April 17, 2012

South Korean Submarine Developments

A very sketchy artist's impression. Might the KSS-III to be launched from 2020 look like this?
Click to expand. Is the proposed DSX-3000 the same as the KSS-III?

Please connect with Submarine Matters latest South Korea update South Korean Submarines, 3,000 Ton KSS-III, Nuclear Potential of April 15, 2015.

From The Korea Times, May 10, 2009 comes:

"The Ministry of National Defense plans to deploy 3,000-ton [surfaced, 3,500 ton submerged] attack submarines after 2020, a two-year delay from the original Defense Reform 2020 initiative, a report said Sunday.

...The development of an [indigenous] 3,000 ton KSS-III submarine is a key part of the Navy's modernization programs. The KSS-III sub is to be fitted with domestically built submarine combat systems aimed at automating target detection, tracking, threat assessment and weapon control, according to Navy officials.

[Is the proposed DSX-3000 the same as the KSS-III?]

The 1-trillion-won heavy attack submarine will also be armed with indigenous ship-to-ground cruise missiles and be capable of underwater operations for up to 50 days with an advanced Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system, they said. The AIP system has improved the submarine's underwater performance and gives it stealth capability." full article
A Korean nuclear propelled submarine option?:
On South Korea's past consideration of a 4,000 ton nuclear propelled submarine (various names including "KSSX-N") option see this globalsecurity.com report

South Korea's top in-service submarine at the moment is the 1,800 ton Son Won-Il (KSS-II) class. It is a HDW U-214 sub built under licence by Hyundai. Two are in service with four more to be built.
The photo is from "Manoeuvre' in Maritime Asia" a very interesting website on South Korean naval matters that I've just come upon.
Drawn from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KSS-III - The first KSS-III ship will be ready for service by 2022. The previous plan was to have an operational unit ready by 2017. Due to the relatively heavy displacement of the ship (3000~3500 tons) and the fact that it will be built with local Korean technologies (sensitive technologies might be blocked from export) this new class of ship will have the Vertical Launch System, the first submarine in the Republic of Korea Navy to have this kind of capability. It will also have many other improvements compared to its predecessors.

- Pete