1,300-ton, Type-209 submarine
By Jung Sung-ki
Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) has begun final-phase negotiations with the Indonesian government over the construction and sale of three 1,300-ton, Type-209 submarines valued at $1.1 billion, the company said Tuesday.
Korea’s biggest arms sale is expected to be completed by November.
Previously, a $400 million deal with Indonesia to sell 16 T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic trainer jets, jointly built by Korea Aerospace Industries and Lockheed Martin of the United States, was the biggest weapons sale.
“We have launched talks to sign a contract with Indonesia’s defense ministry,” the shipbuilder said in a statement.
DSME’s Communication Director Jeong Seong-dae told The Korea Times, “Both sides have long discussed the sale of Korean-built submarines, and now we are in the final stage of fine-tuning detailed requirements and contract terms,” said Jeong.
DSME competed with submarine powerhouses Germany, France and Russia to win the status of preferred negotiator.
The diesel/electric propulsion sub is built with technical assistance from German’s HDW.
The ship measures 56 meters in length and 5.5 meters in width. It can submerge to a depth of up to 250 meters and has an underwater endurance of about two weeks.
The sub, with a capacity of 33 sailors, has a surface speed of 11 knots and can cruise submerged at 22 knots.
The South Korean Navy operates nine Type-209 submarines fitted with torpedoes and submarine-to-surface missiles.
DSME has been building 1,800-ton, Type-214 submarines following a government order in 2008.
Korea plans to build 3,000-ton KSS-III heavy attack submarines beginning in 2018. DSME and its domestic rival Hyundai Heavy Industries will cooperate for the development of the new submarine to be equipped with a domestically-built vertical launching system (VLS).
A VLS is a modern type of missile-firing system used aboard submarines and surface vessels of several navies around the world.
When installed on an attack submarine, a VLS allows a greater number and variety of weapons to be deployed in comparison to using only torpedo tubes.