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SOURCE: NARAYAN APTE/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

The Republic of Korea (ROK) has started work on KSS III Batch II submarine where the submerged displacement of the submarine will go up from 3000t to 4000t while the basic design for a rather larger submarine will remain same but that also means more space for the torpedo tubes as well as VLS (vertical launch system) tubes along with additional systems of Korean origins.

KSS III is the only operational Diesel-electric submarine that has successfully test-fired an SLBM, comes equipped with Air-independent propulsion (AIP) and Lithium-Ion batteries, and High-Temperature Superconductor (HTS) motor technology for an integrated full electric propulsion system.

India that has brought Transfer of Technology (ToT) for the kalvari class submarine that is based on the Scorpène-class submarine from France is not rushing to develop an extended larger kalvari class with higher indigenous Indian technology that should have been the logical choice for the development of 3000t submarine for the Project-75I rather than its going for a completely new type of submarine under a different tender.

KSS III is based on the German Type 214 diesel-electric submarine and the KSS III Batch-I was a larger submarine based on Type 214 and had an additional submerged displacement of 1000t from the original German Type 214 and KSS III Batch-II will have an additional submerged displacement of 1000t over Batch-I that means a Lengthened hull with Increase of VLS cells from 6 to 10 and upgraded combat system and sensors.

The purpose of the Transfer of Technology (ToT) along with the local production of the submarine was to enable India to build its range of submarines based on its base design. KSS III program shows how local industries can be used to absorb ToT to come up with a local submarine fleet that will keep improving in batches. India wondered away ToT that we got when produced Type 209 submarines locally in India but failed to develop submarines based on the ToT that we got from Germany way back in the ’80s and it seems we are in a quest to repeat the same mistake after paying heftily for the ToT we plan not to use and again plan to get ToT for another submarine type.

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