The military plans to build three lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery-powered submarines by 2027, according to Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) officials Friday.
Samsung SDI will make the batteries. Hanwha Techwin will develop a system for integrating them into the submarines that Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering will manufacture.
It is part of a long-term project to replace aging submarines. The Navy will have nine 3,000-ton submarines equipped with domestic technologies in a decade if the project is completed as planned, according to DAPA.
The military also plans to build three lead-acid battery-powered submarines between 2020 and 2024. Li-ion batteries last twice as long as lead-acid ones, according to Samsung SDI. The key is to develop advanced Li-ion batteries that can supply power to submarines consistently.
These batteries are now used for electric cars and many electronic gadgets, including laptop computers and smartphones.
The DAPA officials said Germany, France and Japan are also working hard to equip their submarines with Li-ion batteries.
"If the development of the Li-ion batteries for the subs succeeds, the subs' underwater navigation ability will be considerably enhanced," the DAPA said. This will strengthen the Navy's capacity against growing threats from North Korea, it said.
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