South Korea announced its third and final launch of three Changbogo-III Batch-I submarines the country has been building. South Korea says that it uses its technology, and the project was worth about 3.09 trillion won (US$2.77 billion). Under the 2007 project, all three units are capable of firing submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).
A launch ceremony for the new 3000-ton submarine, named after a prominent Korean independence activist, Shin Chae-ho, was held at the shipyard of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. in the southeastern city of Ulsan.
The 83.5-meter-long and 9.6-meter-wide submarine can carry 50 crew members and operate underwater for 20 days without surfacing; The AIP fitted submarine is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in 2024 after test operations.
The first of the class, the Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine, was launched in 2018 and was deployed last month. The second one, the Ahn Mu, was launched in November last year and is expected to be delivered to the Navy around next year.
The arch-rival North Korea has unveiled several new SLBMs and is known to be building a new SLBM capable submarine believed to be a 3,000-ton. But experts say North Korea has yet to be successful in underwater ejection tests of those systems. Last week, the North’s missile development agency chief said that the South’s SLBM capability was clumsy and in the elementary development stage.