2008: Pakistan is switching from France to Germany for its next batch of
submarines, and is buying three Type 214 diesel electric submarines. Pakistan
is currently building the last of five Agosta subs, with the assistance of the
will be built in Pakistan, and the first one will be in service in about six
years. The Type 214 is a 1,700 ton, 202 foot long boat, with a crew of 27. It
has four torpedo tubes and a top submerged speed of 35 kilometers an hour.
Maximum diving depth is over 1,200 feet. The Type 214 is similar to the earlier
Type 209 and Type 212. The Type 214 also has a air-independent propulsion (AIP)
system. This enables the sub to stay underwater for over a week at a time.
Pakistan is paying about $350 million per sub.
undersea adversary for the 214s will be six French Scorpene class
diesel-electric submarines being built in India. These are similar to the
Agosta 90B subs that Pakistan has just finished building. The third Pakistani
Agosta was recently finished, after being delayed over a year because Islamic
terrorists had killed some of the French engineers working on the project.
France is also helping Pakistan install AIP in the first two 90Bs. The third
one was built with AIP.
designs are similar, with the Scorpene being more recent (and the result of
cooperation between a French and a Spanish firm.) The Agosta is a 1,500 ton
(surface displacement) diesel-electric sub with a 36 man crew and four 21 inch
torpedo tubes (with 20 torpedoes and/or anti-ship missiles carried.) The
Scorpene is a little heavier (1700 tons), has a smaller crew (32) and is a
little faster. It has six 21 inch torpedo tubes, and carries 18 torpedoes
are usually equipped with an AIP (air independent propulsion) system. This
enables the sub to stay under longer, thus making the sub harder to find. AIP
allows the sub to travel under water for 4-5 days at low speed (5-10 kilometers
nations having these modern subs, they have very lethal weapons against surface
warships. With well trained crews, 214s, Agostas and Scorpenes can get close to
just about any surface ship, no matter how good the defenders anti-submarine
defenses are. But it's the AIP boats that are the real killers. Without AIP,
subs spend most of their time just below surface, using their diesel engines
(via a snorkel device that breaks the surface to take in air, and get rid of
the engine exhaust.) Snorkels can be spotted by modern maritime patrol
aircraft, and both nations are getting more of these.
apparently getting AIP for its Scorpenes. The price of the contract is quoted
as $300 million for each boat. That could include AIP, because the boats are
being built in Indian yards, which have much lower costs. European built AIP
boats go for about half a billion dollars each. Typically, AIP adds about $100
million to the cost of a sub.