According to Ridzwan Rahmat, IHS Jane’s Navy International correspondent, South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has launched the Republic of Korea Navy’s (RoKN’s) seventh KSS 2-class (Type 214) diesel-electric air-independent propulsion submarine, the company announced on 5 April.
The 1,800-tonne Hong Beom-do (SS 079) was launched at HHI’s Ulsan shipyard on the same day in a ceremony attended by the RoKN’s chief of naval operations, Admiral Jung Ho-sub.
Hong Beom-do (SS 079) is the fifth KSS 2-class (Sohn Won-yil class) submarine manufactured by HHI. The shipbuilder delivered the first, second, and third boats in the class between 2007 and 2009 and launched the fourth-in-class in July 2014.
The first batch of these submarines is one of three, the second batch will be one of 6 and a $16 million deal has been awarded to SAAB for the electronics that are going to be used for the vessels delivered in the second batch submarines.
The diesel-electric Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) submarine, which measures 213 feet/65 meters in length and 23 feet/7 meters in width, can sail at a maximum speed of 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h with a crew of 40. The country’s largest-class submarine can dive up to 1,312 feet/400 meters and last for two weeks under water with fuel cells.
Equipped with ultra-modern sensors and an integrated Command and Weapon Control System, it is optimally suited to its future reconnaissance and surveillance tasks. Beside Germany and Italy, South Korea is the third country operating submarines with the revolutionary HDW fuel cell propulsion system.