On July 23, North Korean state media revealed images of Kim Jong-Un inspecting a new large submarine under construction in a covered facility.
The images show that North Korea has modified one of its Type 033 conventional submarines with a new sail that carries two or three submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).
This missile could be either the 745-mile range Pukkuksong-1 solid fueled SLBM or the 1,250-mile range Pukkuksong-2, both of which have been tested by North Korea.
In 1973 China transferred seven 1,830-ton Type 033 “Romeo” class conventional attack submarines (SSK) to North Korea which then produced about 14 more between 1974 and 1996.
North Korea has developed a “cold launch” gas-based missile ejection tube and successfully conducted two successful underwater launched missile tests in 2016.
North Korea’s single 1,650-ton Gorae-class conventional ballistic missile submarine (SSB) that carried out these tests, is armed with only one SLBM.
But in addition to more SLBMs, this new SSB may now or in the future be equipped with an Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system that could allow it to remain submerged for a week or more.More . . . . Current Edition . . . . Subscription Information
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