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Korea Republic of : Korean Submarines to be Equipped with Thales Satcom Technology.

The German-designed Type 214 submarines, selected by the Republic of Korea s Navy for its KSS II Batch 2 submarine programme, will be equipped with Thales X-band Satcom Terminals, the French-based company announced yesterday. After having received the first three Type 214 submarines, which were ordered in 2000 and assembled by Hyundai Heavy Industries, South Korea ordered a second batch, consisting of six submarines of the conventional, Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) equipped diesel-electric submarine family.

The French company explains that the delivered system is issued from Thales DIVESAT technology and belongs to the second generation of submarine Satcom Terminals manufactured by Thales. According to Thales, the communication solution, which was jointly developed with South Korean partner Samsung Thales, has been selected by the German submarine shipbuilder Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems to equip the next two submarines which are to join the Navy by 2018.

Thales claims that the Satcom terminal delivers high tracking performance even in extreme environments and guarantees high-level integrated communications, offering the latest innovations in data rate requirements for voice and data transmission. The system is available in two versions, one fitted with a 40 cm antenna and one fitted with a 75 cm antenna, both capable of operating on different frequency bands (X, Ku, Ka or EHF). The DIVESAT solution follows the former generation, introduced in the late 1980s which, according to Thales, has demonstrated decades of trouble-free operation.

In late May 2010, Samsung Thales announced it was awarded a contract by HDW worth 12 billion won ($10 million), to provide its communication systems technology for the six newly ordered Sohn Wonyil-class submarines. As DefenceNews reported in May, Samsung Thames senior vice president Kim Gyu-seok sees this contract as an opportunity to enter a new market worth hundreds of millions of won, which is growing continuously due to the increasing worldwide demand for military IT equipment like satellite communications for submarines.

The submarines of the second batch are expected to feature some technical improvements, reportedly, including the AIP system which allows submarines to remain submerged for periods longer than two weeks. The submarines stealthy abilities will allow the South Korean Navy to enhance its blue-water capabilities. The greater part of the country s submarine force consists of nine Type 209 diesel-electric attack submarines (Chang Bogo class), developed by HDW in the 1960s and in service with the South Korean Navy since the early 1990s. The last of the Type 209 submarines joined the Navy in 2001.

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Date:Jul 25, 2010
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