The South Korean Navy has launched its fifth class-214 submarine, ROKS Yun Bong-gil, at the Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyard in Ulsan, Seoul.
Named after Korean independence activist Yun Bong-gil, the submarine is expected to boost the nation's underwater warfare capabilities.
Powered by a diesel-electric air independent propulsion (AIP) system, the submarine is capable of cruising at a maximum speed of 20k with a crew of 40.
The high-yield steel used to build the vessel is designed to enable it to dive up to 400m deep and undertake fuel cell powered underwater missions for two weeks without emerging.
The submarine has a displacement capacity of 1,800t, is equipped with guided missiles, torpedoes and mines, and has an automatic simultaneous target tracking system and a torpedo guidance and detection system.
It is scheduled for delivery to the Korean Navy in 2015, upon completion of seaborne operational exercises.
HHI has already delivered South Korea's first, second and third class-214 submarines, and is also constructing the navy's seventh and ninth submarines of the same class.
Currently, the navy operates the 1,200t 209-class submarines, which have been commissioned since the early 1990s. There are plans to purchase five more 214-class submarines by 2018.
Image: South Korea's fifth class-214 submarine ROKS Yun Bong-gil during the launch ceremony. Photo: courtesy of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.