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South Korea DAPA begins construction of 3rd Jang Bogo III KSS III Batch II submarine by Hanwha Ocean.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the South Korean MoD on January 31, 2024, South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has officially begun the construction of the final vessel in the Jangbogo-III Batch-II submarine series.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Jang Bogo III KSS III Batch II submarine. (Picture source: Hanwha Ocean)

This follows the signing of a KRW 1.1019 trillion contract with Hanwha Ocean Co., Ltd. on December 22, 2023, for the third submarine of this series. The kick-off meeting for the construction, held at Hanwha Ocean's Geoje facility on January 31, was attended by key stakeholders including DAPA, the Navy, the Agency for Defense Development, and the Defense Quality and Technology Agency. This meeting was crucial for reviewing the project schedule, design, and production plans, as well as confirming the plans for domestic production.

The Jangbogo-III Batch-II submarine project, a core element of the underwater Kill Chain, commenced in July 2016. After going through basic and detailed designs, the construction of the lead and second vessels started in May 2021 and December 2021, respectively.

The Batch-II submarines, larger and heavier than the previously delivered Dosan Ahn Chang-ho and Ahn Mu submarines, feature enhanced detection and targeting capabilities with upgraded combat and sonar systems.

These submarines, with the Dosan Ahn Chang-ho and Ahn Mu being the lead and second vessels of the Jangbogo-III Batch-I, were successfully delivered to the Navy in August 2021 and April 2023, respectively.

Innovatively, these submarines have incorporated the latest noise reduction technologies for improved stealth and survivability. Notably, they are the world's second to be equipped with lithium-ion batteries, significantly enhancing underwater operational endurance.

The South Korean military has maintained an accident-free record in submarine operations for over 30 years since 1993, demonstrating high reliability and safety. The Jangbogo-III submarines, with their high domestic production rate, offer advantages in operational maintenance and logistical support, making them competitive in the international market. The third vessel is scheduled for completion by 2029, followed by sea trials, and expected to be delivered to the Navy in 2031.

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