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ROK Navy Future ASR-II Submarine Rescue Vessel Passes Capability Test

Naval Forces News - South Korea
ROK Navy Future ASR-II Submarine Rescue Vessel Passes Capability Test
South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has announced that the design of the ASR-II project passed the military's required operational capability (ROC) test last month. ASR-II is a new generation Auxiliary Submarine Rescue vessel intended to strengthen the existing Cheonghaejin Class ASR submarine rescue ship as the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy has commissioned nine KSS-II class submarines (Type 214) as well as building the new class of large submarine, the KSS-III.
DAPA launched the ASR-II project in November 2015 in partnership with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). They have focused on the basic design of the 5,200-ton ship capable of conducting submarine crew rescue operations amid waves as tall as four meters.

Its missions include rescuing trapped sailors in submarines, naval operation support for submarines, underwater research and mapping support, and recovery of sunk vessels. It is equipped with a Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) that operates up to 500 meters, and a rescue chamber that can accomodate up to 9 people. The 4,300 tons Cheonghaejin was commissioned in December 1996.
ROK Navy ASR II center wellImage: DAPA
According to the DAPA press release, the ASR-II is fitted with a "Center Well", which is an "advanced technology' to launch and recover deap sea rescue submarines (DSRV) through a vertical opening right in the middle of the vessel. The advantage of this method is that is possible to rescue the crew of a distressed submarine 500 meters deep, despite waves of 4 meters.

In addition the vessel is capable of supporting deep sea exploration as well as refuel and maintain submarines at sea.

The ROK Navy's Cheonghaejin class ASR-I has two proven records of salvaging sunken naval submarine and semi-submersible, both belonging to North Korea:
- In 1998, the ASR-I successfully salvaged a North Korean Yugo class submarine in Sokcho when it sunk while being towed to port.
- In 1999, the ASR-I again salvaged a North Korean Taedong class semi-submersible in Yeosu, when it was destroyed in an engagement with the ROK Navy. The salvaged boat is the widely publicized one on display in Yeosu's Naval Museum.