South Korea has begun production of 70 Hongsangeo anti-submarine light torpedoes (Red Sharks) for use on some of its newest destroyers.

Scheduled for deployment between 2010 and 2012, the 18ft, two-stage Red Shark torpedoes are long-range ship-to-submarine light torpedoes that will be operated aboard the korean Navy’s latest Gwangaeto the Great Class (KDX- I) and Chunmugong Yi Sunshin Class (KDX- II) destroyers.

South Korea’s Agency for Defence Development (ADD) said South Korean missile manufacturer LIG Nex1 co-developed the torpedo with the ADD at a cost of about $80m.

The precision-guided torpedoes are launched vertically and can fly for about 12 miles before submersing into the sea to track and destroy targets.

The country is investing about $145m in the torpedoe manufacture and will increase production in 2013.

In addition, the ADD and LIG Nex1 have cooperated to develop Shark series torpedoes which include Blue Shark (a light torpedo) and White Shark (a heavy torpedo).

The Red Shark torpedoes underwent nine years of development and completed the final tests in early 2009.