South Korea’s newest submarine delivered

The Republic of Korea’s Navy has commissioned its second KSS-III submarine ROKS Ahn Moo (SS-084), marking a significant milestone in the country’s naval capabilities.

Image credit DAPA

The ceremony took place on April 20, 2023, at the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyard in Geoje, South Korea.

The event was attended by representatives from the Navy, the government, and major industry players, including the head of the Korean Submarine Development Team, Colonel Kim Tae-hoon.

This particular submarine measures 83.5 meters in length, 9.6 meters in width, and 14.7 meters in height. Its displacement is 3,358 tons when on the surface and 3,705 tons when fully submerged. It has the capacity to achieve speeds of up to 20 knots and has a maximum range of approximately 10,000 nautical miles when cruising.

The sub features advanced technologies such as Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) systems, which allow it to operate underwater for extended periods without surfacing. The 3,000-tonne class submarine was designed and built entirely indigenously.

The An Mu is equipped with a range of cutting-edge combat systems that enhance its combat performance, mission endurance, stealthiness, and survivability.

These include a 6x VLS vertical launch system that can fire a variety of weapons, including torpedoes, mines, and guided missiles. It is also equipped with a ballistic missile, the Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM), which enables it to carry out strategic strikes against land-based targets.

Despite having a larger hull than its predecessors, the An Mu boasts superior stealth capabilities, thanks to its state-of-the-art sound-absorbing coatings and double elastic mounts. It also features an air-independent propulsion system that employs domestically developed fuel cells, giving it long-duration underwater endurance and the ability to conduct long-range missions.

The submarine is scheduled to carry out its first operational deployment in 2024.

The first KSS-III submarine was commissioned in 2022, and three more submarines are expected to be delivered by 2025.