Propulsion-related defects found in three South Korean submarines

The South Korean Navy submarine ROKS Sohn Won-yil at berth near the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Nimitz at Busan Naval Base, February 28, 2008 (Photo: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Lou Rosales)

South Korean Navy officials have confirmed the discovery of a number of defects that will place three of the service’s diesel-electric submarines out of action for at least six months each.

The affected submarines all belong to the Sohn Won-yil class, which are variants of the Type 214 built by Germany’s HDW primarily for the export market.

Officials said each submarine will undergo a complex overhaul lasting no fewer than four months. Another two months will be allotted for the transport and repair of the submarines’ inverter modules whose cables contained the identified defects.

The inverter modules, which are key components of the submarines’ propulsion systems, need to be transported to manufacturer Siemens in Germany, as existing legal restrictions mean repairs on the modules may not be performed in South Korea.

The navy said work is already underway on one of the affected submarines while the second and third boats will begin undergoing their respective overhauls in August 2022 and February 2023, respectively.

Baird Maritime

The best maritime site on the web. The sea's our scene!