Sang-O-class submarine

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Sang-O class
1996 NK sub.jpg
Submarine involved in the 1996 incident as described.
Class overview
Builders: Bong Dao Bo Shipyards, Singpo
Operators:  Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Preceded by: Yugo class
Succeeded by: Sinpo class
Subclasses: attack version, infiltration/reconnaissance version
In commission: 1991
Completed: 40+
Active: 40 (March 2011)[1]
Lost: 1 captured by South Korea
General characteristics (Sang-O I armed version)
Type: coastal submarine
Displacement: 275 tons (surfaced), 370 tons (submerged)
Length: 34m
Beam: 3.8m
Propulsion: Diesel-electric: 1 small diesel, 1 electric motor, 1 shaft
Speed: 7.5 knots (13.9 km/h) surfaced
7 knots (13 km/h) snorkeling
9 knots (17 km/h) submerged
Range: 1,500 nautical miles (2,800 km)
Test depth: 150 metres, capable of bottoming
Capacity: 0 (10/11 in recce version)
Complement: 15 crew
Sensors and
processing systems:
Radar
civilian Furuno I-band radar
Passive RWR/ESM/SIGINT
Golf Ball radar
Snoop Plate radar
Sonar
Trout Cheek sonar
Armament: Two 533mm torpedo tubes fitted with Russian 53-65KE torpedoes
capable of minelaying
Notes: Fitted with a snorkel

The Sang-O class submarines are in use by North Korea, and are the country's largest home-built submarines. A single unit was captured by the Republic of Korea Navy (South Korea) after it ran aground on 18 September 1996 in the 1996 Gangneung submarine infiltration incident.

Sang-O II / K-300[edit]

The captured Sang-O class submarine on display at Tongil (Unification) Park near Gangneung (2012)

It was widely reported [2] in March 2011 that a new version of the Sang-O class had been deployed in North Korea. Satellite imagery from 2005 suggests the Sang-O II / K-300 may have been produced at the Mayang-do naval base and fitted out at the dry docks located at 39.9978 N, and 128.20019 E.[3] Other footage of the nearby docks of Sinp'o appear to depict the Sang-O II / K-300 as early as 2004 (at 40 01'31.20"N 128 09'55.80"E). Subsequent satellite imagery shows the Sang-O II / K-300 deployed to the Ch’aho-rodongjagu submarine Navy Base at 40.205441 N 128.649524 E on North Korea's east coast.[3]

According to the KPA Journal,[1] the decision to develop a larger, improved version of the Sang-O came in the late 1990s or early 2000. The Sang-O II / K-300 is a stretched version of the original Sang-O class with an approximate length of 39 to 40 metres and a corresponding surface displacement of approximately 300 to 340 tons. The increased length and internal volume would suggest an increased in the operational range of the submarine and troop/equipment carrying capabilities. Top speed is also reported to be higher in the new model meaning an improved propulsion system is likely using some of the extra length.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "N.Korea Builds up Submarine Force". The Chosun Ilbo. 21 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. (21 March 2011). "KPN deploys new version of Sang O class Coastal Submarine". KPA Journal. 
  3. ^ a b "South Korea releases details of North Korea coastal submarine". 25 April 2011.