June 29, 2022

Next-generation wire-guided heavy torpedo ready for mass production

[Courtesy of the Defense Agency of Technology and Quality]

SEOUL — The upgraded version of Bumsangeo (Tiger Shark), a wire-guided heavy torpedo intended for submarine loading to strike enemy surface ships and submarines from a distance, is ready for mass production and deployment on the field after passing underwater shooting tests for quality certification.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), an arms procurement agency controlled by the Department of Defense, has launched a development project for Bumsangeo-II, the next generation Tiger Shark torpedo that weighs 1.7 tons and has a range of 50 kilometers (31 miles). The original version developed in 2019 can be directly guided through the manipulation of its trajectory, speed and depth by wire.

Bumsangeo-II’s quality excellence has been enhanced by hitting targets in test firings twice, once from an 1,800-ton submarine in March 2022 and another from from a 3,000-ton submarine on May 9, paving the way for large-scale mass production. , according to the Defense Technology and Quality Agency (DTaQ), a DAPA-funded institute that performs defense technology inspection, analysis, evaluation, and information management.

DTaQ said Bumsangeo-II will contribute to defense exports as it has achieved a high localization rate of 99%. “This test is significant as the excellent quality of the homemade wire-guided torpedoes has been verified,” DTaQ Guided Weapons Center chief Jang Bong-ki said in a May 17 statement.

A DAPA official in charge of maritime guided weapons said mass production of Bumsangeo-II became possible thanks to its successful underwater tests. “We will do our best to link Bumsangeo with overseas exports based on a high localization rate of 99%, beyond contributing to improving the high-tech power of the army as what an excellent guided weapon.”

South Korea has developed various torpedoes. Hongsangeo (Red Shark) weighing 820 kg can be deployed on surface ships, helicopters and anti-submarine patrol aircraft. The precision-guided torpedo with an operational range of 19 km can be launched vertically from ships before being deployed by parachute near the intended target and diving into the sea to track and destroy targets.

Chungsangeo (Blue Shark) is a lightweight anti-submarine torpedo system that can be deployed from surface ships, helicopters and aircraft. Chungsangeo with an operational range of 19 km is 2.7 meters long and weighs 280 kg.

In April 2022, LIG ​​Nex1, a defense contractor in South Korea, was selected as the preferred bidder for a military project to develop the upgraded version of Chungsangeo by 2029. Chungsangeo-II will have detection capabilities and improved attack. LIG Nex1 produces a wide range of advanced precision electronic systems such as missiles, torpedoes, radars, tactical communication systems and naval combat systems.

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