Daewoo Shipbuilding establishes center to research submarines

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Daewoo Shipbuilding establishes center to research submarines


Caption: Ko Jae-ho, chief executive of DSME, fifth from right, and Kim Sung-chan, head of the parliament’s National Defense Committee, sixth from right, pose at an event Tuesday to celebrate the opening of a new research center on warships and submarines at the company headquarters in central Seoul. Provided by the company

Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), one of the country’s major shipbuilders, said yesterday it has set up a new research center under its strategy planning office to conduct studies on special vessels including warships and submarines.

The new center, called Special Ship Submarine Intelligence, will have 50 researchers divided into four different groups. The company plans on increasing the number of researchers by more than 50 percent by 2015.

“We believe that core technology skills for submarines secured by the Special Ship Submarine Intelligence [team] will enhance the country’s maritime military strengths and also create added value in exports [of high-tech vessels],” said Ko Jae-ho, chief executive of DSME, who attended an opening ceremony of the new research and development center Tuesday at the company’s headquarters in central Seoul. “This will eventually contribute greatly to boosting Korea’s creative economy,” Ko said.

Around 80 other officials attended the event, including Kim Sung-chan, former Navy Chief of Staff and now a member of the ruling Saenuri Party and the parliament’s National Defense Committee, and Chae Woo-seok, chairman of the Korea Association of Defense Industry Studies.

“We decided to set up a special research center to strengthen the country’s defense technology and nurture expertise, all part of efforts to get into the global defense industry, which has been expanding with the acceleration of marine resources development,” said an official from the company.

While the center will be headed by a director-level official from DSME, it plans on utilizing its own multipurpose towing tank currently being built at the company’s engineering center in Magok, Gangseo District, in western Seoul. Construction of the world’s largest towing tank will be completed in 2017.

Representative Kim from the Saenuri Party said, “Enhancing naval power has become a worldwide trend,” adding that he hopes the research center, which is the first of its kind among private companies, will “act as a cornerstone for the Korean Navy to become an Ocean Navy.”

DSME was the first player in the defense industry to receive an order from Indonesia in 2011 to export three submarines, which the company says was the largest single defense order. It also received an order from the country’s Navy to develop and build a 3,000-ton submarine and separate warship orders from Great Britain and Norway.

BY LEE EUN-JOO [angie@joongang.co.kr]

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