According to Yonhap News Agency, South Korea’s Navy took over a new 1,800-ton submarine Monday, 10 July, 2017, aimed at beefing up its underwater warfare capability against North Korea.
The delivery ceremony of the Yu Gwan-sun submarine was held at the shipyard of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. on Geoje Island near the country’s southeastern port city of Busan, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).
The submarine, named after the Korean independence fighter Yu Gwan-sun (1902-1920), is the six of the South’s Jang Bogo-II Class fleet launched in December 2008. Jang is the legendary admiral of the ancient Korean kingdom of Silla (57 B.C. – A.D. 935).
The Navy plans to commission the new sub in December after training crew members.
«The Yu Gwan-sun is the world’s top-class diesel-powered submarine capable of handling more than 300 underwater targets at the same time», said Choi Hee-kyung, a DAPA official in charge of the program. «Equipped with a fuel battery system, it can conduct underwater operations for 10 days or longer without surfacing above the water».
«It’s expected to help the South offset its inferiority in the quantity of submarines to the North, known to have more than 80 submarines», Choi added.
A patriotic martyr, Yu Gwan-sun, 1902-1920, who died in her youth while struggling against Japanese coercion, is revived as a most capable submarine. Daewoo Shipbuilding Engineering in Geoje-gun, Gyeongnam, had launching ceremony of the type 214, 6th submarine Yu Gwan Sun Ham on the afternoon of May 7th. The launching ceremony is a ritual of sending a warship, which is mounted with equipment and a weapons system, into the sea for the first time.
The Navy offered congratulations at the ceremony for the very first female-named submarine and invited female fighters for independence and relevant officials of Korean women’s independence movement organizations to meditate on martyr Yu’s spirit of independence. Defense Minister Han Min-koo was at the ceremony as the guest of honor. His grandfather was the commander of loyal troops, Cheongam Han Bong-soo.
According to the traditional process of the Navy, the launching ceremony was preceded by the Pledge of Allegiance, shipbuilding progress report, the announcement of the name of submarine, ribbon-cutting and champaign breaking.
Navy Chief of Staff Jung Ho-seob named the submarine «Yu Gwan Sun» and assigned «78» as the number of body through a letter of naming No. 462. As Mrs. Kwak Jung-im, Minister Han’s wife, cut the launching ribbon with an axe, colorful confetti and balloons flew through the sky and the first historical whistle blew.
«With its unique invisibility and survivability, Yu Gwan Sun Ham is a national core strategic weapon as well as a symbol of a strong Navy for obtaining maritime control. The Navy should develop the fighting power of the submarine to protect the national interest and the ocean sovereignty as a rock, and have an elevated readiness posture», Minister Han said in a congratulatory speech.
He also made a request for the sailors to be an example of an elite advanced Navy, fighting with self-esteem and pride to protect our territorial waters and seaway, saying that history has proved that strong security is the base of our national existence as well as the foundation for peace of the Korean Peninsula. «I’m very excited to be here at the launching ceremony for Yu Gwan Sun Ham, the first female-named submarine. I hope the Navy befits the name of patriotic martyr Yu to be the strongest Navy in the world», said Mrs. Oh Hee-ok.
The Navy named the type 214, the 6th submarine, the Yu Gwan Sun for the meaningful year of the 70th anniversary of independence, 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean Navy, and 95th anniversary of the death of Yu Gwan-sun. It is the first female-named warship in Navy history. There are some other cases of Aegis destroyer and helicopter carrier in the U.S., the UK and France. The Navy has named the type 214 submarines for great men who contributed to the independence movement against Japan or overcoming a national crisis.
Martyr Yu Gwan-sun participated in the Independence Movement in front of the South Gate of Seoul on March 5, 1919, while in Ihwa School. And she was arrested for leading the movement at Aunae marketplace in Galjeon-myeon, Chungnam, on April 1. She died at Seodaemun prison in 1920 due to brutal torture. The government posthumously honored on her with the Order of Merit for National Foundation, Independent Medal, in 1962, admiring her merits.
Yu Gwan Sun Ham, a submarine in the 1,800-ton class with submerged displacement, is 65.3 m/214.2 feet in length, 6.3 m/20.7 feet in width and has a top speed of 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h. It can make a round trip to Hawaii in the U.S. with around 40 sailors on board without refueling.
With Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) that is able to charge a storage battery without air, it is available for operations for two weeks without floating to the surface of the water.
And thanks to «Haeseong», a domestic submarine-to-ground cruise missile, it can precisely strike the enemy’s main facilities and deal with 300 targets at the same time from under the water. It is capable of not only antiship, antiaircraft and antisubmarine warfare, but it can carry out a mission for offensive mining.
It is evaluated as a world-class diesel submarine equipped with detection sensors, such as sailing radar, periscope, sonar, etc., and a decoy system that avoids enemy torpedoes.
The type 214 design is characterised by the following features:
increased underwater endurance and low detection risk using the proven Fuel Cell system for air-independent propulsion;
increased diving depth;
low revolution, permanently excited PERMASYN motor for maximum speed without transient switching noises;
optimised signature management;
sonar development within the ISUS 90 for increased low-frequency detection ranges (flank array);
large weapon payload for a mix of torpedoes, missiles and mines (8 weapon tubes);
integration of Torpedo Countermeasures (TCM) system.
It will be delivered to the Navy in November 2016 and protect the Korean territorial waters after its commission and force integration process.
Korean Navy names its latest submarine after female independence fighter