The South Korean military launched a ballistic missile (SLBM) from the Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine at the ADD Anheung test center in South Chuncheon, Yonhap reported. Thus, South Korea is the seventh in the world to have mastered such military technology.
The rocket was successfully launched and was able to hit the training target. The shooting was inspected by South Korean President Moon Jae In. The office of the South Korean leader noted that the possession of SLBMs is very important from the point of view of “deterring omnidirectional threats.” “The presence of such missiles is expected to play a large role in national defense and peace in the Korean Peninsula in the future,” the agency said in a statement.
Now, in addition to South Korea, the technology of launching ballistic missiles from submarines is owned by Russia, the United States, China, Great Britain, France and India. Presumably, the main adversary of Seoul, the DPRK, is also capable of this. However, Pyongyang has not yet conducted a confirmed successful launch from a submarine using a barge as a launching pad.
The exact tactical and technical characteristics of the South Korean missile and its type are not given. Presumably this is a two-stage solid-propellant rocket of the Hyunmoo series, under which Ahn Chang-ho launchers are suitable. In March 2020, the South Korean military successfully tested a Hyunmoo 4 missile with a range of 800 km with an increased load.
The submarine Dosan Ahn Chang-ho, from which the rocket was launched, is the lead ship of the project of the same name, which has been implemented since 2016. This newest diesel-electric submarine, which entered service only in August 2021, has a displacement of 3,000 tons and six vertical launchers for cruise and ballistic missiles with ammunition for up to 10 missiles. Two more similar vessels are under construction now.
Rocket fire from a South Korean submarine took place after North Korea launched two ballistic missiles towards the East China Sea. The first launch took place on September 13, and the second on September 15. Moreover, in the first case, the North Korean state media talked about testing the latest cruise missile.