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South Korea commissions KSS III Batch I submarine Shin Chae-ho.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the South Korean MoD on April 4, 2024, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration celebrated the commissioning KSS-III Batch I submarine Shin Chae-ho. The ceremony took place at the HD Hyundai Heavy Industries' shipyard in Ulsan.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 KSS III Batch II submarine. (Picture source: South Korean MoD)

The Shin Chae-ho is the third vessel of its class, following its predecessors, the Dosan Ahn Chang-ho and the Ahn Moo, delivered in 2021 and 2023, respectively. It represents the culmination of the Jangbogo-III Batch-I project, initiated in 2007, aimed at bolstering South Korea's submarine fleet with modern, indigenously designed and constructed submarines.

Equipped with advanced technology, the Shin Chae-ho features a comprehensive suite of combat and sonar systems, emphasizing the importance of self-reliance in defense capabilities.

It is also outfitted with a vertical launch system capable of deploying submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and incorporates Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) technology, which enables extended underwater endurance and stealth operation capabilities.

This submarine's induction is a milestone in South Korea's defense strategy, reflecting the successful completion of the initial phase of strategic submarine development that began with the acquisition of the Jangbogo-I class from Germany in 1992.

The commissioning event was attended by military representatives from nine countries, including the United States, Poland, and Australia, indicating international interest in South Korea's naval advancements.

Following the commissioning, the Shin Chae-ho will undergo an eight-month period of operational training and evaluations before its formal deployment.

Technical data

The KSS III class submarines have a displacement of 3,358 tons on the surface and 3,705 tons when submerged. These vessels are 83.5 meters in length, with a beam of 9.6 meters and a draught of 7.62 meters.

They use diesel engines with an Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system or a SMART-P 65MWt pressurized water reactor for propulsion. These submarines can travel at speeds of 12 knots on the surface and 20 knots underwater, and they have a range of 10,000 nautical miles (18,520 km). They accommodate a crew of 50.

For armaments, they are fitted with six 533mm torpedo tubes and a Vertical Launching System (VLS). The first batch of these submarines is equipped with six VLS tubes for submarine-to-ground cruise missiles or Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs). The operational capability of these submarines allows for 50 days of continuous deployment.

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