even then, the Indians have their Shchuka (NATO: Akula) boats for their blue water sub force.
Cut in DFID aid not a concern for India
"Indian activists say access to DFID funds is contingent on hiring consultants, mostly British. “When they (DFID) give money they send their own consultants. The way they handle it, it would be better if they didn’t give anything,” said Harsh Jaitley who heads VANI, a network of 2000 NGOs.
Echoing Jaitley’s views Anil Chaudhury, activist and founder of NGO Peace and Action Centre (PEACE), said agreements signed by DFID (and other agencies) have inbuilt clauses that ensure that a chunk of the money was paid to consultancies — a large proportion of these bodies are run by expatriates to ensure that the money flows back into the British economy.
As much as 60 per cent of the grant could often go towards paying the consultants hired by DFID to audit and monitor the programmes. Leakages take care of the rest, said an activist who didn’t want to be named.
Amitabh Behar, co-convenor of the National Social Watch Coalition said none of the ongoing programmes in India that are funded by DFID would be affected if British development aid were to be cut because the Indian government is capable of filling up the gap.
He said a cut back on DFID aid could be the best thing to happen to the development sector. What DFID should fund is not the Indian government but institutions that ensure governance, monitoring and auditing of development funds.
But many activists objected precisely to this: large monitoring mechanisms. These interventions, they say, are nothing but the means to get a handle on policy making and to buy clout in the government. “Their role is to influence policies to the advantage of British trade interests.”
Grass-roots organisations are least conerned about a possible withdrawal of British aid. Abhay Singh of Dudhi Vikas Samiti in Sonbhadra said NGOs like his had never received anything from big donors who fund the government directly. The government selects a handful of big NGOs who then provide smaller ones some money on and off to do their work."
No doubt when Cameron visits later this month with his massive retinue of hanger ons, he's going to try and wrangle some way for the 'aid' to continue, so as to provide a cushy mechanism for British consultants fly back and forth in J/F-class while patting themselves on the back.
Well if thats your attitude then you won't miss it will you. Use your own cash to feed and water your own citizens and put the begging bowl in mothballs. Good luck with your space programme and you can send a cheque for the British funded improvement to your infrastructure (from 1850 to 1947) any time you like. Those Railways weren't free you know.
Thank you and goodbye.
Didn't you know, it's just not PC to remind people that the old Brit Empire (OK, to be realistic, the English Empire) actually brought some benefits to the peoples that got colonised/conquered. Oh no, you mustn't say that, it's just not PC!
Agreed, the British Empire definately wasn't all sunshine and light, but to pretend it was just some great evil that subjugated the coloured masses with no benefit to them is a very limited view. Compare to the treatment of the Roman Empire, which spread by horrific wars throughout Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East. The Romans didn't sit and talk to those that opposed them, they did nasty stuff like crucifying them. But today we remember the immense advancements in the sciences, education and arts that they spread across the areas they conquered. Maybe some day the old colonies will be able to swallow their injured national pride and admit that the Brits actually left them many good things.
/Not holding my breath.
what a dignified and eloquent post......Not!!!
you sir, are living proof that myopia exists on both sides of the atlantic. i.e. assuming you're british based on your spelling of "programme". otherwise i had you as tobacco chewing, sheep and or sister chasing, inbred.
oh and don't let the door hit you on the way out.
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LOL! From the left-leaning poverty-loving Guardian no less. Not even a business newspaper but a poverty porn tabloid.
While you're talking cheques, send us a cheque for all the millions killed in famines, and for all the textile industries destroyed in favour of imposing export only of raw materials, so that the mills of Manchester could monopolize production, for a start. We'll bring up more if you're really interested.
In any case, we don't owe you a penny for the railways, which were built with Indian labour. Unless you can prove those labourers were paid as much as a British one might have been, you'll face all kinds of trouble getting paid, you know.
I can just hear them in the BOM/DEL-LHR BA J class seats - "Yeah I'm just getting back home after a consultancy trip to teach those Hindoos how to use toilet paper. It's all paid for by our government. Thanks to BA raising ticket prices at the last moment and raising our overhead even more, we could only afford 50 rolls of TP, so the original target of 500 asses had to be scaled down a little."
"......for all the millions killed in famines....." Oh dear, Raj is definately sufferring from a bad case of the old, rose-tinted glasses! I'm sure he'd like to pretend that pre-Empire India was just the picture of enlightened equality, but the truth was that millions starved all the time, or were killed in the wars between the different Rajs, the tribal states, the invading Muslims, and the bloody rise of the Marathas. The last sealed their control of southern India by helping the Brits defeat the Kingdom of Mysore. Yes, I'm just betting that no-one ever told Raj that the Indians helped the Brits dominate other Indians, just like most black Americans have this blindspot that stops them realising the slave trade was orchestrated and run by native Africans and (Muslim) Arabs operating out of Africa long before (and long after) the big, bad White Man arrived.
Sorry, Raj, but back to history class for you!
Why does Britain give so much aid to India? It's the tried-and-true foreign policy method they've used since before the Napoleonic Wars to maintain a balance of power among foreign nations. They financed the armies of Europe to resist Napoleon, and they are financing India as the local power to counteract the rising might of China. It's not about starving children (or else more interest would be paid to Africa), it's simply good foreign policy.
Same reason the US provides so much military aid to Israel, one of their few allies in the Middle East. Hedging their bets.
Air forces in the 50's seemed to do OK with it.
BTW the stuff used in England (and a more limited extent the US) was *much* better quality (less water, more stable) than the original German stuff used by Walter for his various engine designs (The V2 turbo pump and the Messerismitt Komet along with the submarine type). High Test Peroxide is about the most benign of the room temperature oxidisers there is. Left to stand it decomposes into water and Oxygen. In contrast the others (Nitrogen Tetroxide, Red Fuming Nitric Acid) vapourise into clouds of lethally poisonous fumes.
Mine would have a copy of "German Secret Weapons of WW II", dating from the mid 1960's and essential reading for the Reg's "Blasts from the past" desk.
While it's true that HTP is the most stable strong peroxide at STP I can think of offhand, it is a far cry from "benign." Especially once a reaction is started, it isn't hard at all for the process to get away from you, and all of a sudden you're faced with a LOT of heat (from decomposition of the peroxide into water and oxygen) and an oxygen rich environment - the perfect environment to start a fire that burns so fast it looks like an explosion to the naked eye. What's more, HTP loses it's stability very easily in the presence of several catalysts, often used in rocketry and other oxidizing fuel mixes.
Basically, it doesn't have to decompose into a cloud of toxic fumes; even water vapor, oxygen and heat can be a pretty dangerous mix - and that's the whole point of using the peroxide in the first place. I'm reminded of something my old Uni Chem prof once said: "Peroxides kill chemists."
<- Flames, because that's what a runaway peroxide decomposition will get you... though maybe I should have used the grenade...
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With such advancements in SSK tech, isnt it about time the Royal navy gets back in the SSK business?
SSNs are very expensive, though superiour to SSKs they are worth every penny. However 7 new Astute SSNs isnt enough for Royal navy demands. I would suggest the UK works with Germany and orders 4 212 type SSKs from Germany. Thus givig the Royal navy a well ballanced fleet of 11 attack submarines.
7 Astute SSNs
4 212 SSKs
You never know, this way we could use the SSKs to patrol the north sea again as submarine levels have now gotten too low to resume patrols in the north sea. SSNs would also be more free to be deployed while SSKs patrol and defend UK waters in europe.
Problem with more subs is that patrolling can be done by frigates, which are (even at British shipyard prices) cheaper as they can also fulfill roles that subs can't. Also, frigates don't have a nasty habit of dragging trawlers under, which happens when undetectable subs patrolling through areas used by fishermen get snagged in their equally undetectable fishnets, and there's quite a bit of fishing going on in the North Sea.
And of course, buying the off-the-shelf 212 just wouldn't work 'cos the Admirals would insist on adapting it to carry UK systems/weapons, which the politicains would love 'cos it would mean pork for British companies, and then the whole cost would ballon to the point where a British option would actually be comparable, which the politicians would love even more, and the next thing you know we would have Lewis grumbling that we were building half-a-dozen subs at ten times the price of the US alternative.....
Sorry to burst your bubble, but even though AIP- and Diesel-Electric subs are much slower than warships or modern cargo ships while submerged, the same is true of pretty much EVERY submarine, including nuclear ones. Submarines have to stay quiet (unless they want to get noticed by the escorts), therefore even nuclear submarines don't run around with more than 20 knots. In reality, they'll do 10-15kts, or even slower if they want to be extra-quiet.
Submarines don't RACE surface ships - they detect them from a large distance and try to go to a position where they can ambush them.
As for the "AIP subs can be easily killed by 1st world navies" - there's plenty of periscope pictures of US carriers done even by DE-subs. On electric drive (which with AIP means... all the time), such a submarine is a lot quieter than a nuclear submarine. It's also a lot smaller, and can go closer to the coast or sneak into an enemy harbour (U47, anyone?), something you wouldn't dare with a Virginia- or Trafalgar-class ;-)
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