According to a report by South Korea’s Korean Daily on January 25, a Sun Won first-class submarine of the South Korean Navy recently broke down in operation and was towed back to the base by civilian ships. South Korea’s Central Daily said bluntly: “This is a disgrace to this submarine!”
According to South Korean media reports, the South Korean navy said on January 24 that on the afternoon of January 22, after a Sun Won first-class submarine completed its stealth test, the propulsion system sounded the safety alarm on the way back to the base.
The submarine crew immediately reported the situation to the command.
South Korean navy officials said: “Considering the safety of the crew, the suspension of driving and towing measures were immediately ordered at that time.” Hyundai Heavy Industries, the manufacturer of Sun Won’s first-class submarine, urgently dispatched towed ships after receiving contact from the South Korean navy. The malfunctioning Sun Yuan first-class submarine, led by the towboat, returned to the nearby base in the early morning of January 23.
South Korean media said that it is very rare for military submarines towed back by civilian ships due to functional failure. However, South Korean military officials said: “The use of civilian tugboats is based on the manufacturer’s after-sales service.”
According to South Korean media, the submarine that happened in the accident was launched in 2008 and began to enter service the following year (according to public information of the South Korean navy, only the third boat “An Chung-gen” of Sun Won’s first-class submarines coincided with this time).
In addition, according to the records of the South Korean National Assembly, in the October 2020 “National Political Supervision Inspection”, Congressman He Taiqing asked: “Sun Won’s first-class boat J has broken down.
Is there no problem with the same configuration of Boat A (that is, the submarine that has broken down this time)?” South Korea’s Chief of Naval Staff Fu Shizhong twice replied: “There is no problem at present.” But just three months later, the A ship broke down like this.
According to the judgment of the South Korean military, the propulsion motor of boat A may be the same as that of boat J. South Korean media said this means that South Korean army submarines must be maintained at the base for a long time rather than at sea. In fact, the South Korean navy also said that the ship was scheduled to be regularly maintained by May this year.
According to South Korean media reports, Sun Won’s first-class submarine technology has been introduced from Germany since 2000. It is a derivative of German 214-class submarines.
It is manufactured by South Korea Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Ocean Shipbuilding. A total of nine were built and delivered to the South Korean army for installation. According to South Korean media, the price of this class of submarines is about 450 billion won
The submarine is 65 meters long and 6.3 meters wide, with a top speed of 20 knots (37 kilometers per hour).
It can carry more than 40 crew members between the mainland base in South Korea and Hawaii in the United States without refueling.
Adopting “air propulsion-free technology” (i.e. AIP) to allow two weeks of underwater combat without surface.
South Korean media also said that since the commissioning of the submarine, it has been found that the bolts of the submarine have broken, loosened, and cracked the propellers of the submarine have been found, causing a lot of controversy.