South Korea Unveils Sixth 1,800 Ton Class Attack Submarine

  • Our Bureau
  • 10:54 AM, May 7, 2015
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South Korea Unveils Sixth 1,800 Ton Class Attack Submarine
South Korea named sixth 1,800 ton class sub honoring freedom fighter, Yu Gwan-Sun (Photo:cantate-domino blog)

South Korea unveiled its sixth 1,800-ton-class attack submarine Thursday aimed at boosting its underwater warfare capabilities against North Korea, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The Navy plans to commission the submarine in November 2016, it said.

"It is the first submarine bearing a woman's name in our history," the Navy said in a statement. "We've christened it Yu Gwan-sun, to honor her sacrifice and to promote public security awareness, marking the 70th anniversary of independence from Japan's colonial rule and the establishment of the Navy."

According to the Navy, the ship is armed with indigenous ship-to-ship cruise missiles named Haeseong, or Sea Star, and torpedoes and mines for anti-vessel and anti-submarine operations.

The cruise missiles with a maximum range of 1,500 kilometers are capable of carrying out precision strikes against enemies' key facilities.

The sub's maximum underwater speed is 20 knots, which enables it to travel between South Korea and Hawaii without refueling.

The diesel-powered submarine will be operated by Air Independent Propulsion, which bolsters the vessel's submerged endurance and allows the crew to carry out underwater missions for up to two weeks without access to atmospheric oxygen.

Currently, the Navy operates nine 1,200-ton submarines and four 1,800-ton subs, while planning to build five more 1,800-ton submarines by 2019. In addition, it plans to deploy nine 3,000-ton submarines capable of launching ballistic missiles, starting in 2020.

North Korea has a significant superiority in the number of submarines, as is believed to have some 70 vessels, including about 20 1,800-ton Romeo-class submarines. The communist country is also believed to be building a new submarine capable of firing missiles, according to South Korean and US intelligence.

The launching ceremony for the 214-class submarine, manufactured by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering took place in the southern coastal city of Geoje, South Gyeongsang Province, according to the Navy.

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