March 28, 2017

South Korea to be 2nd Country To Install LIBs for Submarines

Anonymous reported on March 25, 2017 that China, South Korea (SK) and Japan are all developing next generation batteries. SK is developing a submarine that uses Lithium-ion Batteries (LIBs). Anonymous says he used to think that the first fuel cell FC-AIP+ LIBs submarine would be developed as a TKMS + Siemens’ collaboration. But, SK may utilise TKMS' FC-AIP patent first, to create a FC-AIP + LIBs submarine. Of course the safety or reliability of SK LIBs remain unknown. 

Insufficient information concerns China and LIBs for diesel-electric submarines to judge when China will install LIBs for the electrical system.


After using right-click mouse to translate the following Doga SK article Pete has further translated it to more logical English.

The article’s author, Son Hyojoo, for Doga, of March 23, 2017, reports  

"Longer ~" First applied to domestic lithium battery, propulsion power for next generation submarine”

“The first [South Korean (SK)] submarines to be powered by LIBs will be 3 x 3000-class Jang Bogo-IIIs to be deployed by the SK Navy from 2030.

The SK Defense Agency announced that it held a detailed design review (CDR) meeting on July 23, 2016 on the applicability of a LIB system to the Jang Bogo-III (Submarine Placement-II [KSS-III Mark 2s?]). The detailed design review meeting was the final decision stage to determine the feasibility of LIBs for submarine and the possibility of producing a prototype.

"At this meeting, it was decided that the LIB system is suitable as the main propulsion power supply system for the Jang Bogo-III  (see Submarine Matters’ referenceB-II. [B-II can be taken to mean Mark 2" Based on this, SK will lay the foundations for developing the LIB system in earnest.

If the submarine LIBs are successfully developed, performance will improve in many aspects such as energy density, battery life, submersible power, maintenance and so on compared with the lead-acid battery [LAB] system applied to existing SK developed submarines.

Samsung SDI is developing a lithium battery by participating in the project led by the next generation submarine project of the radiation agency[?]

[Comment – Is South Korea’s next generation submarine project a [South] Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) “radiation” project? Noting KAERI has a small 100MW reactor design known as “SMART”) This is also noting DSME has “Nuclear Propulsion Ship” on its “New Technology [Maritime] List”].

"The submarine-mounted lithium battery system is being developed in advanced submarine operating countries such as Germany, France and Japan," said Chung Il-shik, chief of the next-generation submarine business. "We are already developing globally- It is meaningful to utilize it in. "

Doga article Ends

Anonymous has created the following table. 

Composition or abbreviation
Energy density [kW/kg]
First Generation
Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide
LiNiCoAlO2 or NCA
27SS, 28SS
Lithium Cobalt Oxide
LiCoO2 or LCO
200 (1014)
Shinkai 6500
Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide
LiNiMnCoO2 or NMC

Lithium Manganese Oxide
LiMn2O4 or LMO
140 (410)
Proto-type by JMSDF
Lithium Iron Phosphate
LiFePO4 or LFP
120 (575)
LFYP (China) is family of LFP
Lithium titanate
Li4Ti5O12 or LTO
CEP- Japan




Generation LIB
Lithium Ion Silicate
High Safety, low cycle performance

Lithium Manganese Silicate
High Safety, low cycle performance


Anonymous commented: Second gen LIBs (Lithium Ion Silicate or Lithium Manganese Silicate) show excellent properties such as very high energy density and safety. Their main drawback may be low cycle performance. Studies to overcome this issue are being conducted.

Two routes of advanced battery development may be as follows:

Route 1  LABs --- First Gen LIBs --- Second Gen LIBs --- LSBs

Route 2  LABs--- First Gen LIBs --- LSBs

Pete Comment: I think TKMS is doing most of the design work for the KSS-III 3000-class Jang Bogo-III just as TKMS designed the KSS-ls and KSS-IIs.  But I think TKMS does not say it is involved in Jang Bogo-III design because of the cruise or ballistic missiles SK will install in Jang Bogo-IIIs. These missiles may be seen (by China and North Korea) as capable of (but not actually carrying) nuclear warheads.

The other German company Siemens might also say it is not helping with FC-AIP for SK because FC-AIP would make the Jang Bogo-III a more efficient missile carrying platform.

Anonymous and Pete


Anonymous said...

Carried over from March 27, 2017 at

Sanchun Yaton commented:

"I served in the US Navy 1965 - 1968 1/2 on US naval destroyers in anti submarine warfare in the Mediterranean and in the Pacific supporting the war in Viet-Nam. Your answer is yes and NO. In terms of technology, for the Japs and Yanks, problems are to be solved. The US has lost two nuclear submarines due to bad "builds" and bad quality control. We learn from our mistakes. Possibly, that is why we can argue we are the best in the world. You don't think airlines still don't want high performing, light weight batteries for modern jets ? Have the "brilliant" French given up so soon on Lithium Ion technology ? Car manufacturers have not.

The Japanese are re engineering Li-Ion batteries for submarine use, starting from zero. Have you never used a Yuasa motorcycle battery in a motorcycle ? They are not about to knowing, cause the loss any of their expensive submarines. Now, the Chinese will try the same thing, SEPARATELY. How will they do ? Who knows ? Recently the Chinese managed to run a powerful diesel engine on the surface with a full submarine crew and shipyard observers onboard with the hull system and hatches shut until they pulled a vacuum in the hull and killed everyone on board. They found the submarine drifting. I can't remember ANY case of that happening with a WWII Western diesel submarine, ever.

From my perspective, the US has never fought against such a smart and capable enemy in the Pacific. We had to go after the Japanese island after island until we reached the edges of Japan. I would fear them more than the Chinese. The Japanese know what they are doing."

Peter Coates said...

Hi Sanchun Yaton

As I advised on March 27

Thanks for your comments. I think, since 1945, Japan's low spending (about 1% GDP/per capita) on defense and Japan's pacifist outlook means Japan is not a threat to anyone. China, Russia and, of course, nuclear missile rattling hermit kingdom North Korea, are threatening players.



Peter Coates said...

Hi again Sanchun Yaton

Where you refer to:

"Recently the Chinese managed to run a powerful diesel engine on the surface with a full submarine crew and shipyard observers onboard with the hull system and hatches shut until they pulled a vacuum in the hull and killed everyone on board. They found the submarine drifting. I can't remember ANY case of that happening with a WWII Western diesel submarine, ever."

Although the Chinese "bravely" maintain Ming class submarine No. 361 was submerged, not surfaced, I assume 361 is the sub in question:

"According to the official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, all 70 crew members died when the submarine's diesel engine used up all the oxygen (because it failed to shut down properly) while the boat was submerged on April 16, 2003. The submarine, which was commanded by was Commodore Cheng Fuming (程福明) [why an exalted Commodore?], had been taking part in naval exercises east of Inner Changshan Islands in the Bohai Sea of Northeastern China. Along with its normal compliment, the crew also included 13 trainee cadets from the Chinese naval academy. [3]

After the disaster, the crippled submarine drifted for ten days because it was on a silent, no-contact exercises [or no-one wanted to get near a fatal mistake under orders from higher ups...] . The boat was discovered by Chinese fishermen who noticed its periscope sticking above the surface on April 25, 2003. The submarine was initially towed to Yulin Harbor near Sanya on Hainan Island before being taken back to the northeast seaport of Dalian in Liaoning province in Northeast China.


CMC Vice-chairman Guo Boxiong led an enquiry into the incident, which resulted in the dismissal of four senior PLAN officers on June 13, 2003. Four other senior officers were also demoted. The official verdict was improper "command and control"." [or a test that went wrong]

Anonymous said...

Minus the fiasco with Note 4, Samsung LIBs are found in many other applications. Given LIB Soryu, SK will be pressed to do same, if not earlier.

Peter Coates said...


I've located in Wikipedia battery problems with the Samsung Galaxy S4 events -

"A house in Hong Kong is alleged to have been set on fire by an S4 in July 2013,[103] followed by a minor burnt S4 in Pakistan.[104] A minor fire was also reported in Newbury, United Kingdom in October 2013.[105][106] Some users of the phone have also reported swelling batteries and overheating;[107] Samsung has offered affected customers new batteries free of charge.[108]".

Yes millions of Samsung batteries working in other applications - apparently without problems.



Wispywood2344 said...

Hi Pete.

I have read the technical reports and press releases of GS Yuasa to investigate the positive electrode material of its products in order to get clues about the positive electrode material of LIB of Soryu Mk2.
The results are below;

LCO (lithium cobalt oxide) is used in products for aerospace use (LVP series[1], JMG series[2]), and deep submergible vehicle (LFL400[3]).
LMO (lithium manganese oxide) is used in products for EV (LEV50[4][5], LEV50N[4]), industrial use (LIM series[5]), and special use (YML series[6]).
LNMCO (lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide) is used in products for HV (EH5[7], EH6[8]), and industrial use (EX25A[9]).

As far as I looked over, LNCAO (lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide) is not used in products of GS Yuasa.
So, I think that the discourse that LNCAO is used for Soryu Mk2 is highly doubtful.



Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Ex-commander of JMSDF submarine fleet and renowned submarine expert, Masao Kobayashi clearly suggested adoption of NCA to Soryu MK2 [1]. I do not think the ex-commander told a lie.


Two Li-ion types are available: lithium nickel cobalt aluminium oxide (NCA) manufactured by GS Yuasa; and lithium-titanate (LTO) from Toshiba. The JMSDF will use NCA-type batteries whereas Kobayashi believes LTO types were offered to Australia for its Future Submarine proposal.


Peter Coates said...

Hi Wispywood2344 and Anonymous [at 31/3/17 7:21 AM]

I don't know enough about the merits of different LIB chemistries to be able to usefully contribute to the debate on what might be the best LIB type for the Japanese Navy.

The Australian Navy (RAN) would probably have been a little too risk averse to see merit in using unique LTO LIBs when not even the Japanese Navy was using LTO.



Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

One of the things I really like on your blog is the level of analysis/clever speculations.

I’m particularly fond of this table published above.

I’ve read, like many, that the Japanese developed their LIB technology on the basis of the NCA chemistry, itself a kind derivative of the older LCO chemistry (used onboard 787s). I understand the JMSDF, ATLA, GS Yuasa did not retain the LCO chemistry because of its level of performance and also (moreover) because of its unstable nature.

However, I did not know the JMSDF had prototyped a LMO battery.
QUESTION - Is it the next-gen chemistry potentially to be used on the Soryu successor ? Or something else ?

All the best

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

According to Korea JoongAng Daily (JPN version), SK laid down third submarine of Jang Bogo-III on Jun 30 [1]. Jang Bogo-III equips with 6 Vertical Launching Systems (VLSs) for Hyunmoo-2B Missiles [2] with range of 500km and payload of 500kg.

Although both LIBs and VLSs are new submarine technologies for SK and the first submarine of Jang Bogo-III is under building, SK laid down the third submarine. SK seems to rush development.