The company Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering launched the first diesel-electric submarine with an anaerobic power plant, completely designed in South Korea. As reported by Defense Aerospace, the ceremony of launching the ship to the water took place at the shipyard in Okpo in Geo. It is expected that in the near future a new Korean ship will begin testing, and in December 2020 it will be handed over to the Navy. In 2022, a submarine is planned to be adopted.
Modern diesel-electric submarines have several advantages over larger nuclear submarines. One of the main such advantages is almost complete quiet running in the underwater position, since in this case only quiet electric motors, powered by batteries, are responsible for the movement of the ship. Recharging of these batteries is made from diesel generators in the above-water position or at a depth from which it is possible to expose the snorkel, a special pipe through which air is supplied to the generators.
The shortcomings of conventional diesel-electric submarines include a relatively short time that a ship can carry underwater. In the best case, it can reach three weeks (for comparison, in nuclear submarines this figure is 60-90 days), but usually does not exceed 7-10 days. After this time, the submarine will have to surf and launch diesel generators. The anaerobic power plant, which does not require outboard air, allows a non-nuclear submarine to remain underwater for significantly longer.
The new Korean submarine was named “Dosan An Chkhano.” The ship was named in honor of South Korean politician, nationalist and freedom fighter from Japan Dosan An Chkhano, who lived in 1878-1938. The displacement of the new ship is three thousand tons with a length of 83.3 and a width of 9.6 meters. The submarine is equipped with six vertical launchers for launching ballistic missiles with non-nuclear warheads.
The crew of the ship consists of 50 people. According to the developers, thanks to the anaerobic power plant, details of which are not disclosed, the ship will be able to stay under water for up to 20 days. The range of the submarine is about ten thousand nautical miles (about 18.5 thousand kilometers).
In late March this year it became known that the South Korean authorities are planning to order local shipbuilding enterprises to develop a nuclear submarine project. Ships of this class are planned to be used as a counterweight to North Korean submarines with ballistic missiles. Currently, South Korean experts are studying foreign projects that could be taken as a basis for their own submarine.
The South Korean military is considering the possibility of developing an atomic submarine with a displacement of about five thousand tons. As one of the projects that can be taken as a basis, the Koreans are studying the French project for nuclear multi-purpose submarines of the Barracuda type. The displacement of these ships is 5,3 thousand tons. One of the advantages of the Barracuda type submarines in front of other nuclear ships is the use of low-enriched uranium.