KSS-III is a 3000 tons SSK submarine project fitted with 6x VLS (vertical launch systems)
The WHLS features an air turbine pump (ATP) and programmable firing valve (PFV) launch system and is based on the principles used in the WHLS being supplied by Babcock for other navies including the UK Astute class and Spanish S-80 submarines. The system offers a number of advantages, being compact, highly efficient and quiet, with lower maintenance requirements than other handling and launch systems.
Completion of this latest milestone includes the design of the weapon stowage equipment and centreline lift. This equipment uses hydraulic control and actuation to handle weapons inside the submarine’s weapon stowage compartment, stow the weapons safely during operations, and load the weapons into the torpedo tubes for launch. Manufacturing drawings will now be produced as part of the next, production definition, phase.
Design of a number of other WHLS subsystems has also been completed, including parts of the torpedo tube (the inlet valve length and inboard length), and the flood and drain system. Manufacture of the ATPs, inlet valve lengths and inboard lengths has now begun at Babcock’s Bristol premises, and manufacture of the WHS will commence in South Korea in early 2015.
Babcock Defence Systems Technology Managing Director Jeff Lewis said: “We are delighted to have completed the design of the handling system, marking an important stage in the WHLS design and production process, and successfully meeting a challenging tight schedule to help the customer maintain the main build schedule.”
Under the Jangbogo III programme boat one is due to be handed over to the Republic of Korea Navy at the end of 2020, and boat two at the end of 2022.
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