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South Korea begins work on new Blue Shark torpedo with LIG Nex1 in the lead

Photo: LIG Nex1

South Korea’s defense procurement agency DAPA has signed an official contract with LIG Nex1 to lead the development of the next-generation variant of the Blue Shark lightweight anti-submarine torpedo.

The project is worth around KRW160 billion (approx. US$132M) and was announced by DAPA in November 2021.

Originally developed in 2004, Blue Shark is a 324 mm lightweight anti-submarine torpedo that can be launched from surface ships, helicopters, and maritime patrol aircraft.

It can reach speed of 45 knots, and has a maximum range of approximately 6.5 nautical miles.

In service with the Republic of Korea Navy, the weapon has also been chosen by the Philippine Navy for its Leonardo AW159 Lynx Wildcat anti-submarine warfare helicopters.

The contract will see LIG Nex1 improve the torpedo’s ability to detect and strike hostile submarines while enhancing the weapon’s survivability.

Work under the project is expected to be completed by 2029, according to DAPA, with weapon production expected to begin shortly thereafter.