The South Korean Navy already has the first batch of three type 214 submarines ordered in 2000 and commissioned between 2007 and 2009. South Korea also maintains a fleet of nine Type 209 submarines under the first phase of its submarine program.
The Type 214 submarine was developed by Germany for export on the basis of the Type 209 submarine and the Type 212A submarine, which is in service with the Germany Navy. The Type 214 can be distinguished by its lack of the Type 212A's x-shaped rudders.
While the Type 214 is larger, it has also been downgraded compared to the Type 212A. Like the Type 212A, the Type 214 features an Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) based on fuel cells to remain submerged for an extended period.
The Type 214 has been designed to perform a number of roles, including:
- anti-surface ship and anti-submarine warfare
- intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance
- special forces operations
- Length of 65 m
- Pressure hull of 6.5 m
- Height with sail of 13 m
- Surface displacement of 1700 t
- Crew of 27
Another proposed variant is the even larger Type 216 submarine with extended endurance. It may have a length of about 90 m, a pressure hull of 8.1 m and a displacement of roughly 4000 t. The Type 216 submarine features the HABETaS rescue system and flexible payload options using a Vertical Multi-Purpose Lock.
South Korea expects all Type 214 submarines to be in service by 2020, which will conclude the second phase of its submarine program. After that, South Korea plans to implement the third phase of its submarine program with the induction of nine 3000 ton submarines.