As we know, South Korea is investing significantly in the development of cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, in order to be able, as little as possible, to counter the growing threat posed by North Korea's ballistic arsenal. This is how the country has developed, since the early 1980s, the Hyunmoo family of surface-to-surface missiles, initially designed with a transfer of technology from the United States in exchange for commitments from Seoul on the maximum range of the missiles. weapons developed , then as part of a partnership with Moscow during the 1990s, which allowed the second generation of missiles, the Hyunmoo 2, to integrate technologies from the Russian Iskander program. More recently, South Korean authorities announced their intention to develop an underwater variant of the Hyunmoo family, designated Hyunmoo 4, which can be launched while diving from a submarine.
It is within this framework that the test revealed by Yonhap TV News falls. According to the news channel, South Korean engineers and soldiers have successfully fired a ballistic missile specially designed for this purpose (probably the Hyunmoo 4) from a submerged platform, marking Seoul's first success in the field of Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile, or SLBM. The test from a submerged barge is classic for the first firings of this type of missile, so as not to risk a submarine, and its crew, in the event of a failure. For the moment, apart from the Yonhap report, the Korean authorities have remained very discreet on the subject, neither denying nor confirming the success of the shot, nor even its existence.
This test is part of a global program aimed at strengthening Seoul's strike and response capabilities in the event of aggression from its tumultuous neighbor. In addition to the development of ballistic missiles of increasing range, it also includes that of cruise missiles such as the Hyunmoo 3, which already equip the Sejong le Grand destroyers and the Kim Jwa-Jin class KSS II submarines derived from the German Type 214. and built under license with technology transfer. They must also equip the new KSS III submarines of the Dosan Ahn Changho class , the first combat submersibles entirely designed in South Korea. This class, whose first eponymous building is due to enter service this month within the South Korean navy, constitutes the 3rd component of this effort, since it carries 6 vertical silos allowing the deployment of Hyunmoo 3C cruise missiles. a range of 1500 km, and potentially, the famous Hyunmoo 4 ballistic missile in its SLBM version. Beyond the first 3 ships of the class, the next 6 submarines will carry 10 of these silos.
The rest of this article is reserved for subscribers –
Classic subscriptions give access to all articles without advertising , starting at €1.99.