04 Juli 2018

'Submarines Like BMWs': A closer Look at the Navy’s Newest, Custom-Made German Submarine

04 Juli 2018

Model of Type 218SG submarine (photo : Straits Times)

SINGAPORE: More than 30m under the waters around Singapore, where light hardly penetrates the murky depths, noise is perhaps the last thing you would expect.

But the Republic of Singapore Navy’s (RSN) latest submarine, the Type 218SG, hears and senses a cacophony of chatter. Not of people, but of the 2,000 ships that sail through the Singapore Strait every day.

“Many of the boats in the world are not designed for such environments: Warm, shallow, noisy, crowded,” RSN’s head of naval operations Cheong Kwok Chien told Channel NewsAsia in an exclusive interview on Saturday (Jun 30).

“The operating environment makes a lot of difference to a submariner, and if you design a boat meant for this type of environment, you can make a lot of difference to whoever you’re up against.”

And so the RSN searched all over the world for a submarine that could replace its ageing Archer-class and Challenger-class predecessors. A submarine that could truly be made for Singapore from scratch.

“We’ve operated second-hands for 20 years,” Rear-Admiral (RADM) Cheong said of the retrofitted Swedish submarines. “Over 20 years, we’ve built up knowledge of what a submarine would be that’s designed for local waters.”

In the ​​​​​​​end the Germans, masters of the submarine craft, “offered the best deal” in terms of technology, logistics, training and knowledge exchange. It has been reported that the contract for the first two Type 218SGs is worth more than 1 billion euros (S$1.6 billion).

The deal clincher? “The Germans were also very willing to listen to our requirements and change a lot of the original design to suit what we need in our waters,” RADM Cheong said.

The manufacturer, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), also prepared high-resolution, virtual reality goggles for Singapore officials to put on and “walk” through the submarine, allowing them to tweak even the smallest details.

RSS Chieftain, from the older Challenger class (Swedish SjΓΆormen) (photo : cks2k2)

“We can actually know the ergonomics,” RADM Cheong said. “For a Singaporean’s height, can I reach the top? We could also make the pathways smaller and put more equipment because we are smaller in size.”

The Defence Ministry said Singapore will get four Type 218SGs, with delivery from 2021. The programme is “progressing well”, with the first two and remaining two submarines having commenced construction and steel-cutting, respectively.


But perhaps the most crucial customisations are in the Type 218SG’s combat system. Its improved sonar, which listens to sounds like propeller noises and water flow, locates enemies faster and identifies them more accurately.

“That’s when digital audio recognition comes in. We will hear frequency, sound wave profiles, and compare to known sounds that we have,” RADM Cheong said. “That basically helps us light up the underwater world.”

With the waters around Singapore so shallow and congested, the Type 218SG can tell whether it’s facing a merchant ship, cruise liner or warship better than RSN’s current submarines.

“It’s like going into a disco and picking up the sweetest voice,” RADM Cheong added. “You need to be quite capable. If not you will be blasted, and in our environment everybody gets blasted.”

Once the target is locked on, then come the torpedoes. A Type 218SG model that TKMS had displayed at an exhibition last year indicated that the submarine will be fitted with eight forward-firing torpedo tubes for heavyweight torpedoes.

The "big improvement", however, lies in the submarine’s electronics and computers that enable fewer crew members to do more with the weapons.

“If you watch the old war movies, it’s a whole bunch of people trying to hear (the enemy) then get the torpedo ready; there’s a whole lot of activity on the boat,” RADM Cheong said. “No, what we are going for now is one guy pressing a button to release the torpedo.”

RSS Swordsman - an Archer class submarine (was the Swedish Navy VΓ€stergΓΆtland class) (photo : Danny Clh)

Another improvement is the Type 218SG’s air-independent propulsion (AIP) system, which RADM Cheong said is more efficient than the one in the Archer-class submarine.

The AIP allows submarines to stay underwater longer before surfacing to recharge the battery that powers its systems. The battery is charged by a diesel engine that needs air to operate.

As such, the Type 218SG can last underwater two times longer than RSN’s current submarines. “That makes the submarine even more stealthy and mysterious because it can be all over the place without coming up,” RADM Cheong said.


This stealth is what makes the Type 218SG so lethal, as RADM Cheong spoke in broad terms about how the submarines fit into RSN’s overall strategy.

“All over the world, submarines are what we call strategic capabilities,” he said. “Because they are stealthy, can go to a lot of places and deliver a very impactful strike. So, most navies will use the submarine to deliver these effects.”

Besides hunting ships, submarines can do surveillance, deliver special forces, unmanned underwater vehicles and high-end weapons like nuclear missiles.

“Sometimes, you have to strike at the Achilles heel of the adversary, somewhere he thinks he’s quite safe and doesn’t expect anybody to come,” RADM Cheong said, highlighting the “psychological threat” a submarine poses.

Type 218SG submarine (image : Sing Mindef)

When RSN’s submariners go for exercises, they typically train in some of these skills.

“It makes all the seagoers, especially people on ships, quite fearful because you don’t know where it is,” RADM Cheong added. “Surface ships dislike submarines a lot, because most egos are broken by submariners.”

In a one-on-one situation with conventional warships, RADM Cheong stated that submarines “always win”. “When the submarine hears you, with the range that it shoots, there’s not much you can do about it.”


However, submarines are not invincible. RADM Cheong pointed out that they lack speed and are prone to being spotted when they surface.

"So, these are inherent vulnerabilities,” he added. “Fast things and aircraft hunt submarines. To hunt a submarine, you must operate out of its element. If you operate in water, you must be something that it cannot or doesn’t want to kill."

One example of a low-value target is an unmanned underwater vessel.

Nevertheless, RADM Cheong said a good submariner can remain undetected if he knows where to position the vessel in relation to how sound waves travel underwater.

“If he exploits all these black holes underwater, nobody can hear him and he can hear everybody else,” he added. “He can be quite silent and maybe even invisible.”

For the Type 218SG, RSN’s submariners will train in simulators and abroad with their German counterparts, who RADM Cheong described as some of the best in the world. “They like to have a worthy partner to spar with,” he said. “We also take this opportunity to learn from them.”

Type 218SG submarine (image : Sing Mindef)


RADM Cheong said the Germans were also grateful that the RSN wanted to fully customise its submarine, pointing out that they gained “a lot of interesting insights”. “They said not many customers are so forthcoming in saying that this doesn’t work.”

To that end, RADM Cheong said the Type 218SG answers a lot of challenges.

“German submarines are like BMWs, so we are very glad we decided on this class of submarine,” he added. “This new build is designed for Singapore roads, tailored to our ergonomics, size and driving range. Even the horn sounds better.”

The RSN also ensured that the internal systems, like the engine and electronics, were cost-efficient and maximised the crew’s capabilities.

“On board, every submariner you bring is a huge investment,” RADM Cheong said. “So in terms of combat fighting, you want the submarine to be able to do a lot but not by putting in a lot of people.”

RADM Cheong said this is crucial to tackle the “ever-present” threat of terrorism at sea with an increasingly constrained manpower base. The saying is that one US aircraft carrier carries more people than the number of active personnel the RSN has.

“Almost everything that we wear, eat and the energy that we consume every day comes through the sea,” he added. “So, what the Navy has done is to look at this environment and recognise that we need to defend our lifelines."


33 komentar:

  1. Cakep juga custom Type 218 sg....next indo custom juga lah Type 220 id....heehhehee

  2. om ben uda bosen pake volvo. enakan naik bimers, gaya anak muda haha!😍😍😍

    kalo kita kan masi pegang bi'em ama hyundai haha!😎😎😎
    ntar lg kita naek Kortezh, ganteng sich haha!😎😎😎

  3. Kira2 apakah bisa dideteksi oleh ASW Panther Heli ya kasel ini ? Baca di berita Heli ASW TNI baru datang 2 biji dari total 11 unit yg dipesan... sisanya gelombang ke 2 di bulan November 2018 dan gelombang terakhir Pertengahan 2019. Dan teknologi deteksi yg dipakai adalah Helras.

    Mau tahu berapa jumlah Helras Dipping Sonar yg AKAN dibeli Indonesia ? Pas 11 unit,... dan baru datang 2 unit.

    Gak percaya ? Silahkan cek screeshot SIPRI ini nanti akan keliatan sudah berapa HELRAS yang datang...dan berapa yg belum
    :-) jumlah Helras sudah cukup mencerminkan berapa jumlah Heli yg akan dipakai misi ASW




    1. Menurut BIG (Badan Informasi Geospasial), luas laut NKRI berikut ZEEnya adalah 6.315.222 km2. Sedangkan luas daratnya adalah 1.922.570 km2.

      Jadi luas total adalah :

      1922570 + 6315222 = 8.237.792 km2.

      Anggap itu adalah luas lingkaran, jadi untuk mengetahui jari2nya mesti harus dibagi dulu 3,14 = 8237792 / 3,14 = 2623500,6369 = r^2

      Trus cari akar dari 2623500,6369 ini = √2623500,6369 = 1619,72

      Trus cari kelilingnya :

      1619,72 x 2 x 3,14 = 10.171,8 km.

      Trus bulatkan ke angka ratusan terdekat, jadi 10.200 km.

      Panjang perbatasan darat RI dengan negara lain kira2 3.200 km.

      10.200 - 3.200 = 7.000 km.

      Jadi 7.000 km ini adalah panjang batas laut kita.

      Heli panther ini diangkut oleh kapal.

      Lalu anggap kapal yang mengangkut heli ini minimal sekelas korvet sigma Diponegoro class yang jarak tempuh maksimum adalah 4000 nm (nautical mile / mil laut).

      ambil jarak tempuhnya bukan dari maksimal tetapi karena ngebut jarak tempuh jadi setengah dari maksimal, jadi 4000 / 2 = 2000 nm.

      Trus anggap 2000 nm itu adalah jarak bolak-balik, jadi untuk sekali jalan menjadi 2000 / 2 = 1000 nm.

      Ingat tadi nm adalah nautical mile, di mana 1 nm = 1,85 km.

      Jadi 1000 nm = 1850 km.

      Nah sekarang bagilah angka 7000 tadi dengan 1850 = 3,78 posisi.

      Sekarang anggap 1 operasional, 1 siaga, 1 maintenance

      1+1+1 = 3 unit per posisi untuk kebutuhan minimum.

      3,78 posisi x 3 unit/posisi = 3,78 x 3 = 11,34 dibulatkan 11

      Jadi memang 11 unit heli asw panther itu adalah jumlah kebutuhan minimum kita.

    2. Beuh bener2 tukang hitung sampiyan mas.. hahahaha...

    3. om woof2 ntuw cem neo, kemana2 smua trasa dalam bentuk matriks haha!πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—

      hidoppp 11 bijik, aks terbanyak dikawasan haha!πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

      dan heli panther kita
      2017 dpt 2 bijik, hs 4203 & hs 4204

      2018 dpt 1 bijik, hs 4207

      total 3 bijik, sesuai dgn heli yg selesai sejak 2016, di pabrikan erbas prancis haha!😬😬😬

      tp ingat, utk instalasi paket asw, dilakukan ptdi sendiri tanpa campur tangan erbas. artinya kita beli kosongan dari sana, haizzz haha!πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“

      peralatan asw, kontraknya beda.
      dari brita taon 2015, kerjasamanya ama RSG

      " The integrated mission equipment suite will include L-3 Ocean Systems DS-100 Helicopter Long-Range Active Sonar (HELRAS) and Raytheon Mk46 or Whitehead A244/S lightweight torpedo launching system. "


      instalasi alat2 ini, makan wkt ckp lama, konon 2 taon.
      nach kalo taon lalu panther uda bredar di hut tni. kuat dugaan masi blom slesai instalasinya.

      -di blog sebelah pon tertulis, harusnya september 2018 nanti baru kelar.
      -ada brita ol juga, tertulis pengiriman dari ptdi lebih cepat 1 tahun, haha!πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

      -lalu kita ingat ada brita minggu lalu, heli dauphin kode basarnas, akan dipake buat pasukan kita lebanon.

      asumsi guwe, panther kensel ke lebanon, lanjut ke bandung lagi buat dipermak haha!😊😊😊

      duch bapak2 yang sabar, ngapaen sich buru2 haha!πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—

    4. slain helras 11 bijik, yg paling ditunggu2 dlm data SIPRI bukan SUPRI ntuw, tercantum 24 AAQ-33 SNIPER, begh buat palkon kitah haha!πŸ€‘πŸ€‘πŸ€‘

      jumlahnya 24 tp pespurnya 23, sisa satu pasang dimana nich om super, viper boleh yach haha!😎😎😎

    5. tambahan, tertulis itu sniper, amraam & aim9x dipesan 2017
      artinya smuanya dipesan sewaktu wapres amrik mendarat jakarta tahun lalu, jadi djelas smuanya kan tahun brp dipesan, dan tentunya "akan" datang pada wkt yg berbeda2 haha!🀠🀠🀠

    6. Betul mas..

      Kadang ketawa sendiri lihat forumer yg nyinyir bilang Indonesia dari 11 pesanan Helicopter Panther hanya 2 yg dilengkapi teknologi ASW.

      Lha keliatannya memang cuma dua.. wong waktu itu kloter pertama cuma dateng 2 unit itupun harusnya selesai 2018 tapi dipaksakan dipercepat 2017 karena ada HUT TNI. Tapi saya lihat sendiri lho ini heli nyemplungin terpedo ke laut pas acaranya hehehhe

      Lagipula kalau forumernya pengen keliatan lebih pinter dikit kan bisa lihat data SIPRI mas.. coba lihat teknologi apa yg dipakai Panther nanti (HELRAS) kemudian lihat berapa jumlah Helras yg kita beli dan sudah berapa yg dateng.. kalau disitu tertulis yg datang baru 2 unit trus diasumsikan Heli Panther TNI yg pakai ASW cuma 2 unit ya judule keblinger itu forumer...

      Dan satu lagi... jangan koar koar pakai berita jadul, mosok berita tahun 2012 ampe tahun 2015 dikeluarin semua ? emangnya kondisinya sama tahun segitu sama tahun sekarang ? hahahaha

  4. type 218 itu mahluk apa sih?...modif 214 gitu?....soalnya 212,214,216....jelas bedanya.....beda 218 dengan lain itu fitur apaan?

    1. Type ini rancangan baru dan langsung di eksekusi singapore om...bedanya AIPnya lebih mumpuni,lebih senyap,endurance selamnya lebih lama dan tabung senjatanya lebih banyak

    2. Upgradeable, karena disiapkan space buat upgrade/customizing dimasa depan.. :D

      Bakal serem nih lontong...πŸ˜€

    3. Bojoku seneng "lontong" sing imut....

    4. 218 gabungan dari type 212 + 214....di mix...

    5. Imut = kecil,lucu,menggemaskan..

      Dan Mas rico baru saja menjelaskan ukuran yang dimilikinya...

      Qiqiqiqi πŸ˜‚

  5. simpelnya ni U 218SG yaitu U212A yang digedein & dipanjangin si menurut saya. masih sm persis layoutnya, cuma pasti d jejali platform misi yg lebih baru.

  6. dengan wilayah seuprit...dan laut super dangkal....lebih mematikan gunakan midget dengan 2 torpedo sudah cukup....midget dengan jumlah banyak lebih bikin masalah

    1. Lha,ini di persiapkan untuk mengeksekusi batu putih dan menginvasi johor om

    2. nginvasi johor pon pakai submarine?? gurau abg rempit ni.. berenang pon dah sampai,. pemilu d sana pon klo suruh milih, pastilah pilih singapore😁😁

  7. klo soal design utk d kembangin d indonesia mendingan ambil platform U 210 mod, karena hullnya masih pke 209 yg tentunya teknologinya bs d kuasai kedepannya, coning tower & x plan pke U212 yg lebih efektif di shallow water teritory sperti indonesia.

  8. kalau 218 sama dengan 212 juga gak mungkin....212 itu hull menggunakan non magnetic....sangat stealth fi laut dangkal....kelemahan hull jenis ini ya terbatas daya tahan hadapi pressure di laut dalam....makanya ada design 214 untuk untuk laut dalam....tapi material hull beda

  9. kalau untuk indonesia cocok nambah 212 dan 216 sekalian 4000 ton...untuk laut indonesia timur...216 ada vlsnya....jadi gak usah 214

  10. kalau untuk midget mending tertarik pada mainan marion hyper submarine boat.....ini mainan james bon yg keren...marinir america juga tertarik....bayangin..boat 35-40 knot melaju diatas air...tiba2 bisa juga menyelam sampai 100 meter...musuh pasti bingung ketakutan....bisa buat patroli pemburu juga...dengan 2 torpedo cukup buat marion menjadi monster lawan

  11. Luweh, sak karepmu le arep komen, kono do urusono dewe....aku trimo ngeloni bojo wae, mumpung jeh prei😍

    1. @hari

      monggo mawon mas, sing penting bojo dewe, bkn bojone wong liyo🀣🀣

    2. Jenenge ngontrak neng "rumah petak" mas, batese gor tembok selapis...Yen ngangsi kliru salah kamar yo dianggep lg khilaf waeπŸ˜†πŸ˜‚

    3. Mung iso ngeloni sanajan 'prei' mas..? Wo, mulane bahas babagan 'khilaf'...πŸ˜‚

  12. marion hyper submarine boat konsepnya sama dengan seal carrier milik marinir...cuma seal carrier crew tetap pakai pakaian selam....kalau marion benar2 system kapal selam tertutup....cocok untuk wisata,untuk interseptor,anti terorisme...untuk mencegat fregat yg mendekat pelabuhan....mantablah marion hypersub boat

  13. indonesia harusnya produksi midged kayak ini dalam jumlah banyak,...dulu harga cuma 3,5 juta dolar...murah banget ini...bikin yg banyak.,,sebar ke seluruh ujung indonesia...bisa dipakai banyak instansi juga...mulai kopaska,bea cukai,bakamla,basarnas...versi militer bisa bawa 2 torpedo sudah cukup:-)

    1. husss tumben criwisss amat om daruw, thrnya blom habis yak haha!🀣🀣🀣

  14. Aneh tapi yata Singapore negara kutu tempat pelarian kruptor besar dari indonesia apa yg prediksi bungkarno cs sudah jadi keyataan jadi biang kehancuran nkri buat masa panjang . lebih cilaka gontq gqnti rezim di indonesia sama sajaa bloon goblok aturqnnyq negara kutu paling brengsek sejagat di tekan buat apa belli a l at perang laut udara tidak punya .

  15. Kapal selam paling hebat di asia tenggara! Custom made! Ada 8 tabung torpedo kelas berat! Ada vls boleh lancar misile daratan jarak jauh!