South Korea plans to build a total of nine 3,000-ton submarines with its own technology to replace aging 1,200-ton subs in stages.
The submarines will be built under the Chang Bogo III project and the first is scheduled to be launched next year, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) was quoted as saying in a statement by Korea Herald Wednesday.
The DAPA, in partnership with the Agency for Defense Development and contract firms, has pushed for the indigenous development of a related combat system regarded as the "brain" of submarine armaments.
South Korea has developed a combat and sonar systems for the proposed submarines, the news daily reported. "It means that the development of both the combat and sonar systems, which are core arms elements for the 3,000-ton Chang Bogo III submarines, has entered the completion phase," the DAPA said.
The systems will go through final tests after being installed on the submarine to be built.
"With the success of indigenously developing the combat and sonar systems, cost and time are expected to be cut greatly for the operation and maintenance of the submarines," said Rear Adm. Chung Il-sik, head of the DAPA's next-generation submarine project team.
South Korea also has nine 1,800-ton diesel-electric ones.