The Republic of Korea Navy's (RoKN's) fifth KSS 2-class (Type 214) diesel-electric air-independent propulsion submarine has been launched at Hyundai Heavy Industries' (HHI's) Ulsan shipyard, company representative Koo Young-jun confirmed to IHS Jane's .
The 1800-tonne boat's launch ceremony on 3 July was presided over by the RoKN's Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Hwang Ki-chul, in the presence of senior company representatives.
The vessel, named ROKS Yun Bong-gil (pennant number 077), is the fourth boat in class manufactured by HHI. The shipbuilder also delivered first-in-class Sohn Won-Il (072) and second and third boats Jeongji (073) and Ahn Jung-Geun (075) between 2007-09. Boat four, Kim Jwa-Jin (076), was built by competitor Daewoo and launched in August 2013.
The KSS 2-class has an overall length of 65 m and a beam of 6.3 m. The vessel is powered by MTU diesel engines and Siemens polymer electrolytic membrane fuel cells, allowing it to remain submerged for two weeks at a time. According to HHI, the submarines can carry a crew of 40, achieve a top speed of 20 kt, and reach depths of up to 400 m.
The submarines are capable of launching mines and have eight 21 in torpedo tubes. They are also equipped with an automatic simultaneous target tracking system as well as a torpedo guidance and detection system.
HHI said Yun Bong-gil is on schedule for delivery by the end of 2015, once sea trials have been completed. The shipyard also said that it has started work on the seventh and ninth boats in the class.