The Republic of Korea Navy’s (RoKN’s) seventh air-independent propulsion (AIP)-capable KSS-2 (Type 214) diesel-electric attack submarine will be operationally deployed from May this year, according to statement issued by South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) on 19 January.
The 65 m long boat, which will be known as RoKS Hong Beom-do , was scheduled to be delivered to the service that same day by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), said DAPA, adding that the 1,800-tonne submarine will be capable of locating and tracking about 300 targets at the same time.
The RoKN is expected to operate a fleet of nine KSS-2 submarines by 2019. Hong Beom-do , which was launched at HHI’s Ulsan shipyard in April 2016, is the fifth of six submarines of the class manufactured by the shipyard. Another South Korean company, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), has been responsible for building the three other boats.
According to Jane's Fighting Ships , the KSS-2 class has an overall beam of 6.3 m and a hull draught of 6 m. The platform is powered by two MTU diesel engines and Siemens polymer electrolytic membrane fuel cells that allow the boat to remain submerged for up to two weeks at a time.
As Jane’s reported in April 2016, details provided by HHI indicate that the submarine can reach depths of up to 400 m. The KSS-2 class has a maximum speed of 20 kt when dived and of 12 kt when surfaced. Each platform is equipped with bow- and flank-mounted as well as towed-array sonars.
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