Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) has begun developing a new submarine drone for the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN).
The effort supports South Korea’s Navy Sea Ghost program, which will create both crewed and uncrewed systems for “a strong marine force with qualitative superiority.”
As part of the project, DSME and ROKN held a launch meeting for the vessel’s technical concept design and related services in December.
The company announced it would work alongside Panhan Pure Cell, Hanwha Systems, and Hanwha Aerospace for the sub-surface capability.
Supporting Unmanned Systems
DSME’s partnership with ROKN will be carried out under South Korea’s Defense Innovation 4.0, a modernization plan promoting manned and unmanned combat vessels to enhance the country’s maritime warfare assets.
Aside from submersible ships, the initiative will focus on producing surface drones, ship-mounted aerial drones, and unmanned system command and control technologies.
“The future battlefield is changing in many ways, and weapon systems are developing at a rapid pace,” DSME Special Ship Division Executive Director Jung Woo-Seong stated.
“We will do our best to provide technical support for the success of unmanned system development by mobilizing all of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering’s cutting-edge technology, next-generation advanced ship technology.”
Daewoo and South Korea Partnership
In 1996, DSME delivered South Korea’s first submarine drone, the “OKPO-6000.”
The company has also built Jang Bogo-I and Jang Bogo-II class submarines for the ROKN.
DSME is also responsible for developing the navy’s Jang Bogo-III class Dosan Anchang-ho submarines, making South Korea the eighth country to commission a 3,000-ton (30 million kilograms) submarine.