South Korea Prepares Naval Combat Systems for KSS-III
South Korea appears to be positioning itself to award a pair of contracts for key submarine systems to local manufacturers. The move would provide early funding for critical systems carried on Korea’s future KSS-III 3,000t submarines, which are not expected to make their debut until about 2022. It’s also meant to reinforce Korea’s growing capabilities in naval combat systems, a competency that meshes naturally with its world-class shipbuilding centers.
A May 13/09 article in The Korean Times reports that the Samsung Thales Corp. (STC) joint venture is set to win a $120 million contract for submarine combat systems, as the sole bidder for the contract. Its rival LIG Nex1 reportedly dropped its bid in April 2009, but is expected to take charge of integrating the KSS-III’s sonar systems under an $80 million deal.
Samsung Thales, formerly Samsung Aerospace, has successfully developed naval combat systems for South Korea’s new Dokdo class LHDs/LPHs, and its KDX-I Opko class and KDX-II Chungmugong Yi Sun-sin class destroyers. The firm has been working on an advanced submarine combat system for the past 4 years, and has watched sales grow by 12% annually over the last 3 years. STC is reportedly preparing to offer its products on the global market, and hopes to double its annual sales to WON 1 trillion (about $723 million) by 2012. Korea Times | Defense News.