L3Harris Technologies has been awarded a contract to manufacture and deliver DC switchboards for the Republic of Korea’s Navy submarines, the company said in a statement released 1 June. These switchboards might be for the RoK’s fleet of new Dosan Ahn Chanhgo boats, the first of which was launched in 2018 and is scheduled to enter service this year. With a full load displacement of 4,200 tonnes submerged, the new submarines are significantly larger and longer range than earlier KSS-I and KSS-II classes.

Based upon publicly available information, the RoK Navy has contracted for three Batch 1 Dosan Ahn Chanhgo submarines and is now moving to Batch 2, which will be around four metres longer and will increase the number of Vertical Launch Missile cells from six to 10 – significantly boosting their land strike capabilities. They will be able to fire indigenously developed cruise missiles with a range of 300km carrying a 500kg warhead. The Batch 2 boats will also make greater use of lithium ion batteries for their propulsion.

L3Harris will supply direct current (DC) switchboards that provide 900-volt DC power from the ship’s generators and batteries to the propulsion motor and other vital ship service loads. This award is a fully-funded contract with the final delivery scheduled for June 2022.

Rosemary Chapdelaine,
vice president & general manager at L3Harris Technologies.

“This award comes as a follow-on to similar products previously delivered to our RoK Navy customer,” said Rosemary Chapdelaine, vice president and general manager Maritime Power Systems. “L3Harris is excited to build upon our long-standing relationship with the RoK’s Navy submarine team and we look forward to continuing our partnership for many years to come.”

L3Harris’ strong history in the production of this vital equipment goes back 10 years. The company supports global maritime customers seeking innovative technologies for shipboard power solutions.

Another possibility is that the switchboards could be for an export batch of submarines – for example to Indonesia – about which South Korea is usually tight-lipped.

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Kym Bergmann
Kym Bergmann is the editor for Asia Pacific Defence Reporter (APDR) and Defence Review Asia (DRA). He has more than 25 years of experience in journalism and the defence industry. After graduating with honours from the Australian National University, he joined Capital 7 television, holding several positions including foreign news editor and chief political correspondent. During that time he also wrote for Business Review Weekly, undertaking analysis of various defence matters.After two years on the staff of a federal minister, he moved to the defence industry and held senior positions in several companies, including Blohm+Voss, Thales, Celsius and Saab. In 1997 he was one of two Australians selected for the Thomson CSF 'Preparation for Senior Management' MBA course. He has also worked as a consultant for a number of companies including Raytheon, Tenix and others. He has served on the boards of Thomson Sintra Pacific and Saab Pacific.


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