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4 choppers deployed for combat operation against N.K. submarines

4 choppers deployed for combat operation against N.K. submarines

Posted February. 02, 2017 06:59,   

Updated February. 02, 2017 07:12

The South Korean Navy has deployed four of its eight Wildcats, the new operation helicopter, for combat missions to defend territorial waters from Wednesday. The remaining four units will be put to combat operation in July this year after combat preparation process.

The Wildcat will be tasked with detection and deterrence of enemy’s battleships and submarines, as they are carried on convoy ships. The chopper is armed with Korean-made anti-submarine torpedoes, machine guns, and air-to-ship missiles, and is capable of precision attack on North Korea’s submarines and air-cushion boats.

The helicopter is equipped with a low-frequency dipping sonar, which is superior in performance to the sonar system mounted on the Lynx helicopter, and offers submarine detection capability, which is about four times that of the other. The chopper can also carry out long-distance precision surveillance of enemy ships due to the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar that is capable of detecting a vessel from up to 320 kilometers way. The Navy conducted drills to detect and strike North Korea’s submarines by mobilizing two Wildcat choppers and a convey ship in waters near Geoje Island in the South Sea on the day.

New convey ships that are equipped with long-distance anti-submarine torpedoes and high-performance sonars have also been introduced one after another. Five of the six Incheon-class convey ships (2,500 tons) have been put to combat mission, and one remaining unit will be put to combat mission in April this year. The Daegu-class convey ship (2,800 tons), which is superior in performance to the Incheon-class, will also be handed over the Navy later this year for combat operation from 2018. “We will establish defense readiness that allows us to trace and defeat North Korea’s submarines wherever they ran away from under the sea, on the water and the skies,” a source in the South Korean military said.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com