LIG Nex1 is set to develop an improved variant of the lightweight K745 Cheong Sangeo or K745 Blue Shark for South Korea, the company announced last week.
South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced the development contract worth 160 billion South Korean won ($132 million) in November last year.
Under the deal, the company will upgrade the Blue Shark’s capability to detect and quickly respond to enemy decoys and strike targets from a distance with accuracy. The torpedo’s underwater performance will also be improved significantly, enhancing the survivability of Korean ships.
The developmental work is expected to be completed by 2029, and mass production will commence after that.
About the Blue Shark Torpedo
LIG Nex1 developed the K745 Blue Shark torpedo for South Korea’s navy in 2004, and it was deployed in 2005.
Capable of being launched from surface ships, helicopters, and maritime patrol aircraft, the torpedo can operate even in shallow waters up to 45 knots (83 kilometers/52 miles per hour) and has a maximum range of more than 19 kilometers (11 miles).
It operates in two modes: a direct search mode and an indirect search mode.
Direct search mode is activated as the torpedo is launched from a surface ship or dropped from a helicopter. It then attacks the target in a circular or spiral pattern from the searched point.
In the indirect search mode, a target is struck by activating active search after diving into a launch area from a chopper or a maritime aircraft.
The Philippines has also selected the Blue Shark torpedo for its navy’s two Leonardo AW159 Lynx Wildcat anti-submarine warfare naval helicopters.