Home Asia Pacific South Korea commissions first SLBM capable KSS III sub Dosan Ahn Chang-ho

South Korea commissions first SLBM capable KSS III sub Dosan Ahn Chang-ho

ROK Navy KSS III Batch I submarine Dosan Ahn Changho
Photo: ROK Navy

The Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) has commissioned its first KSS-III diesel-electric submarine, a locally-developed and built vessel capable of deploying submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM).

Dosan Ahn Chang-ho, as the lead boat in the class is named, entered service on August 13, almost exactly three years after it was launched in 2018.

Built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, the 3,000-ton submarine entered service in a ceremony at the shipbuilder’s Geoje shipyard.

Announcing the boat’s entry into service, the ROKN said it was equipped with locally-built lead-acid batteries and an air-independent propulsion (AIP) system.

Although it is now officially part of the navy, Dosan An Chang-ho will not deploy before August 2022, until when it will be undergoing performance and capability evaluations.

South Korea’s KSS III submarines measure 83.3 meters in length and have a complement of 50. They have a a cruising range of 10,000 nautical miles and reach a maximum speed of around 20 knots.

The country is also working on a second batch of KSS-III submarines that will feature lithium-ion battery systems for increased autonomy and improved sonar and combat systems capabilities. DSME will be responsible for the design of these vessels.

The second submarine in the class, Ahn Mu, was launched in November 2020 and is scheduled for delivery in 2022.