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Daewoo wins submarine contract for Indonesian navy

Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering signed a contract to build three submarines for the Indonesian navy on Tuesday.

The contract calls for DSME to build three 1,400-ton submarines for the Indonesian navy for a total of $1.1 billion, making the contract the largest single defense contract to be awarded to a Korean firm.

With the addition of the latest contract, the value of Korea’s defense exports so far this year has been pushed up to $2.4 billion, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration said. This year’s defense export figure is more than double that recorded last year.

Although Korea’s defense exports have been growing steadily, this year saw the largest year-on-year increase aided by the submarine contract, and the T-50 advanced trainer jet, the DAPA said.

Last year’s defense exports came in at $1.19 billion, while the figure came to $1.17 billion in 2009.

According to DSME, the vessels will be of 61.3 meters in length, and will be capable of carrying a crew of 40 sailors. The submarines will be fitted with eight weapon tubes for torpedoes and other weapons.

The company plans to complete the contract by the first half of 2018.

The company said that it has been working with the Indonesian government since 2005 for the submarine contract. DSME added that previous contracts carried out for the Southeast Asian country contributed to its being awarded the contract in favor of French, German and Russian entities that are traditionally considered to have a technological edge in building diesel-powered submarines.

In 2003 the shipbuilder was contracted for a project upgrading Indonesian submarines, and again won a contract for a depot maintenance project in 2009.

By Choi He-suk (