October 21, 2014 09:13
A U.S. expert on the North Korean military claims to have evidence that the North is developing a new submarine.
Joseph Bermudez, writing for the blog 38 North, said, "A review of commercial satellite imagery from 2010 until the present covering North Korea's submarine bases and building shipyards has revealed the presence of a previously unidentified submarine moored in the secured boat basin at the Sinpo South Shipyard."
He believes the submarine is some 67 m long and 6.6 m wide, suggesting a displacement in the 900-1,500 ton range.
Outwardly, it resembles the Russian Kilo or Lada class patrol submarines, but "lacks the teardrop hull-shape of the former and the conning tower mounted diving planes of the later," Bermudez added.
Instead it bears "a close resemblance in size and shape to the former Yugoslavian sava and heroj class submarines."
He admits it is "too early to identify the missions" for the submarine, but speculates that "if the design is successful and enters production as a patrol submarine, the new boat will have greater range, patrol time and weapons capability than the existing" North Korean fleet.
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