Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) started its first testing in the water last week, an industry source told Jane’s Navy International for a Monday article. The trials mostly concern the basics, including the submarine’s propulsion systems and steering equipment, and could last 24 months, The Diplomat noted.
The first boat in the class, the Dosan Ahn Chang-ho, was launched in September 2018 from the DSME shipyard near the southern city of Busan. At 3,450 tons displacement, 83.3 meters long and 9.6 meters wide, Dosan Ahn Chang-ho is by far South Korea’s largest of its 18 submarines. It will have a crew of 50.
Just last month, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense approved the construction of three more KSS-III diesel-electric attack submarines along with three missile destroyers in a deal that totaled $6.3 billion, Sputnik reported, even though sea trials hadn’t yet begun.
The class of KSS-3 subs, also called the Jangbogo-III class, will total nine boats delivered in three batches. The first two batches of three subs each will have six vertical launch tubes for missiles, while the last three will have 10 launch tubes. After the second sub, production will switch from Daewoo to Hyundai Heavy Industries, just up the coast in Ulsan, and each successive boat will have more indigenously produced parts than the previous, The Diplomat noted.