September 17, 2018

Likely Extra Specifications for South Korean 3,000-ton KSS-III Submarine

No big surprises so far. Although the second batch of South Korea's 3,000 tonne, KSS-III may have Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). The extra specifications are in red, below.

Pete has bolded specification in the following South Korean Yonhap News Agency article published September 14, 2018, which reports:

"(LEAD) South Korea launches 3,000-ton homegrown submarine"

"SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea held a launching ceremony Friday September 14] for a 3,000-ton indigenous submarine, a new strategic weapons system designed to bolster underwater defense capabilities.
The ceremony for the diesel-electric air-independent propulsion submarine, named after a prominent South Korean independence fighter, Dosan Ahn Chang-ho [making it the KSS-III, KSS-3 or Changbogo-III or Jangbogo-III class], took place at the Okpo Shipyard of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. on the southern island of Geoje.
The ceremony was attended by 350 people, including government and military officials and employees of the shipbuilder, the Navy said.
"The Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine is the Navy's first mid-class submarine and has been built with a combination of cutting-edge technologies," the Navy said in a press release. "This is a national strategic weapons system capable of responding to all threats, and it will help strengthen the Navy's defense capabilities."

   While the country's existing 1,200-ton and 1,800-ton submarines were built with technological assistance from Germany defense firms, the latest submarine has been domestically designed, and 76 percent of its component parts were made by Korean businesses.
The new 83.3-meter-long, 9.6-meter-wide [KSS-III is] capable of carrying 50 crew members is equipped with six vertical launching tubes capable of firing submarine-to-ground ballistic missiles [making KSS-III a conventionally powered ballistic missile submarine "SSB"] and can operate underwater for 20 days without surfacing, officials explained.
It is set to be delivered to the Navy in December 2020 after tests. Its operational deployment is slated for January 2022. It costs around 1 trillion won [US$1 billion] per unit.
The construction of the new submarine is part of South Korea's project to domestically build the 3,000-ton Changbogo-III submarine. The project, worth 3.33 trillion won (US$2.97 billion), was launched in 2007 and is set to end in 2023."
The KSS-III may weigh 3,000 tonnes (surfaced) and 3,500 tonnes (submerged).
Its Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) is likely around four German HDW/Siemens PEM fuel cells (each of 120 kW).
Likely to have 3 or 4 MTU 396 or MTU 4000 diesels.
One electric motor of the German Siemens Permasyn type, perhaps driving a seven bladed skewback propeller
The first batch of 3 or 4 KSS-IIIs will carry traditional Lead-acid batteries with the second batch having new Lithium-ion batteries

The submarine appears to have a two deck hull and sail of a stretched Type 214 (of which South Korea's KSS-II - Son Won-Il is a variant). Hydroplanes on sail are similar to the TKMS Type 212A.

The lower photo gives a better look at the shrouded propeller. Also the rudder configuration appers to be cruciform like the Type 214 (so far with no X-plane rudders). Cruciform rudders promote stability during vertical launch missile firing. Lower photo originally at defence-blog.)

More details, especially of the KSS-III's propulsion and missiles, are likely to follow in several weeks-months.



Turtle said...

Why do you always assume VLS is not independently developed? I see history of US hindering RoK weapon development.

Pete said...

Hi Turtle

VLS was not independently developed by South Korea partly because South Korea destroyers eg. already use US developed Mk 41 VLS for missile launching.

And overall no country refuses or fails to rely on study of foreign technology. Countries always use foreign designs (eg. old German Type XXI), foreign advisers and contracting companies for many components of submarines.

For example India's "indigenous" nuclear submarine, INS Arihant, heavily relied on Russian naval reactor designs and Russian advisers to integrate the reactor into the submarine.

Back to KSS-III. Its adoption of German designs for its AIP and main motor is logical given the preceding class (KSS-II) used German designed systems.



Unknown said...

Dear Pete, south Korea developed its own VLS for its warships and submarines. They decided to do so because they wanted to avoid restriction to export its vessels and submarines and also because by using foreign VLS they would have to reveal the technical specifications of their missiles to the VLS manufacturer but they wanted to keep those information secret. Below is a report on this subject

Pete said...

Hi Unknown

Your points have some validity. So I have removed my comments on Vertical Launch Tubes/VLS and will discuss the issue more tomorrow.



Anonymous said...

" For example India's "indigenous" nuclear submarine, INS Arihant, heavily relied on Russian naval reactor designs and Russian advisers to integrate the reactor into the submarine. "

Can you back this claim of yours with proofs , especially the " heavy reliance " .

I hope you know Russian gave indians limited info on a non military reactor ie a reactor used in a icebreaker ship.

The limited info the Russians gave as usual was incomplete and not helpful as was the case most of the time with so called Russian help

BARC had come up a original design where they took some inspiration for the non core secondary subsystems from the incomplete Russian docs.

Even than it was a tedious trial and error process to validate the various sussyst due to the reluctance of the Russians to part with their industrial processes.

Western commentators are always biased but to their peril.

Pete said...

Hi Anonymous [at 23/9/18 4:01 PM]

Indians have long stated Russian contracters gave major help in building Arihant and developing its reactor.

I draw your attention to RAKESH KRISHNAN SIMHA's, October 26, 2015 RBTH article. See where he says:

"“But the project was still not getting anywhere,” says V. Koithara in the book Managing India’s Nuclear Forces. “India then sought and got much more substantial Russian help than had been envisaged earlier. The construction of [Arihant's] hull began in 1998, and a basically Russian-designed 83 megawatt pressurised-water reactor was fitted in the hull nine years later.”

Ashok Parthasarthi, a former science and technology adviser to the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, sums up the extent of Russian assistance: “India's first indigenous nuclear submarine, INS Arihant...would have just been impossible to realise without Russia’s massive all-round consultancy, technology transfer, technical services and training, technical 'know-how' and 'show-how,' design of the submarine as a whole, and above all numerous operational 'tips' based on 50 years of experience in designing, building and operating nuclear submarines.”