South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) handed over Chang Bogo (Type 209/1200)-class submarine Lee Eok Gi to the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) on 31 October after completing an upgrade of the 1,200-tonne boat.
The Ministry of National Defense (MND) in Seoul announced in a 1 November statement that the 56.4 m-long and 6.2 m-wide diesel-electric attack submarine, which first entered service in December 2001, has been retrofitted with a new locally built combat management system, animproved target detection and tracking capability, and a towed-array sonar. Retrofit work started in July 2018.
The retrofit is part of a mid-life upgrade programme for three of the nine Chang Bogo-class submarines under a KRW179 billion (USD154 million) contract signed in 2014. Lee Eok Gi (pennant number SS 071) is the third and final of these submarines to be upgraded and returned to service under this contract, after Na Dae Yong (SS 069) and Choi Moo Sun (SS 063).
The ministry said it expects the successful local production of the integrated combat system on the KSS-1 boats to "greatly contribute" to improving South Korea's defence technology capabilities and the operational capability of the country's military.
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