UK-based engineering company Babcock International is set to open new office facility in the port city of Busan, South Korea.

The new base is intended to help support the Republic of Korea Navy’s first indigenous Jangbogo III submarine programme, as well as open opportunities for new business within the wider defence industry.

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The South Korean base is set to be opened within the next few months.

It is being established by the company in close collaboration with the Busan Metropolitan City Government and the British Embassy.

"Establishing Babcock Korea in Busan will help to support the Jangbogo III programme and will give us access to local skills to support our supply chain."

Babcock International Defence Systems Technology managing director Jeff Lewis said: “Establishing Babcock Korea in Busan will help to support the Jangbogo III programme and will give us access to local skills to support our supply chain, manufacturing and contract activities.

“The new site will also provide a platform to seek new opportunities in Korea, predominantly in the marine defence industry, but also in other areas where Babcock has capability.

“We are delighted to be working closely with Busan City Government, which has shown great support and encouragement for us to base ourselves in the city and we look forward to growing our presence in Korea.”

The company previously entered a seven-year contract with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) last year to continue the development and supply of a weapons handling and launch system (WHLS) for the third boat set of the Jangbogo III programme.

The WHLS equipment is integrated with an air turbine pump (ATP) and programmable firing valve (PFV) launch system.

Procurement and construction works on the Jangbogo III submarines are currently ongoing.

The first vessel is expected to be delivered to Korean navy at the end of 2020, with the second boat following in 2022.