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US Navy's attack submarine USS Missouri arrived South Korea ahead of Hwasong-18 ICBM missile test.

| 2023

According to information published by Yonhap News Agency on December 17, 2023, the US nuclear-powered submarine USS Missouri (SSN-780) arrived at Busan Naval Base in South Korea a day before North Korea's latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Virginia class attack submarine USS Virginio Fasan. (Picture source: Dvids)

This deployment comes at a critical time, as North Korea conducted two missile tests on Sunday and Monday, heightening concerns in the international community. The missile launched on Monday, believed to be the Hwasong-18 solid-fuel ICBM, demonstrated North Korea's expanding missile capabilities.

According to Japan's Ministry of Defense, this missile could potentially reach anywhere in the continental United States, marking a significant advancement in North Korea's military technology.

USS Virginio Fasan

These submarines are designed with stealth capabilities, employing hull designs and coatings that minimize acoustic signatures to enhance their undetectability. Such features are critical in sensitive operational environments, particularly near regions with heightened military tensions.

Equipped with sophisticated sonar systems, the USS Missouri can conduct detailed underwater surveillance, essential for tracking and identifying other vessels and navigating challenging maritime environments.

The submarine's armament includes Tomahawk cruise missiles and Mk-48 torpedoes, providing it with significant capabilities in both strike missions and anti-ship or anti-submarine warfare. The Tomahawk missiles enable the submarine to engage targets at long ranges, adding a strategic dimension to its operational role.

One of the key advantages of the Virginia-class, including the USS Missouri, is their nuclear propulsion. This allows for extended operational ranges and the ability to remain submerged for longer periods.

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