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South Korea virtually completes the development of SLBM

Posted September. 07, 2021 08:00,   

Updated September. 07, 2021 08:00


South Korea is known to have successfully test-launched a locally developed submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from a submerged barge recently. An SLMB, which is strategic arms launched from a hard-to-detect submarine, is called a game changer that will determine the dynamics of a battlefield. With North Korea unveiling new SLBM last and this year, speeding up the development of asymmetric strategic weapons that can threaten South Korea and the U.S., South Korea has become the eighth country in the world with SLBM power.

According to a defense industry official on Monday, the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) recently conducted successful two test launches of an SLBM from Dosan Anchangho, the first 3,000-ton submarine. In particular, the agency succeeded in “cold launch,” a core technology that ignites the missile engine after pushing the missile out of the water using air pressure from the launch tube. The official said mass production and deployment of the SLBM will begin after the third and final test launch is completed in the middle of this month. The final closed-door test launch will be conducted in waters off the ADD Anheung Test Center in Taean, South Chungcheong Province.

Normally, the development of SLBM is carried out in three stages: ground test launch, underwater test launch, and submarine test launch. After successfully conducting a ground test launch at the end of last year, the military completed the second stage of an underwater test launch this year, where a barge is used instead of a submarine to launch an SLBM in shallow water. South Korea was able to accelerate the development of related technologies as the Dosan Anchangho, the country’s first 3,000-ton submarine capable of carrying six SLBMs, was commissioned on Aug. 13. Currently, the U.S., Russia, the U.K., France, India, China, North Korea, and South Korea have SLBM.

Kyu-Jin Shin newjin@donga.com