South Korea has announced the induction of its first Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) capable boat. Named after prominent South Korean independence fighter Dosan Ahn Chang-ho, the 3,000-ton-class indigenous submarine is the first of three Changbogo-III Batch-I submarines that South Korea plans to build by 2023.
The commissioning ceremony for the induction of the mid-class diesel air-independent propulsion submarine took place at the Okpo Shipyard of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. on the southern island of Geoje.
The US$2.7 billion project was launched in 2007. The submarine was domestically designed with 76 percent of its parts locally made.
“The 83.5-meter-long and 9.6-meter-wide submarine can carry 50 crew members and is capable of firing submarine-to-ground ballistic missiles with six vertical launching tubes. It can operate underwater for 20 days without surfacing,” the officials said.
The combat system that plays the role of the submarine’s brain and the sonar system was developed by the Defense Science Research Institute. The propulsion system responsible for mobility is equipped with a domestic propulsion motor and a charging generator. The submarine’s AIP is hydrogen fuel cell based and developed by South Korea.
The Navy said the Dosan Ahn Chang-ho will be deployed by August next year after year long evaluations. South Korea currently operates 1,200-ton and 1,800-ton submarines.
The Jangbogo-III-class Batch-I 2nd ship, Choreographer, was launched in November last year, and the 3rd ship, recently named ‘Shin Chaeho’, is scheduled to be launched next month.
South Korea lacks a SLBM currentlyand it is not known if the country has a project for creation of a SLBM.
North Korea too is believed to be working on a 3000 ton SLBM capable submarine.