South Korea launches its first KSS-III submarine

South Korea’s first 3,000-ton submarine was launched today at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) Okpo Shipyard.

Photo: DAPA

Named Dosan Ahn Chang-ho (KSS-III), the newbuilding is the first mid-class submarine designed and built independently in Korea, the country’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a statement.

Dosan Ahn Chang-ho (SS-083) is a new strategic weapons system of the Republic of Korea Navy capable of responding to all threats. It is expected to further strengthen the navy’s defense capabilities, DAPA added.

Featuring a length of 83.3 meters and a width of 9.6 meters, the new diesel-electric air-independent propulsion submarine can accommodate 50 people. The boats are also fitted with vertical launch tubes capable of firing the new, domestically-designed Hyunmoo-3C cruise missiles.

The new submarine is slated for delivery between 2020 and 2021 following the evaluation process. It is expected to become operational twelve months afterward.

Dosan Ahn Chang-ho is part of the South Korean attack submarine program which includes three phases – KSS-I, KSS-II and KSS-III. The third phase envisages the construction of up to nine indigenously built KSS-III diesel-electric attack submarines.