According to an initial report by Korea Times, South Korea has recently launched a new locally built 3000-ton submarine that can fire ballistic missiles, making this the third addition in the ballistic submarine’s category.
The launch of the submarine was successfully conducted at the Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. shipyard in the city of Ulsan, the southeast region of South Korea. Officially named after a Korean independence activist, the Shin Chae-Ho represents the third and final of three Changbogo-III Batch-I submarines that the country has successfully developed locally, without outsourcing any technologies. The total project cost around $2.77 billion.
The first submarine named Dosan Ahn Chang-ho was launched in 2018 and deployed in August of this year. The second submarine called the Ahn Mu, was launched in November 2020 and will be received by the Korean navy in 2021. The latest installment will most probably be delivered to the navy in 2024. All three of the new boats can fire submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).
Shin Chae-Ho is 31.5 ft (9.6m) wide and 274 ft (83.5m) long and can carry around 50 crewmembers underwater for 20 days without resurfacing, according to the country’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). “The submarine has a strong capability of deterring provocations as it can be equipped with SLBMs test-fired earlier this month,” said the Navy in a release, according to the report. “Some 76 percent of its parts are locally produced, which allows for maintenance and other technological support in a timely manner.”
It seems like in the North, the counterpart is also busy developing a new submarine which experts believe to be a 3000-ton boat that can also carry missiles. But officials say that North Korea has yet to make a successful test launch of the underwater ejection of these missile systems.