South Korea’s LIG Nex1 has been selected to develop an improved variant of the K745 Cheong Sangeo (Blue Shark) lightweight anti-submarine torpedo.
The selection has been done under a KRW160 billion ($132 million) program that was announced by the country’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) in November 2021.
The Blue Shark is a LIG Nex1-developed 324 mm lightweight anti-submarine torpedo that can be launched from surface ships, helicopters, and maritime patrol aircraft.
Powered by a liquid fuel motor, the weapon can operate in shallow waters at top speeds in excess of 45 knots, and has a maximum range of approximately 6.5 nautical miles.
The torpedo has been in service with the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) since 2005.
The Philippine Navy has also selected the weapon type for its two Leonardo AW159 Lynx Wildcat anti-submarine warfare (ASW) naval helicopters.
As part of the research and development (R&D) work, LIG Nex1 will be improving Blue Shark’s ability to detect and strike hostile submarines while enhancing the weapon’s survivability, the company said in its disclosure.
It will also collaborate with various small and medium-sized enterprises across South Korea as part of the R&D, LIG Nex1 added.
The R&D work is expected to be completed by 2029, with mass production to commence after.