Future Trimaran Patrol Combat Ship
Future Trimaran is a joint R&D project with the US to insert a whole new Littoral Combat Ship class into the JMSDF Force Structure, rather than a fully domestic program aimed at replacing existing classes. It's adding a new class, instead of replacing something else, and is different from 30DEX and 33DD, etc. etc.
Trimaran is one of the multi-hull vessels, which is now attracting attention from many navies. The trimaran has one main hull on center and two small side hulls. Trimaran can achieve high speed because of the fine main hull. Additionally, it can obtain wider deck area than comparable monohull, hence trimaran embarks considerable number of Helicopter, UUVs and USVs to perform multiple operations. Trimaran is relatively-new hullform, and its design scheme is not yet established. For design of future trimaran, fundamental researches are necessary to develop design procedure.
Naval Systems Research Center is conducting co-operative research project on trimaran (High-Speed Multi-Hull Vessel Optimization; HSMVO) with Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division, US Navy. In this project, the agencies conducted fundamental research and design on trimaran.
The objective of the HSMVO project is to assess the capability of trimaran as naval platform and obtain trimaran performance database to design variety of different trimaran for future operational requirements. Therefore, US and Japan have been jointly studying on various stage of design, performance evaluation and sharing the achievements.
Firstly, both countries jointly develop the CONOPS: concept of operations for trimaran on the HSMVO project. From this CONOPS, each country separately conducts concept design of trimaran which has different particulars. Secondly, each country conducts performance evaluation by both experiment and numerical simulation, and improve hullform based on evaluation results to redesign the trimaran. To optimize the hullform, these process will be repeated several times and parametric concept design will be created.
Finally, the optimized hullform will be evaluated in detail. Additionally, the evaluated results will be utilized to consolidate parametric performance database. By comparing different trimaran between both counties, we can expect to create more diverse performance database and improve design and performance evaluation capability of both counties.
By 2015 Japan had selected the final design and was preparing for detail evaluation. The side assumes the CONOPS for trimaran as patrol and MCM, and conduct concept design for these primary missions. For the first step of optimization, resistance reduction is set as objective function and parametric evaluation was conducted by numerical method. Secondly, towing tank experiments were conducted to evaluate propulsion, seakeeping and maneuvering performance. Hullform was also optimized by experimental results. Structural strength study conducted simultaneously both on numerical and experimental. Japan manufactured experimental models for detail analysis on final design.
By 2016 a concept model was made that put emphasis on patrol and minesweeping activities and had a helicopter of the same standard as an escort ship with a total length of 150 meter standard displacement of 5,100 tons. There was also a design hull with a water line length of 80 m and a quasi displacement of 1160 t.
Regarding the operation, activities in the coastal area is close to the LCS of the US Navy and coastal area combat ships. But it is not a warship p but a concept assuming a patrol / minesweeping ship with unmanned operation capability. High speed navigation is possible, there is a place to accommodate 1 and 2 helicopters, and a system to launch and recover drone is installed. Also it would be used eliminate submarines. If the mediation of practical use sets it up, it will move on to development and it is assumed that it will be introduced as a naval vessel of the Maritime Self Defense Force.
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