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Hanwha Ocean unveils potential KSS-III competitor for Polish Navy's ‘Orka' submarine programme

Hanwha Ocean KSS-III submarine model displayed at MSPO 2023. (Janes/Neil Dee )

South Korean shipbuilder Hanwha Ocean has confirmed to Janes its interest in potentially pitching the KSS-III submarine for the Polish Navy's ‘Orka' submarine programme. At the MSPO 2023 exhibition in Kielce, Poland, Hanwha Ocean displayed a model of the KSS-III at their pavilion, while the group's vice chairman Dong Kwan Kim also presented the submarine model to Polish President Andrzej Duda.

The Orka programme is to replace the Polish Navy's ageing and last remaining ‘Kilo' (Project 877E)-class submarine, ORP Orzeł . Minister of National Defence Mariusz Błaszczak earlier announced in May that a tender for the Orka programme would be launched in 2023. The project is for an as-yet-unspecified number of cruise missile capable submarines with high stealth characteristics.

The first KSS-III entered South Korean service in August 2021 followed by a second in April 2023. The submarine, developed by Hanwha Ocean for the South Korean navy, features an approximately 3,350 tonne surface displacement and an overall length of about 83 m. Armament is provided by six vertical launching system (VLS) tubes for submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and six 533 mm bow torpedo tubes. The KSS-III also features lithium-ion batteries made by Hanwha Aerospace, air independent propulsion (AIP), and a combat management system (CMS) by Hanwha Systems.

At MSPO 2023, Hanwha Ocean representatives told Janes

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