By Kim Jong-chan
The Navy plans to strengthen its deterrent ability by building nine 3,000-ton next-generation submarines, a senior officer said last Thursday.
In addition, the number of 1,800-ton submarines will be increased from three to nine by 2018 to secure sea routes and prepare for anti-ship warfare, said Rear Adm. Park Chan-seok, chief of the Navy’s capabilities planning office, during a parliamentary audit of the Navy held at its headquarters in South Chungcheong Province.
The Navy will also double its number of 7,600-ton Aegis-class ships to six by 2020, Rear Adm. Park said. As a result, the number of ROK Navy flotillas will increase from the current one to three. A flotilla is usually composed of two Aegis ships, four destroyers, one command ship and five submarines.
Other naval build-up plans include the construction of six to nine 5,000-ton next-generation Korean destroyers, about 20 2,300-ton frigates, one 3,000-ton mine layer and three more 730-ton mine sweepers, the officer said.
About 8.4 trillion won will be needed through 2030 to implement plans to reinforce the Navy, sources said.
To this end, about 490 billion won should be set aside each year, they said.
Members of the National Assembly Defense Committee have agreed on the need to spend large sums of money to beef up the country’s naval forces, the sources added.