YONHAP NEWS AGENCY, S.Korea
5 April 2016
SEOUL – South Korea's Navy on Tuesday launched its seventh Son Won-il class submarine that is capable of firing off guided missiles, and can contribute to the country's overall military readiness.
The 1,800-ton diesel-electric submarine incorporates the latest technology and possesses a formidable weapons system that can enhance the fleet's fighting capability.
The launch ceremony was held at Hyundai Heavy Industries' dockyard in Ulsan, some 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul, and attended by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jung Ho-sub and defense procurement officials, the Navy said.
The vessel, named Hong Beom-do after a South Korean independence fighter, is also known internationally as a Type 214 attack submarine.
Measuring 65 meters from stem to stern with a beam of 6.3 m, the submarine has a maximum speed of 20 knots, or 38 kilometers per hour.
It is capable of carrying torpedoes and guided precision-attack missiles as well as around 40 sailors.
Major missions of the submarine include anti-warship and anti-submarine operations and mine-laying, according to the Navy.
After the launch, the vessel will undergo a shakedown cruise and join the fleet in July 2017, the Navy noted.
As the chief commander of an independence army, Hong Beom-do (1868-1943) led several victorious battles against the imperialist Japanese army during Japan's colonial control of the Korean Peninsula which lasted from 1910-45.
The Navy names its 214-Type submarines after well-known independence fighters including Amd. Son Won-il, the Navy's first chief of naval operations.
"With its capacity to launch precision attacks on warships, submarine or any other land-based targets, the Hong Beom-do would play a pivotal role in the national defense," Amd. Jung said.