North Korea is believed to have acquired a new type of submarine, a U.S. think tank said Sunday, citing an analysis of years of satellite imagery of the communist nation’s submarine bases and shipyards.
The new submarine was moored in the secured boat basin at the Sinpo South Shipyard on the North’s northeast coast, according to a review of satellite imagery from 2010 until the present, according to the 38 North website run by the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
“The newly identified submarine has a length of approximately 67 meters and a beam of 6.6 meters, possesses a rounded bow, a conning tower located amidships, and no visible diving planes,” it said. “These dimensions suggest a dived displacement in the 900-1,500 ton range.”
The shipyard is the primary manufacturing facility for the North‘s submarines and the headquarters of the Maritime Research Institute of the Academy of the National Defense Science, which is responsible for research and development of naval vessels and submarines, and naval-related armaments and missiles, it said.
The origins of the submarine are unclear, it said.
“While the boat bears a superficial resemblance to the Russian kilo or lada class patrol submarines, it lacks the teardrop hull-shape of the former and the conning tower mounted diving planes of the later,” the think tank said.
But the new submarine also closely resembles in size and shape the former Yugoslavian sava and heroj class submarines, it said.
“A Yugoslavian origin for the design would not be unusual since the North Koreans acquired a number of submarine designs from that nation during the 1970s and used them as the basis for several experimental designs as well as the yugo class of midget submarines,” it said.
Source : The Korea Herald