- Apr 28, 2011
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Combat XLUUV on Hanwha Ocean stand at MADEX 2023
Hanwha Ocean Unveils Combat XLUUV
Hanwha Ocean today unveiled a new extra large uncrewed underwater vehicle dubbed "Combat XLUUV" at the 2023 international Maritime and Defence Exhibition (MADEX) in Busan, South Korea.Xavier Vavasseur 07 Jun 2023
While XLUUVs are quickly becoming a major trend in naval warfare, armed XLUUVs remain a niche capability that few countries are exploring. We recently reported on non-armed XLUUV projects from Israel, Japan, France and Germany.
The Combat XLUUV design unveiled today by Hanwha Ocean (known until recently as DSME) is a big deal as it features two torpedo tubes. The only known armed XLUUV projects featuring torpedo capability are those of China and India. Even the US Navy’s ORCA can’t deploy torpedo (but it can lay mines). The presence of torpedoes on an unmanned submarine implies an autonomous decision to shoot them against targets…
Hanwha Ocean officials told Naval News that the Combat XLUUV has a length of 23 meters and a displacement of 60 tons. It features two torpedo tubes (presumably for LIG Nex1’s Tiger Shark wire-guided heavyweight torpedoes), conformal sonar arrays along the hull and an X-rudder configuration. It is fitted with Lithium-Ion batteries and AIP (air independent propulsion) systems, two technologies leveraged from the KSS III Batch 2 program.
The company received a “concept study” contract from South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) six month ago and is expected to complete this study phase at the end of the year.
What’s more: The Combat XLUUV is actually part of a bigger picture: The “Navy Sea GHOST (네이비 씨 고스트)” concept. It is a new operational concept unveiled last year by the ROK Navy that combines the use of manned and unmanned systems.
A scale model of a large Unmanned Systems mothership dubbed “GHOST Commander” was also unveiled by Hanwha Ocean and was being showcased next to the XLUUV. Naval News understand that “GHOST Commander” vessels comme in three configurations:
- A 16,000 tons “mini carrier” which can deploy (fixed-winged) UAV, USV and UUV. The model of this large mothership shows the deployment of a “Combat XLUUV” at the stern.
- A 5,000 tons mothership which can deploy (VTOL) UAV, USV and UUV.
- A submarine mothership which can deploy up to two “Combat XLUUV”. The displacement and size of this submarine mothership was not disclosed at MADEX but a video showed a concept of operation.