IDEF 2021, Turkey’s largest defense exhibition, featured a variety of submarine designs and concepts. STM, a Turkish defense engineering company, unveiled the STM500 small submarine just a few days before the show, and it also displayed the TS1700, a 1700-ton submarine. Dearsan, a Turkish shipbuilder that recently completed the delivery of a brand-new corvette to Turkmenistan, has unveiled a concept design for a light submarine.
While the Turkish Navy’s research and development center has been working on the MILDEN (Milli Denizalti) National Submarine program in close collaboration with a number of defense companies, the studies on mini submarine concepts are the first attempts to apply the know-how gained to small-sized submarines.
The Submarine TS1700 is a diesel-electric submarine for which STM developed the conceptual design. It is propelled with an electric motor, two diesel generators assisted with an air-independent propulsion (AIP) system. The platform is capable of diving to a depth of more than 300 meters.
It is capable of housing 25+6 personnel for 90 days at sea on double elastic platforms that protect both the personnel and the devices from the devastation caused by underwater explosions. Its eight tubes are capable of launching a variety of 16 modern heavy weight torpedoes and guided missiles.
The TS1700 is mainly designed to perform Submarine Warfare, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Special Operations, Network Centric Warfare and Land Attack.
TS1700 Key Data
- Technical Specifications
- Length overall: 60,14 meters
- Diameter (pressure hull): 6,50 meters
- Sail height: 13,40 meters
- Surfaced displacement: 1,517 tons
- Submerged displacement: 1,740 tons
- Maximum speed: 20+ knots
- Cruise speed: 4 knots
- Diving depth: 300+ meters
- Endurance on diesel: 6,000 nautical miles
- Endurance on batteries: 400 nautical miles
- Endurance diesel + AIP: 7,250 nautical miles
- Tank capacity
- Fuel: 63 tons
- Fresh water: 13 tons
STM500 mini submarine
The STM500 is a shallow-water diesel-electric attack submarine that was developed by STM as a conceptual design. For 30 days at depths of more than 250 meters, the platform can sustain 18+6 (Speciaf Forces) personnel and is ready to fire its four tubes, each of which is loaded with a different variety of eight modern heavy weight torpedoes and guided missiles.
In addition to general submarine operations, the STM500 mini submarine is specifically designed to conduct shallow water operations in addition to general submarine operations. It will also carry out UXV operations, which will entail the deployment of unmanned underwater vehicles when necessary.
Various types of sonars, including a cylindrical array and a cylindrical transducer array, as well as passive ranging, passive intercept array, and own-noise array, can be installed on the submarine. It is anticipated that the information gathered by these sensors will be processed by the combat management system. The platform will be equipped with an optronic periscope as well as an ESM antenna.
The conceptual design idea of the mini submarine was offered by a foreign country, an official from STM Defence stated on condition of anonymity. As the project’s negotiations progress, the specifics and characteristics of the boat may change in order to meet the needs of the customer.
STM500 Key Data
- Technical Specifications
- Length overall: 42 meters
- Maximum beam: 8,50 meters
- Surfaced displacement: 485 tons
- Submerged displacement: 540 tons
- Maximum speed: 18+ knots
- Cruise speed: 5 knots
- Diving depth: 250+ meters
- Endurance on diesel: 3,500 nautical miles
- Endurance on batteries: 75 nautical miles
- Endurance diesel + AIP: 4,000 nautical miles
- Propulsion system
- Permanent Excited Propulsion Motor: Approx. 1.5 MW
- Power generation: 2x Diesel Generator, Lithium-Ion Batteries, AIP system (optional)
Dearsan Light submarine
The exhibition featured a brand-new light submarine design by Turkish shipbuilder Dearsan. According to the label attached to the scale model of the light submarine, the boat measures 33.60 meters in length and 3.50 meters in width. The submarine’s calculated top speed while submerged is more than 10 knots, and it tops out at more than 6 knots when surfaced.
The company officials declined to provide more information.
The conceptual studies conducted by the companies are the result of the knowledge gained from the indigenous trend in the Turkish defense industry. Such “what if” studies would enrich the design database and provide more options to the decision maker when the time comes…
Thanks to their small size, mini submarines are extremely effective assets in littoral waters. In the course of anti-submarine warfare operations, it is extremely difficult to locate and destroy an adversary submarine in the littoral waters. The reason for this is that the performance of the sonars in such an environment is significantly reduced as a result of the background noise. Despite having less endurance and operational range than larger submarines, mini submarines would be even more difficult to detect than larger submarines. Because they have a smaller acoustic and magnetic signature, they are more effective.
As a result, the Turkish Navy could deploy a flotilla of mini-submarines in the Aegean Sea to provide a more effective solution in the region. The mini subs would be able to penetrate beyond the opponent’s lines and gather intelligence. Mini submarines are also excellent options for missions requiring high levels of confidentiality, such as special forces operations, mining critical areas, and so on.