South Korea contracts Babcock for Chang Bogo III submarine weapon system deliveries

Illustration: DSME photo of a ROK Navy Chang Bogo I class submarine

South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) has contracted UK defense company Babcock for work on the third batch of Republic of Korea Navy’s Chang Bogo-class submarines.

Under the seven-year contract, Babcock is to produce and deliver weapons handling and launch equipment for the submarines.

Babcock said procurement and manufacture of the systems would start immediately, with the first hardware deliverable in March 2020. The contract will be delivered by a global supply chain with suppliers in UK, Spain and South Korea.

The contract, due to run until 2024, follows on from Babcock’s contract with DSME for the design, production and delivery of the weapon handling and launch equipment for the first and second boat-sets.

The Weapon Handling Launch System (WHLS) features an air turbine pump (ATP) and programmable firing valve launch (PFV) system and is based on the principles used in the WHLS being supplied by Babcock for other navies, including the UK Astute class and Spanish S-80 submarines.

DSME started construction of the first 3,000-tonne, KSS III submarine in May 2016 with a keel-laying ceremony at its Okpo shipyard on Geoje Island.

The keel-laying ceremony came four years after DSME received a contract from South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) to construct the first two submarines in 2012.

The second batch of three KSS III submarines will be built by another South Korean shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy Industries, who already started construction works on its first – and overall third – KSS III submarine in June this year.

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.

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