Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) will develop an unmanned combat submersible by partnering with the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy, the company announced on Dec. 28.
On Dec. 27, the company held the first meeting with the Republic of Korea Navy to launch a project to develop design concepts of an unmanned submersible for combat purposes. The meeting was held 15 days after a research contract was signed between DSME and the ROK Navy.
This project aims to develop concept design for the development of a complex manned and unmanned marine system. It is the first step toward leaping into the so-called Navy Sea Ghost era, experts say.
Navy Sea Ghost is a concept introduced by ROK Navy Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Lee Jong-ho. During a ceremony that marked the 77th anniversary of the founding of the ROK Navy on Nov. 11, Lee disclosed the new operational concept combining manned and unmanned systems.
DSME will promote the development of a unmanned combat submersible model through technical cooperation with Hanwha Systems, Hanwha Aerospace, and Bumhan Fuel Cell. The ROK Navy is building a complex manned and unmanned marine system in connection with Defense Innovation 4.0. They are planning to beef up their unmanned systems, such as unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) and ship-mounted unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), together with unmanned system command and control ships.
DSME is a front-runner in the field of submersibles and submarines. In 1996, it developed Korea’s first unmanned submersible (OKPO-6000) and successfully built the Jang Bogo-I and Jang Bogo-II Submarines. In 2021, it delivered the Jang Bogo-III Submarine to the ROK Navy. This made South Korea the eighth country in the world to own a 3,000-ton submarine.