Well the Lada class can not be said to be better then Kilo 636 only on tech specs. They have been trying to build this new monohull sub for 15 years, and its still not operational, not even after a massive redesign.
If it was only a minor upgrade it would have been in service for the last 15 years as an Improved Kilo design... it is like the difference between the Su-35 and the Su-57... except the new engines are not ready... in other aspects it is superior to the Su-35 except for max weapon capacity because of its stealthy nature requiring internal weapons carriage.
Until the Lada class does something like the Krasnodar 636 sub did, it can not be considered a good sub.
The Krasnodar sub dived of libya, evaded Nato asw frigates and aircraft, to days later strike targets in Syria with Kalibers ssm. And that without having to surface or snorkel to get or correct target coordinates. Thats impressive, and shows the 636 is one of the best ssk, only lacking AIP.
The new Li ion batteries they are going to be using with the Lada class subs alone will give it much better underwater endurance and performance... but AIP will make it even better.
If the diesel AIP doesnt work, shelf the thing and build stirlings. Sometimes you have to pull the plug on failed projects.
Screw Stirlings it is a dead end technology when diesel AIPs are perfected... conversely nuclear batteries are only going to get better over time too so if they are going to shelve the diesel AIP it makes sense to use nuke batteries until the AIPs are perfected.
If the can press nuke engines in missiles, a small nuke for limited power supply forna ssk wouldnt be to much of a problem.
You could literally use them as batteries... load them in like giant AA batteries and after 5 or 10 years take them out and use their breeder reactors to reprocess the spent fuel rods ready to be used again... the ultimate rechargeable battery set up... very little waste and no carbon footprint... it is actually very green.
Yes thanks Gary, i still disagree about the perception from mr agressive that Swedish subs will be sunk after their first torpedo, and his idea that bottom laying subs if Gotland cant hear ships in sea of Åland. They can, and even classify what surface vessel it is, even an individual ship.
Real combat is chaotic so a single shot might not even be noticed... but then having said that the Russians are hardly going to want to invade and occupy Europe so they might just decide to seed the entire waterway with small tactical nukes to prevent any threat of attack via the sea on their coast... ie destroy potential threats before they become a problem...
The underwater propagation of energy means even relatively small 2KT bombs going off at depth would do serious damage to anything under water with air cavities out to 10km or so... ( ie the internal portions of Subs or the lungs of divers...)
Last, small sweden with shallow waters and a very small ssk fleet, managed to build and implement working AIP 20 years ago. Retrofitting it in older subs and refine it in newer classes, and russia dont even have in the pipes. Thats a failure for russian shipbuilders, scientists and descision makers.
Yeah, it clearly wasn't a huge priority for Russia as they already have subs that can remain underwater for months at a time called SSNs and SSGNs... having working Boreis and Delta IVs is rather more valuable than having an AIP they can export for cash or to boost their SSK performance.
It took a conflict with Georgia for them to realise the serious state their military was in, and now that they are seriously dealing with their problems they will probably get around to sorting out a diesel based AIP too... which on the face of it seems rather superior to western systems that require hydrogen to be stored on the ships. The Russian AIP system seems to use standard Diesel which is already stored on the subs and is already available at any decent sized port around the world without needing infrastructure added to handle or produce Hydrogen and store.
Being first is nice, but sometimes not being first means you can think about it a bit more and make it better and simpler and potentially cheaper...
They should real quick integrate working AIP in Lada or Kalinas or 636 very quick, or be left behind on the international scene not only in terms of ssk submarine capabilities, but also on the ssk weapon market.
Yeah, the thing with sales and marketing is that if you rush something into use that is not ready then your competitors can use examples of failures against you to make your product look bad when it really is not.
When it is ready perhaps... current performance is actually rather good... and certainly enough for them to decide to make a dozen of them... AIP can wait.
"Stay on the bottom and listen to an entire sea" Isn't that stupid ?
The sea in question is not that big, and modern sonar can detect targets at enormous distances under the right conditions... sound moves at about 1.6km per second in water so they would certainly have significant advantages for listening if they sit in one position and just listen... of course they wont hear 91RE1s coming at them at mach 2.5 on a ballistic path through the air to deliver a torpedo nearby, but then they are hardly in a position to build 50 SSKs and go on the offensive and try to sink the Russian Navy on their own.... what do you think they should do.
Perhaps we can take as read that neither of you wanted to offend the other and just discuss... though if you want to talk about Swedish subs perhaps a separate thread might be in order?
The all powerful USN found to its cost that arrogance can lead to serious embarrassment when you underestimate your opponent... the USAF had a similar experience against Indian MiG-21s and Su-30s.