south korean submarine
- Asia, Naval Power

South Korea officially Commission ballistic missile submarine


South Korean ballistic missile no longer a rumour, Korea has just put the first submarine that can launch ballistic missiles from under the water into service its Navy; bringing South Korea into the selecteive country that can launch ballistic missiles from submarines.

The South Korean Navy has commissioned a diesel-electric submarine named Changbogo-III Batch-I, capable of launching both ballistic and cruise missiles from underwater. The success is even greater, as the new ship is developed and manufactured in Korea. This achievement marks the great development of Korea’s defence industry, having developed and built a submarine with such capabilities on its own. Remember, currently, in the world only 5 permanent UN Security Council countries and one nonpermanent member India have this ability; However, their submarines are all nuclear powered.

Dosan Ahn Changho-class submarine
Dosan Ahn Changho-class submarine

According to a source from the Korean Navy, on August 13, 2021, the first Changbogo-III Batch-I class submarine was handed over. The handover ceremony was held at the Okpo shipyard of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co on Geoje Island. The new ship is named “Dosan Ahn Chang-ho” in honour of Dosan, a Korean independence activist and one of the original leaders of the Korean-American immigrant community in the US. at the beginning of the 20th century.

The following reasons to evaluate the Changbogo-III Batch-I class submarines are the achievements of the Korean Navy. Firstly, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the prototype submarine was built in a relatively fast time; affirming Korea’s shipbuilding capacity. Construction of the new ship began in May 2016, the launch took place in September 2018, sea trials began in 2019. Second, the ship is designed and manufactured in Korea and not based on previously used design patterns.

The ROK Navy currently uses submarines half the size and under German license, which are nine Sohn Won-yil-class submarines (Type 214/ KSS-II) with a displacement of 1,860 tons. Nine Chang Bogos (Type 209/ KSS-I) displace 1,290 tons.

However, the experience of building 17 submarines of type 214 submarine has helped Korea develop a team of engineers as well as skilled workers in submarine design and construction, as well as naval technical personnel, who understand clearly what they need and how to develop the new class of submarines.

Thanks to high-quality human resources and modern infrastructure, Korea was able to develop and manufacture Changbogo-III Batch-I-class submarines with a length of 83.5 m, a width of 9.6 m, and a volume of submarines. Displaces up to 3,750 tons of water.

In terms of weapons, in addition to six standard 533 mm torpedo tubes, there are six more vertical launch tubes, allowing launching from underwater cruise missiles and short-range tactical ballistic missiles Chonryong or Hyunmoo (range of fire is about 500 km).

Hyunmoo 2B ballistic missile
Hyunmoo 2B ballistic missile

South Korea has owned ballistic missiles; and before that, they conducted a successful test launch of a ballistic missile from an underwater launch pad. Therefore, it is easy to judge that such an application will be equipped on real submarines.

According to the plan, by 2023, three Changbogo-III Batch-I-class submarines will be built, with an estimated cost of more than 3.09 trillion won (equivalent to 2.7 billion USD). The next three submarines of the second batch (Changbogo-III Batch-II class), will be produced by 2030.

The amount spent on this program must remain the same, as most of the equipment will be provided by the Korean industry. This process of autonomy has been going on for a long time and the last submarine, built under German license in Korea, is 76% localized.

Now the ability to localize is even greater and Korea also has self-control for supposedly sensitive source devices such as engines, AIP air-independent propulsion system components, and especially batteries lithium-ion.

With the new technologies of the Changbogo-III Batch-I submarine class, observers say that this ship and its 50 sailors can operate continuously under the water for up to 20 days without going to the surface; thus greatly enhancing Korea’s anvil capability.


About Tufail Bakshi

I cover global military news, focusing on identifying technologies of strategic importance to aviation, aerospace and defense. I was Born in baramula, Kashmir ,I did my graduation from Kashmir University, I aspire in becoming a military journalist.
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