North Korea conducts test of ‘underwater nuclear strategic weapon'

by Ridzwan Rahmat

A file image of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un witnessing a test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile in mid-March 2023. North Korea has since test-fired more weapon systems, including what it claims to be an ‘underwater nuclear strategic weapon'. (Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images)

North Korea has tested an unmanned ‘underwater nuclear strategic weapon' system that can inflict ‘radioactive tsunamis' on coastal areas, state news agency Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced on 24 March.

Tests of the earlier unknown weapon were conducted between 21 and 23 March off Riwon County in North Korea's South Hamgyŏng province. The weapon struck its simulated objective after travelling submerged at depths of between 80 and 150 m for 59 hours and 12 minutes, the agency said.

“The mission of the underwater nuclear strategic weapon is to stealthily approach [the enemy's] operational zones and cause a powerful radioactive tsunami with an underwater explosion such that it will destroy enemy ships and disrupt port operations,” reads the KCNA announcement.

“The nuclear unmanned attack craft can be deployed against any coast, ports, or surface vessels in offensive operations,” it added.


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Germany launches third follow-on K130 corvette

by Michael Nitz

FGS Karlsruhe is the third of five follow-on K130 corvettes on order for the German Navy. (Michael Nitz, Naval Press Service)

The third follow-on Braunschweig (K130)-class corvette on order for the German Navy was launched at NV Lürssen (NVL) subsidiary Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg on 7 May, NVL Group announced the same day.

FGS Karlsruhe is the third boat of the second batch of five additional corvettes for the German Navy. The German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) ordered the five follow-on vessels from the ARGE K130 consortium, led by NVL Group and including thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (tkMS) and German Naval Yards Kiel (GNYK), under a contract worth more than EUR 2.2 billion (USD2.39 billion) in September 2017.

Following its launch, Karlsruhe will now enter the final outfitting phase. Its four sister ships, meanwhile, are at various stages of construction at Blohm+Voss's shipyard.

Due to information technology (IT) security challenges with the command and weapon control system the entire programme is running behind schedule. Originally all five second batch corvettes should already have been delivered to the customer.


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Netherlands leases second ro-ro ship

by Kate Tringham

The Dutch MoD has leased a second ro-ro ship, named MV Southern Rock , which will be operated by the RNLN to secure strategic transport on a more permanent basis. (Dutch MoD)

The Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD) has officially put into service a second roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) ship, which it has leased from a private company as part of efforts to secure strategic transport on a permanent basis.

The ship, named MV Southern Rock , arrived in Dakar, Senegal, on 15 May with its first load of equipment for US Africa Command's (AFRICOM's) joint multinational Exercise ‘African Lion 2024', the MoD announced the same day.

The lease contract for Southern Rock will initially run for a year, with the option to extend on an annual basis up to three times for a maximum of four years' operation.

Southern Rock is owned by Dutch shipping company Hartman Seatrade, which started operating the new ro-ro vessel in 2023. It was built by a partnership between Dutch shipbuilders Neptune Marine and Hartman Marine Shipbuilding, and Poland's Partner Shipyard, where the hull was completed.


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Special Report: Shipyard upgrade key to thyssenkrupp Marine Systems' submarine ambitions

by Richard Scott

RSS Inimitable , the fourth and final Type 218SG boat for the Republic of Singapore Navy, was named at Kiel yard on 22 April 2024. With a length of about 70 m and a displacement of around 2,000 tonnes, the Type 218SG is the largest submarine built by thyssenkrupp Marine Systems to date. (tkMS)

German shipbuilder thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH (tkMS) lays claim to be the world's most successful exporter of submarines in the post-war period. Through its submarine building forebears Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft and Thyssen Nordseewerke GmbH, and design house Ingenieur Kontor Lubek, the company has sold over 175 diesel-electric and air independent propulsion (AIP) boats since 1945. Currently the Kiel shipyard is completing orders for Singapore (Type 218SG) and Israel (Dolphin II), and the production of six next-generation Type 212CD submarines to meet the joint needs of Germany and Norway is also under way.


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North Korea has tested an unmanned ‘underwater nuclear strategic weapon' system that can inflict ‘ra...

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