As much of a success as the Kilo was both in Soviet/Russian service and as an export product let's not exaggerate its capabilities in the current threat environment.
It is vastly better than any SSK the USN has....
It is still a capable class and it kept upgraded. If you read the article above about the Lada you would read about the various technologies they upgraded and replaced, and many of these new systems and technologies were put on Kilo upgrades too.
A Kilo now is not the same as a Kilo in the 1980s.
The Lada at least is once again competitive. If you compare it specwise it is roughly analogous to the Spanish S-80 Plus submarine.
I am impressed you have expert knowledge on both types to the level where you can honestly compare...
Looking forward to seeing an indepth comparison.
Which is a much more recent design.
Albania is making a new submarine, does that become the worlds best because it is the most recent?
But these submarines still need more modern battery storage and perhaps AIP to be more competitive in the export market.
The problem with AIP is not the batteries, it is the lack of power the AIP systems generate... whether they are Stirling engines or hydrogen fuel cells, they have to generate enough power to operate all the systems on the sub so it is fully operational while charging the batteries and it seems that is not the case... they charge the batteries much slower than diesel engines do and while they are charging over that extended time the sub is submerged but is otherwise bloody useless.
Which is why the next Japanese sub after their amazing revolutionary first in the world AIP powered decent sub got rid of the AIP equipment and replaces it all with extra Lithium Ion batteries.
I wouldn't say AIP is useless for Russia either. Imagine if you could move submarines at will by transiting between the Northern and Pacific fleets under the ice at any time of the year. Wouldn't that have some military value?
Perhaps you have not been reading all the threads, but in some threads they mention sea bed based equipment with power generation capacity with a nuclear energy source. Having those dotted along the arctic would allow Russian SSKs to dock and recharge silently on the sea floor probably very very quickly without needing to surface. The potential for a nuclear powered charging sub that could rendezvous with an SSK to charge that up is not crazy either... one charging sub operating with a dozen SSKs anywhere on the planet would be interesting.
But for coastal self protection roles Russian SSKs wont need to spend a month submerged at a time, that is simply not necessary... and if it was needed they have plenty of SSGNs to perform that role if they did.
In terms of hull design the Lada is also behind the German subs. I mean just look at them. The Germans use composites in the upper structure for example. Which means they should be way less radar visible when surfaced.
Umm... what are you talking about?
Lada class subs would snorkel to recharge its batteries... why would it surface fully? Divers can get in and out through the torpedo tubes... standard practise on an SSK... the only time you would surface would be to launch or recover an inflatable boat with divers on it, but Russia has its own specific subs for that sort of game...
Just looking at them didn't help them much in being non-operational for years.
There was a moment in 2018 when NONE (ZERO) of Bundesmarine 212As was operational.
It makes sense though... when was the last lynch mob attack by the west based around SSKs?
The US has their own subs for that sort of thing so sending SSKs would most likely get in the way of their latest crusade to steal ... oops... liberate oil from countries that don't deserve it.
So with regard to reliability they will just stick with 636 to pump numbers, and then gradually introduce Lada
It think the fundamental fact is that the improved kilos are in serial production, so if you say Lada is now the new sub and all sub making facilities will now make ladas and nothing else once orders have been completed for older types then you are going to get a huge gap because all those dockyards that made Kilos in serial production are going to have to learn to make ladas which will be different and until they have made one it wont be serial production for them so surprises and problems can occur... of course once they have all made a lada or two it should not be a problem to make them at the rate of the Kilos as long as the subcontractors for all the new systems and components can keep up.
The Germans found in WWII when you cancel the tank in mass production and you switch to a new tank then there is a gap when you get no tanks at all while production of the new tank gets going and a newer bigger more expensive tank was never going to be built at the same rate as the smaller lighter tank it replaced... though in this case the new sub is lighter but not cheaper.
Just because the German government doesn't bother to pay for parts and maintenance doesn't mean the submarines aren't good.
I understand what you are trying to say but a poorly supported submarine is no good operationally... it is ironic that they spent the money on them that they did to get that capability but in trying to save money by not fully supporting them and keeping them operational and at a good performance level they are essentially pissing away all the money that was spent to design and build the damn things in the first place.
The entire programme has been wasted because of cost cutting... because really Germany never really needed Submarines anyway.
I suspect the same will happen with Australias new SSNs in 20 years time if they ever actually make any... it is all really a smoke screen to get US SSN bases in Australia... for which the Aussie taxpayer is paying ten times more than they were going to be paying for the French subs... which, if anything, could at least patrol Australian waters looking for Chinese and Russian subs. Their SSNs will most likely be ordered by the US to operate around China to put pressure on them for this or that very good reason, which will actually result in China sending subs to operate near Australia in response... which America and the UK and Aussie governments will claim is all the proof they needed that they had to buy those SSNs in the first place.
Europe wants to have an additional 600 F-35s. Adding the EF and older F 16 is a staggering number on paper. I wonder what percentage of this will be suitable for warfare?
At something like 80K pounds stirling per flight hour to operate, I would say buy as many as you can't afford... borrow money to get more than you want... the operational costs will ground the aircraft, which means pilots and ground crew wont get the hours on the aircraft to keep their accreditation and they really will be grounded.
No one has mentioned that both British Aircraft carriers are stuck in port with problems and are unable to join HATO exercises that are the biggest since the 1980s we are told...
None of it matters if they don't even bother having a proper parts stockpile. Or ordering new parts. The idea of zero stocks and supply on demand is just pure cancer.
Consistent though isn't it? Don't renew all those ten year gas supply contracts and just buy on the spot price market... what idiot thought of that?
The amazing supply system that was supposed to be developed for the F-35 to share spare parts and support across the users and the parts makers was cancelled as being too complex to work... the system that was going to make support simpler and easier and CHEAPER... no wonder they cancelled it.