The program definition study for the Moray was completed, and the program had entered advanced development at the time of the bankruptcy of the build, RDM Submarines, in 2004. The `Moray' is a further evolution of the `Walrus' design. It offered a wide range of customised systems and a high level of system integration to accommodate specific requirements for endurance and combat capabilities according to customer requirements. Moray stands for Multi Operational Requirement Affected Yield, the submarine is of a modular design. It was possible to make a choice between a 1100 t, 1400 t and +/- 1800 t submerged version. with a length of 55.7 meters, 64 meters and 75.9 meters meters respectively. In each case, the design called for a Beam of 6.4 meters and a Draft of 5.5 meters. The 1800 and 1400 studies were completed in 1993 and 1997.
The Moray class was to be the first submarines built from the bow up for Air Independent Propulsion [AIP] system. The Moray design is able to integrate the AIP system from RDM Submarines. In close co-operation with the co-licensor BAE Systems, RDMS has developed a low-noise, closed-cycle diesel system. The system, which provides for a very low cost per kW installed, has been tested RDM designed the new AIP system, which has been named SPECTRE (Submarine Power for Extended Continuous Trial and Range Enhancement). The SPECTRE AIP system contained the following: closed-cycle diesel (including a 600 kW DC generator), liquid nitrogen storage and supply system (total capacity of 60 tons in two tanks), argon storage and supply system, CO2 absorber and water management system, CO2 scrubber, and weight compensation tanks for liquid oxygen.
RDM estimated that a hybrid-powered Moray could remain submerged for 20 days while cruising at two knots. Power is provided by two diesel generator sets (each delivering 980 kW) that offers an indiscretion rate of 13 per cent at 6 kt submerged. The total range is 9,500 n miles and the autonomy is 50 days with a crew of 32. Battery endurance at 2 kt is 120 hours.
Much of the armament and electronics for the Moray would be adapted from Zeeleeuw/Walrus class to reduce costs. The Moray will be of a modular single-hull design, constructed of HY 100 steel. The Moray would consequently be able to reach a diving depth in excess of 300 meters (1,000 feet). A full sensor suite is incorporated in the design, which includes a towed array sonar. The design features six weapon tubes each capable of discharging three different types of weapon (Mk 48 torpedo, encapsulated Harpoon missiles and mines). A maximum of 20 weapons can be carried, being loaded via the top hatch directly into the boat's torpedo room. The C4I systems of all major combat manufacturers can be integrated in the design. As a standard the design included the latest model of non-penetrating optronic periscope of Kollmorgen.
The average cost of a Moray was estimated to be about $250 million. No domestic procurement of the Moray class was forecast. Failures in Indonesia in 1994, Egypt in 2000, and Malaysia in 2002 raised questions over the Moray design, as most foreign navies are putting forth the requirement of a proven hull before purchase.
As of 1996 RDM, teamed with GEC Marine's VSEL of the UK, was competing for a submarine contract in Thailand, offering the new Moray design. RDM had recently procured two decommissioned Zwaardvis class submarines from the Netherlands Government for possible export in support of Moray sales. The yard was also investigating whether to acquire four unbuilt kits for TR 1700 submarines from Argentina for the same reason.
RDM hoped to make a sale to the Indonesians. However, the Indonesian navy publicly announced their desire to procure the South Korean Type 209 submarines, when they were replaced by the Type 214s in 2007 and 2008. The Indonesian navy operated two Type 209 (Type 1300)-class submarines and it would be easier to integrate the South Korean Type 209s than the Zwaardvis and Moray designs. The cancellation of the Zwaardvis/Moray deal put even more pressure on RDM, as it had still not been able to sell the Moray design, which once was hoped to be a success on the foreign market.
RDM Submarines of Rotterdam was mentioned in three competitions for submarines in 2001. But the big money seemed far away, as no order has yet been placed. Egypt had been a possible customer for some years. The idea was that the deal would be paid with US military aid, for which reason it was required that a US yard (Northrop's Ingalls) would build the boats, using RDM plans and design. Under the deal, RDM of the Netherlands will build the submarine hulls which would be equipped Lockheed Martin combat systems at Ingalls' Pascagoula facility. Though a Letter of Intent had been signed, not much progress was made on the order.
In 1998 the Dutch government made it clear they would have no difficulties with the sale of these submarines to the Middle East. The same was true in the Malaysian case, where the government did not see any regional arms build-up (Singapore bought their first submarines in the 1990s, accelerating Malaysia's plans to buy some), nor a destabilising effect (claims of several Southeast Asian countries on the Spratly Islands in the potentially oil/gas rich South China Sea). RDM lost the Malaysian subs deal, with the French on the winning. The shipping of two old Dutch Navy Zwaardvis submarines to Malaysia in 2001 for refurbishment and trials did not help impress the Malaysians.
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