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HD HHI and Babcock to Develop Submarines for Export

HD HHI and Babcock to Develop Submarines for Export

The export submarine to be developed is projected to be in the 3000-tonnes range and equipped with Babcock’s Weapon Handling and Launch System (WHLS).

Both companies have a level of involvement with submarine platforms.

The South Korean firm jointly designed the ROK Navy’s KSS-III submarines, which are known for being armed with K-VLS for Hyunmoo 4 ballistic missiles and torpedo tubes. HD HHI also built the German-designed Type-214 submarines of the ROK Navy.

Babcock is heavily involved with the maintenance and overhauls of the U.K.’s nuclear submarines and is participating in Australia’s AUKUS submarine programme alongside the U.S.-based HII.

Submarines in the export market are often in the 1500 to 3000-tonnes range, mostly offered with Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) and torpedo tubes with provision for missiles like UGM-84 Harpoon in addition to 533 mm torpedoes.

It is safe to say this new submarine will be among the heaviest intended for the export market when compared to the others. The Spanish S-80 in a similar displacement range could be a reference for what it might look like in terms of specifications.

With the involvement of ROK, this new submarine might also have a provision for VLS to secure an edge in the export market, particularly for customers desiring a land attack capability, given the country’s experience.