South Korea receives seventh KSS-II submarine Hong Beom-do

The Republic of Korea Navy received its seventh Type 214 submarine ‘Hong Beom-do’ in a ceremony held at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan on January 19.

The ROK Navy received the submarine less than two years after it was launched in March 2016.

The submarine is named after an independence fighter during the colonial rule of Japan in the 1900s and belongs to the second batch of Republic of Korea Navy submarines, referred to as KSS-II or Son Won-Il-class.

Hong Beom-do and sister boats are the Korean version of the Type 214 submarine developed by German ship-builder Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.

The submarines are equipped with long-range submarine-to-ground cruise missiles, torpedoes and mines featuring an automatic simultaneous target tracking system and a torpedo guidance and detection system.

ROK Navy will operate a total of nine 65.3-meter submarines built by Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. The KSS-II submarines are South Korea’s first air-independent submarines with a displacement of 1.800 tonnes and a crew of 40.

The ninth and final submarine in the batch – Shin Dol-Seok – was launched at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan on September 7.


South Korean attack submarine program

Once the South Korean attack submarine program is complete, the nation will operate up to 27 submarines built through three phases.

The first phase, KSS-I or Chang Bogo-class as the lead vessel is named, was completed with all nine submarines in operational status. The KSS-I submarines are based on the Type 209 design from German Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH.

The second batch of submarines, the KSS-II, are nearing completion with the final boat expected to become operational in 2019.

KSS-III, the third and final batch of submarines, have also started construction. In May 2016, DSME and ROK Navy laid the keel for the first 3,000-tonne submarine at DSME’s Okpo shipyard on Geoje Island.

The second batch of three KSS III submarines will be built by Heavy Industries who started construction works on its first, and overall third, KSS III submarine in June 2017.

Up to nine of the indigenously built KSS III diesel-electric attack submarines are planned to be constructed. Measuring 83.5 meters in length, the boats will feature air-independent propulsion and vertical launch tubes capable of firing the new, domestically-designed, Hyunmoo-3C cruise missiles.