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DSME launches ASR-II submarine rescue ship for South Korean navy

DSME held a launch ceremony for Ganghwado , a new auxiliary submarine rescue ship for the Republic of Korea Navy, on 7 October at its Okpo shipyard on Geoje Island. (RoKN)

South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) held a launch ceremony on 7 October for a new auxiliary submarine rescue ship (ASR-II) for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN).

Named Ganghwado , the 5,600-tonne vessel entered the water at DSME's Okpo shipyard on Geoje Island and is expected to be delivered to the navy around mid-2023 following a series of trials and evaluations.

The 120 m-long ASR-II (with pennant number 22) is being built under a KRW444 billion (USD373 million) contract awarded to DSME in December 2018 by South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

Once in service, the ship, which has an overall beam of 19 m, will supplement the 103 m-long, 3,200-tonne RoKS Cheonghaejin auxiliary submarine rescue ship, which was commissioned into the RoKN in November 1996 and is able to operate in waves of 2 m or smaller.

The ASR-II – which is expected to embark a mid-size helicopter, reach speeds of up to 20 kt, and have a crew complement of 130 – features a ‘centre well' (moon pool) through which a deep-sea rescue vessel (DSRV) capable of carrying 17 people at a time will be deployed to rescue the crews of distressed submarines at depths of up to 500 m amid waves as high as 4 m.

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