Hanwha Pitches for Poland's Orka Submarine Project

  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 03:30 PM, September 7, 2023
  • 714
Hanwha Pitches for Poland's Orka Submarine Project
KSS III submarine ‘Dosan Ahn Chang-ho’ @ROK Navy

Hanwha Ocean is aiming to secure Poland's 'Orka' project, which involves the acquisition of four 3,000-ton submarines.

Lee Boo-hwan, the head of Hanwha Aerospace Co.'s European unit, made these remarks during the 31st International Defense Industry Exhibition, known as MSPO 2023, held in Kielce, Poland.

The project is valued at over $2.25 billion (3 trillion won). Eleven companies in total have put forth initial bids for the 'Orka' project, and among them, Hanwha has presented the KSS-III Batch-II submarine as their proposal.

Hanwha has previously supplied hundreds of K9 self-propelled howitzers and Chunmoo multiple rocket launchers to Warsaw.

"Poland has set stringent technological requirements, and we believe the South Korean solution meets all of them," said Lee. "One of the main requirements is the ability to offer maintenance capabilities, and we can readily provide that. We have already exported to Indonesia and established maintenance, repair, and overhaul facilities there."

He also highlighted the advanced technologies integrated into the KSS-III Batch-II, such as its fuel-cell-based air-independent propulsion system, which allows for quieter operation. It's worth noting that the KSS-III Batch-II, designed to be equipped with 10 vertical launching system cells, has not yet entered service in South Korea, as the Navy currently operates KSS-III Batch-I submarines, which are equipped with six such cells.

"Poland thinks of South Korea as a good candidate, and as South Korean shipyards are very competitive, (we) expect that there will be an opportunity to enter the submarine project," Cho Hyun-ki, deputy minister for current capabilities program at South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), said in a separate interview.

Last year, Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) signed a deal to supply Poland with 48 FA-50 light attack aircraft through 2028.

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