Korean shipbuilder Hanwha Ocean has inked a new 1.1 trillion won ($849 million) agreement with the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) to embark on the construction of a cutting-edge 3,600-ton attack submarine for the Republic of Korea Navy.
Under the agreement, Hanwha Ocean is set to embark on the development of the third and final submarine as part of the Changbogo-III Batch-II program. Having commenced the construction of two other Changbogo-III class submarines in 2021, this endeavor marks the shipbuilder’s maiden submarine project since joining the Hanwha Group in April.
The scheduled completion of the submarine’s construction is slated for 2029, followed by a two-year testing phase, with deployment to the Republic of Korea Navy anticipated by 2031, as confirmed by DAPA.
These Batch-II submarines, representing a substantial increase in size and weight compared to the existing 3,000-ton class vessels Dosan Ahn Chang-ho and ROKS Ahn Mu. Integrating an air-independent propulsion (AIP) system along with lithium-ion batteries, these submarines extend underwater operation duration while markedly reducing propulsion noise, setting a new benchmark for diesel-electric submarines.
The envisaged submarines will be outfitted with an advanced combat system boasting enhanced detection and targeting capabilities, including the latest in sonar system technology, fortifying the Navy’s maritime prowess.