The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has contracted Daewoo Shipbuilding to build a 3,600-ton-class submarine - the country’s largest and most advanced ever - with the capability to launch ballistic missiles from vertical launchers.
The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced the signing of a 985.7 billion won (US$853 million) contract with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. on Friday to build a new 3,600-ton-class submarine equipped with vertically launched SLBMs.
The contract is for the second unit of three Changbogo-III Batch-II class submarines that South Korea plans to build by 2029. Construction of the first unit began just last month.
The new submarine is likely to come equipped with 10 vertical launch tubes for SLBMs, up from six equipped in the 3,000-ton-class submarine, Dosan Ahn Chang-ho which the South Korean Navy received last month.
The submarine will measure 89-meter-long and 9.6-meter-wide. It will carry 50 crew members and come equipped with advanced sensors to detect enemy targets.
The DAPA release, published by several South Korean publications quoted Adm. Jeon Yong-kyu heading the submarine project as saying, "With world-class capabilities, the new submarine will play a key role as a strategic asset of our country to counter security threats from all directions.”
The SLBM equipped submarine will enable South Korea to adapt an offensive posture against its traditional rival, North Korea as well as flex its muscles against China.