September 17, 2018 12:59
Korea last Friday launched its first homegrown attack submarine capable of firing ballistic missiles.
The Dosan Ahn Chang-ho, a 3,000-ton mid-class diesel-electric attack submarine, was launched at Okpo Shipyard in Geoje, South Gyeongsang Province.
The Navy's main submarines have been 1,200-ton Jangbogo-I and 1,800-ton Jangbogo-II-class subs.
The Dosan Ahn Chang-ho has six vertical launch tubes, a first for a South Korean sub, though the ballistic missiles it will carry are still in development. Once armed with them, the sub could prove a formidable deterrent to security threats from North Korea, China and Japan.
The Dosan Ahn Chang-ho will be delivered to the Navy in December 2020 and deployed warfare-ready in January 2022.
Submarine-launched ballistic missiles are hard to intercept as they are faster and more powerful than sub-to-ground cruise missiles.
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