SEOUL, ($1= 1,176.90 South Korean Wons) – The South Korean Navy has commissioned the first Changbogo-III Batch-I diesel-electric powered submarine, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Defence24. The success is even greater as the new ship has been developed and manufactured in South Korea. It is also adapted to launching tactical ballistic missiles and cruise missiles from underwater.
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According to the South Korean Navy, on Friday, August 13, 2021, the first class-propelled Changbogo-III Batch-I submarine was handed over. The handover ceremony of this unit was organized at the Okpo shipyard of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. on the island of Geoje. The new ship was named “Dosan Ahn Chang-ho” in honor of the famous South Korean fighter for independence.
The whole event was given a very high rank for several reasons. First, despite the pandemic delay, the prototype unit was built relatively quickly, confirming the South Korean shipbuilding capabilities. Construction began in May 2016, the launch took place in September 2018, and sea trials began in 2019. Secondly, the ship was designed and manufactured in South Korea and was not based on previously produced on-site designs. The South Korean Navy currently uses submarines more than twice smaller and built under German license: nine of the Sohn Won-yil (Type 214 / KSS-II) with a displacement of 1,860 tons and nine of the Chang Bogo (Type 209 / KSS-I) with a displacement of 1,290 tons.
The Republic of Korea was helped by the fact that seventeen of these units (out of eighteen) were produced locally at the shipyards of Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo S&ME. So there was an engineering staff that had the appropriate experience and skills, as well as the naval staff who knew perfectly well what they needed and how to formulate tactical and technical requirements.
Thanks to this, it was possible to build a submarine with a displacement of 3,750 tons, a length of 83.5 m, and a width of 9.6 m, on which, apart from six standard 533 mm caliber torpedo tubes, there were additionally six vertical launch tubes, allowing for launching from under the water: Chonryong or Hyunmoo short-range ballistic missiles (with a range of about 500 km). South Korea already has these types of missiles, as evidenced by the successful attempt to launch one of them from a submerged underwater platform. It can therefore be expected that soon the same test will be carried out from a submerged submarine.
In total, by 2023, three such “mini-boomers”, designated as the Changbogo-III Batch-I type, are to be built. It is planned to spend over 3.09 trillion won (approximately $ 2.7 billion) for this task. Three similar units of the second tranche (Changbogo-III Batch-II type) are to be produced by 2030.
Importantly, the money spent on this program will remain in place as most of the equipment and systems will be provided by the South Korean industry. This process of independence from exports has been going on for a long time and the last submarine built in the Republic of Korea already had 76% of components supplied from its industry. Now, this self-sufficiency is to be even greater and also applies to such sensitive systems as lithium-ion batteries and the components of the AIP air-independent propulsion system. It is thanks to him that it is indicated that the new submarines with a crew of 50 will be able to descend even for twenty days without going to the surface (including periscope depth).
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