Sources Explain Ongoing Developments in N.Korean Submersible Technology

      April 07, 2010 07:53

      North Korea has stealth submersibles equipped with heavy attack torpedoes, intelligence sources speaking on condition of anonymity claimed Tuesday. The anonymous sources said the North's Shark-class submersibles and Yugo-class midget submarines are covered with "special tiles" that can evade sonar and some models of the Yugo-class subs are armed with 533 mm torpedoes.

      The sound-absorbing tiles are reportedly made by mixing chlorine rubber with silicon compounds. But one intelligence source said the North experienced some difficulty developing an adhesive glue to attach them to submarines or submersibles. The source claimed the North developed various models of Yugo-class subs, one of which was seized by South Korea when it became entangled in fishing nets in waters off Sokcho, Gangwon Province in 1998.

      The Yugo-class subs can travel underwater for four to five hours but are said to have difficulties traveling fast due to battery capacity. Semi-submersibles can travel at a speed of more than 40 knots (84km/h) on the surface, but their big disadvantage is their noisy Swedish-made engine, the sources claimed.

      North Korea's underwater weapons are made by Taean Electrical Appliance Plant of Kangson Steel Works near Nampo in South Pyongan Province, a source said.

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