Hanwha Oean has begun constructing South Korea’s third and final 3,600-tonne, diesel-electric Changbogo-III Batch-II-class submarine. According to the country’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), the delivery schedule of the vessel was finalised with Hanwha, with construction slated to be completed by 2029 and delivered to the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) in 2031 following trial runs.
The 89-metre submarine will likely feature 10 vertical launch tubes for submarine-launched ballistic missiles in contrast to the six tubes equipped in the preceding Batch-I submarines. With this enhanced capability, the new submarine is anticipated to be crucial for the ROK military’s Kill Chain pre-emptive strike platform which is designed to eliminate high-value North Korean nuclear and missile targets.
Furthermore, the submarine utilises a pairing of air-independent propulsion system with lithium-ion batteries which can lengthen its operation hours while submerged.
To date, the ROKN has taken delivery of two Batch-I submarines with one more slated for delivery this year. All 3 of the Batch-II submarines are presently under construction. shp/adj/dl (Pix:Hanwha Ocean)