The Republic of Korea Navy (ROK) has commissioned the first 3,000t-class Changbogo-III Batch-I locally made diesel/electric powered submarine.

The ceremony took place at the Okpo Shipyard of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in the southeastern city of Geoje, reported the Yonhap News Agency.

DSME has built and delivered the submarine, which is capable of firing submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).

The vessel has been named after South Korean independence leader Dosan Ahn Chang-ho.

Yonhap quoted South Korean Navy as stating: “After deployment, the submarine will take an active role as the country’s strategic weapons system against threats.”

DSME is under contract to construct two Changbogo-III Batch-I submarines. The third boat will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).

The approximately $2.7bn (KRW3.09trn) project was launched in 2007.

In September 2018, Dosan Ahn Chang-ho was launched at the DSME Okpo Shipyard.

Dosan Ahn Chang-ho is equipped with vertical launching tubes that can fire both cruise and SLBM missiles.

The submarine is 83.3m-long and 9.6m-wide, and capable of accommodating a total of 50 crewmembers.

The vessel is said to have the ability to operate underwater continuously for 20 days without surfacing.

Dosan Ahn Chang-ho is expected to be deployed by August next year after undergoing a set of trials.

Currently, South Korea operates 1,200t and 1,800t submarines.

Earlier this year, North Korea reportedly displayed a new SLBM at a military parade in Pyongyang.