South Korea will start the construction of the third 3,000-ton submarine for the Navy.
The Defense Acquisition Program Administration said Friday a steel-cutting ceremony for the third submarine in the Jangbogo-III project will be held at the shipyard of Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, some 414 kilometers southeast of Seoul, later in the day, Yonhap reported.
Under the 10 trillion-won ($8.7 billion) Jangbogo-III project, South Korea plans to build nine 3,000-ton submarines in three batches with its own technology.
Two submarines are already under construction by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, another local shipbuilder.
The first batch of three submarines will be commissioned between 2020 and 2024, equipped with sonar and advanced combat systems, possibly including ballistic missile launchers, Yonhap reported quoting an unnamed source as saying.
South Korea may consider seeking nuclear-powered subs for the upgraded second and third batches, as it strives to beef up its defense capability against North Korea.