ECA Group Awarded Contract to Supply Additional Steering Consoles for South Korean KSS-III Submarine Program

ECA Group has been awarded a new contract, worth around €4 million, for the supply of additional Steering and Diving Consoles (SNDC) for the South Korean KSS-III conventional attack submarine program.

The contract was awarded by the South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd (DSME) this month and the consoles will be installed on the first Batch II KSS-III submarine. The equipment is expected to be delivered by 2023 and the operational tests completed by 2027.

The Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy’s KSS-III (also Jangbogo III class, Dosan An Chang-Ho-class) submarine project began in 2014 and France’s ECA Group was chosen to deliver the Steering and Diving Consoles (SNDC). The company has successfully delivered the equipment for the first batch of three submarines in 2016, 2018 and 2019 with the third system completing the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) in early summer 2019.

“ECA Group intends to maintain its efforts to satisfy the Korean Navy by providing them with best quality equipment while meeting their operational requirements”, said a company statement.

After the latest SNDC delivery in 2019, ECA GROUP was also entrusted with the supply of 2 Steering and Diving Simulators of delivered SNDC equipment for training purposes for South Korean officers and operators.

The SNDC simulators will enable the South Korean Navy to:

+ Train their submariners for Jangbogo III – Batch 1 Steering and Diving Consoles, thanks to an effective system recreating accurately the equipment’s behavior as in real underwater conditions
+ Train their maintenance crews. By reproducing possible breakdowns, operators will learn how to fix them effectively without damaging the SNDCs onboard.

ECA Group team has successfully carried out the Factory Acceptance Test demonstrating the capability of these simulators to operate exactly like the Steering Consoles installed onboard submarines.

Korean Attack Submarine program (KSS)

The Korean Attack Submarine program (KSS) is a three-phased project to build up the Republic of Korea Navy’s attack submarine arsenal.

Through the first phase, KSS-I, the ROK Navy acquired nine 1,200-ton Chang Bogo class (German Type 209) submarines. For the second phase, KSS-II, the ROK Navy is acquiring a total of nine 1,800-ton Sohn Wonyil class (German Type 214) submarines equipped with Air-independent propulsion (AIP), in which eight are already in commission.

The third phase of the program, KSS-III, began in 2007. This class will have significant improvements when compared to its predecessors. A total of nine 3,000-ton KSS-III submarines are expected to be built in South Korea with indigenous technologies. It is expected that three batches, with three submarines each, will be built by 2029.

This new class will have a submarine version of the Korean Vertical Launching System (K-VLS or KVLS) which will be able to carry up to 10 indigenous Chonryong land-attack cruise missiles (LACM) and Hyunmoo submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM), becoming the first submarine in the South Korean navy to have this kind of capability.

The new 83.3-meter long, 9.6-meter wide submarine can operate underwater for 20 days without surfacing and is capable of carrying 50 crew members.

For the KSS-III Batch 1, the first two are being constructed at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd (DSME) and the third one is being constructed at Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).

The first KSS-III submarine, the future ROKS Dosan Ahn Chang-ho (SS-083), was launched on 17 September 2018 and will be handed over to the Korean Navy at the end of 2020 following two years of sea trials. The class is now named as Dosan An Chang-Ho-class Submarine after the lead boat of the class.

ROKS Dosan Ahn Chang-ho (SS-083)
ROKS Dosan Ahn Chang-ho (SS-083), the first KSS-III Dosan Ahn Changho class submarine of the Republic of Korea Navy (ROK Navy).

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