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South Korea’s Navy Receives Upgraded Chang Bogo I-Class Diesel-Electric Attack Submarine

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South Korea’s Navy Receives Upgraded Chang Bogo I-Class Diesel-Electric Attack Submarine

A South Korean shipbuilder handed over to the Navy a retrofitted Chang Bogo I-class diesel-electric sub earlier this week.

South Korea’s Navy Receives Upgraded Chang Bogo I-Class Diesel-Electric Attack Submarine
Credit: U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons

South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) handed over the Chang Bogo I-class (Type 209/1200) diesel-electric attack submarine (SSK) Na Dae Yong to the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) on 10 June after two years of upgrading, South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a statement.

The handover ceremony was held at the DSME shipyard on Geoje Island, near the port city of Busan in the southeastern part of South Korea on June 10. Upgrades included a new combat management system, a towed array sonar and an improved target detection and tracking capability, according to DAPA.

“Its testing and evaluation showed that the new version bears the key target-detecting and combat functions required to carry out underwater warfare in a more effective manner,” DAPA official Choi Hoe-gyeong was quoted as saying on June 10 by Yonhap news agency. The DAPA official also highlighted the indigenous technologies featured in the sub’s new combat management system.

The ROKN currently operates nine 1,200-ton Chang Bogo I-class SSKs, the first of which entered service in the early 1990s. Following upgrades, the SSK class can launch Sub-Harpoon missiles. Another retrofitted SSK of the class, Choi Moo Sun, had been handed over to the ROKM in February.

The Chango Bogo-I-class of SSKs is part of the ROKNs three-phased Korean Attack Submarine construction program launched in the 1990s. Next to the nine Chang Bogo I-class program, it includes nine Son Won II-class SSK, a variant of the Type 214 submarine of Germany’s Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, and nine subs of Jangbogo III-class.

As I explained last August:

The entire [Jangbogo IIIclass] of subs will be produced in three batches. The first batch will include three boats, each fitted with six vertical missile tubes with the first two submarines to be assembled by DSME and the third to be built by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI). The first three boats are expected to be operational by the early 2020s.

The next batch of three submarines, also fitted with a six-tube vertical launch system, is slated to be deployed by 2025, while the last three boats, reportedly boasting a displacement of over 3,500 tons and equipped with 10 vertical launch tubes each, will all be delivered to the ROKN by 2029. Each batch will reportedly see a gradual increase in the number of indigenous components used for the various sub-systems of the boats.

DSME has launched the first Jangbogo III-class SSK in September 2018. Notably, Jangbogo III-class SSKs will be the first ROKN boats to have the capability to vertically launch ballistic or cruise missiles.