14 July 2014
On July 3, South Korea launched its fifth Type-214 submarine, ROKS Yun Bong-gil, a diesel-electric air-independent propulsion (AIP) submarine equipped with the Haeseong-3 missile, a supersonic, stealth precision-guided ship-to-surface missile with a range of 1,500 km. The launch signifies an important aspect of the regional “arms competition” in East Asia – the gradual introduction of new classes of conventionally powered diesel-electric submarines (SSKs), which are increasingly becoming “platforms of choice” – as force-multipliers in diverse missions as well as against superior forces.
Notwithstanding East Asia’s economic growth rates and deepening integration into the global economy, the region’s strategic realities reflect contending trajectories. As China expands its national interests in the broader context of “new historic missions,” it seeks to regain a great power status and reassert its geopolitical role in the region. As a result of China’s accelerating military modernization, regional powers are responding by revamping their force modernization priorities, alliances, and overall strategic choices.
The economic, political and military rise of China, embedded in three decades of relentless economic growth, has propelled progressive modernization of the Chinese military with major improvements in virtually every capability domain.
… Michael Raska is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
GPO / IDSS / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 15/07/2014