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Babcock to Open Facility in Busan, South Korea to Support ROK Navy KSS III Program

Further strengthening its international reach and its presence in South Korea, Babcock International, the highly- skilled engineering company has announced that it is to open a facility in Busan, South Korea’s second largest city after its capital Seoul. With a long – standing presence in the country through its Weapons Handling and Launch System (WHLS) design and manufacture contract for the Jangbogo III (KSS III) submarine programme, and work in the commercial marine market, Babcock is looking to further invest in the country as it drives forward with its global growth ambitions.

Busan Naval Base South Korea View of Busan naval base

The company will set up a new office facility in the large Port city of Busan; an ideal location to support Jangbogo III, South Korea’s first indigenous submarine programme, and new business within the wider defence industry. Babcock is working closely with the Busan Metropolitan City Government and the British Embassy to establish its South Korean base with the facility due to be opened within the next few months.

A key element of Babcock’s in-country investment is to maximise the pool of local engineering talent to champion Babcock’s marine capability and to grow its Korean portfolio. Speaking at an event in Busan with the Busan Metropolitan City Government to announce the new venture Jeff Lewis, Managing Director, Defence Systems Technology, Babcock said: “Establishing Babcock Korea in Busan will help to support the Jangbogo III programme and will give us access to local skills to support our supply chain, manufacturing and contract activities. “The new site will also provide a platform to seek new opportunities in Korea, predominantly in the marine defence industry but also in other areas where Babcock has capability. “We are delighted to be working closely with Busan City Government which has shown great support and encouragement for us to base ourselves in the city and we look forward to growing our presence in Korea.”

ROK Navy KSS III Submarine KSS III submarine

In the latter part of 2017 Babcock further underlined its international defence credentials when it announced that it had successfully secured a seven year contract with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) to continue the manufacture and delivery of WHLS equipment for the South Korean Jangbogo III submarine programme, third boat set. The WHLS features an air turbine pump (ATP) and programmable firing valve (PFV) launch system and is based on the principles used in the WHLS supplied by Babcock.

With procurement and manufacture already underway, boat one is due to be handed over to the Republic of Korea Navy (ROK) at the end of 2020, and boat two at the end of 2022. Working from its new Korean base and from its UK facility in Bristol, Babcock is well positioned to deliver its long - term commitments to Jangbogo III by utilising a global supply chain network that spans from leading South Korean companies such as Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), to suppliers in the UK, Spain and Germany. Babcock can also reach back into its wider organisation to call on the skills and experience from a plethora of expertise in engineering, project management, supply chain and contract management.

In recognition of Babcock’s achievements to date on the delivery of the Jangbogo III programme, Babcock’s team was proud to receive the Association of Project Management’s (APM) Overseas Project of the Year Award 2017.

The judging panel acknowledged Babcock’s endeavour of putting the customer first, its ability to overcome complex design challenges, and particularly its ability to deliver highly technical bespoke systems within a challenging programme to ensure continuity of the main build schedule.