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KSS-III SSX Jangbogo-III Class

The submarine history of Korea begins with the procurement of KSS-I from Germany in 1989. Due to a dearth of relevant design technologies domestically, the 1,200-ton KSS-I proceeded on a turn-key basis. The KSS-II project, which was undertaken in 2002, involved domestic design work with technical assistance under offset arrangements with Germany.3 For KSS-I and KSS-II alike, both the Combat Management (CM) and Sound Navigation and Ranging (SONAR) portions,4 which make up the core of a submarines operating system, were procured directly from overseas, and their installation, integration, and testing were carried on by foreign engineers.

The combat system for Chang Bogo-III submarine is a fully integrated combat system in development that links an integrated sonar system, surface sensor systems, navigation systems, communication systems and weapons systems mounted on the submarine.

As of 2004 South Korea was planning to build a class of 3,500-ton submarines, with the first entering service around 2012. About 1.7 billion won ($1.4 million) was in the 2004 defense budget for a two-year study of the project. South Korea had deployed nine 1,200-ton submarines since 1992, and planned to launch three 1,800-ton vessels worth 2.27 trillion won from 2007, all with diesel or diesel-electric engines designed by a German firm. As for next-generation subs, the ROK Navy was in the concept design stage.

According to the transcript of the national assembly's meeting of 05 April 2006, South Korea's submarine plan was changed in December 2005 from 9 Type 209s, 3 Type 214s, and 12 "SSX" (indigenous 3,000-ton submarines) to 9 Type 209s, 9 Type 214s, and 9 "KX-3" submarines. The Korean name for the SSX is Jangbogo-III. The Type 214 is called Jangbogo-II [Chang Bogo]. The KX-3 is a rarely used name for the SSX. In May 2007 a committee chaired by the Defence Minister authorized the 2.5 trillion won ($2.62 billion) plan to develop an indigenous 4,000-ton (submerged displacement) submarine. The contract for basic design was signed in December 2007. Daewoo and Hyundai would jointly design the sub from December 2007 to December 2011.

Under the Project, the Korean Ministry of National Defense will reportedly develop and deploy three sets of 3,000-ton diesel submarines after the year 2018. Against this programmatic backdrop, Koreas sole defense research agency, the Agency for Defense Development (ADD), issued a total of five Requests for Proposals (RFP) for the Project on February 12, 2009.

By 2011 Korea planned to build the 3,000-ton KSS-III heavy attack submarines beginning in 2018. DSME and its domestic rival Hyundai Heavy Industries would cooperate for the development of the new submarine to be equipped with a domestically-built vertical launching system (VLS). The VLS is a modern type of missile-firing system used aboard submarines and surface vessels of several navies around the world. When installed on an attack submarine, a VLS allows a greater number and variety of weapons to be deployed in comparison to using only torpedo tubes.

A submarine that performs three-dimensional movement in extreme surroundings hundreds of meters under the sea has to be prepared with numerous machinery and equipment within very small space. In addition, if specifications of major equipments are changed, all the designs and calculations have to be done from scratch. As submarine design process repeats this process more than 10 times, it is the most intricate and time intense technology that requires approximately a 2 ~ 2.5 year period. Four times longer than the period required for conventional commercial ship design.

DSME completed its submarine basic design system in March 2000 to acquire its unique submarine design technology. The basic design system is composed of an Image Defining System that produces a 3D submarine model using CAD and a Basic Design Data Management System handling the enormous amount of data accumulated in the previous design processes and calculations.

Only ten nations in the world own submarine design technology. But there are only a few nations hat commercialised such design systems including The Netherlands, Russia and Sweden. As DSME achieved enormous savings when it first established its submarine design system: a 2.3 billion won commercial programmme introduction fee and 10 billion won from design royalties per submarine. Moreover, the company's unique submarine design technology laid the groundwork for submarine export to the world.

Following almost three years of an in-depth investigation, the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) issued a decision on February 5, 2012 penalizing four domestic defense contractors for perpetrating bid-rigging in connection with the KSS-III submarine development project. This KFTC decision is quite significant in that it is the first-ever collusion case involving a defense research and development(R&D) project in the history of the Republic of Korea (ROK). The KFTC`s investigation process begn with the onset of the investigation and pertinent legislative framework, leading up to the agency`s preliminary report, plenary session, and, finally, the Definitive Decision.

Korea's four major defense manufacturers had been fined for allegedly forming a cartel in a 2.7 trillion won ($2.41 billion) project to build next generation submarines. The four defense contractors -- LIG Nex1, Samsung Thales, Hanwha Corp. and STX Engine Co.-- were imposed with a combined fine of 5.99 billion won, according to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC). Samsung Thales was fined 2.68 billion won with LIG Nex1 ordered to pay 2.47 billion won in penalties. Fines for STX Engine and Hanwha were set at 430 million won and 410 million won, respectively.

The keel laying ceremony of the first KSS-III (Jangbogo III program) heavy diesel-electric submarine took place May 17 2016 at DSME Geoje shipyard in presence of the Republic of Korea Navy (ROK Navy) officers, Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) representatives and DSME officials. The first steel cutting ceremony for the vessel was held in November 2014.

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced 25 May 2016 that Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) was selected as contractor for KSS-III Batch-II Design and construction of the first hull.

The first of the new subs, named the Dosan Ahn Chang-ho, after a much-admired Korean independence activist, was launched on 14 Sepetmber 2018. President Moon said this signified a leap foward for the defense industry. "The sea is part of our security, our economy and the lives of our people. We are a maritime country that owes its development to the sea as the avenue for 99.7 percent of our imports and exports." President Moon Jae-in, at its launching ceremony, hailed South Korea's technological advances, noting that just half a century ago, South Korea couldn't make even a single rifle. "Peace isn't just given to us. We have to create and maintain it ourselves. "Peace through strength" is the unwavering security strategy of our government. Our path to peace will include a strong military and national defense." The entirely Korean-made submarine cost Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering some 9-hundred million U.S. dollars, excluding ballistic missiles and torpedoes. South Korea's Ministry of National Defense approved the construction of three more KDX-III Sejong the Great-class destroyers, along with three more KSS-III diesel-electric attack submarines. The procurement is worth $6.3 billion. The Defense Project Promotion Committee, a division of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, decided on 30 April 2019 Tuesday to OK the $6.3 billion deal.

The first boat, dubbed "Dosan Ahn Chang-ho," only put to sea for the first time in September 2018. The 3,450-ton sub is Seoul's first ballistic missile submarine and by far the largest of South Korea's 18 submarines, sporting 10 vertical launch tubes that can carry either ballistic missiles or cruise missiles. However, Dosan Ahn Chang-ho is still being tested and won't be delivered to the navy until at least 2020. That hasn't stopped Seoul, though, which hopes to have four KSS-III subs in service by 2025.

Under KSS III, South Korea plans to deploy a new fleet of nine 3,000-ton submarines in the 2020s. The first batch will include three submarines, each equipped with six vertical missile launch tubes, and their deployment will come in the early 2020s. An additional three submarines to be deployed from 2025 under the same project will be equipped with 10 vertical launch tubes that can fire missiles in response to any North Korean provocations, according to sources.




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