South Korea is unwilling to lag behind and announces a breakthrough in its use of lithium battery technology in submarines

by:CTECHi     2021-07-05

Following the launch of Japan's first lithium battery submarine, South Korea also announced that it had made breakthroughs in submarine lithium battery technology and achieved catch-up.

Recently, foreign media reported that South Korea’s Defense Procurement Planning Authority claimed that its KSS-3 conventional submarine would be equipped with lithium batteries, and that KSS-3 not only surpassed Japan' The 'Canglong' class submarine will also become the world's largest displacement lithium battery-powered conventional submarine.

It is reported that the first KSS-3 submarine of the South Korean Navy was launched in September 2018, and the lithium battery will be installed in the second batch of KSS-3 Type submarine to replace traditional lead-acid batteries. Samsung, a large South Korean chaebol company, produces lithium batteries for South Korean submarines.

In this regard, Samsung claims that the company has successfully developed Korean-made lithium-ion batteries for submarines through two and a half years of research and development. The battery has excellent performance and can double the underwater endurance of Korean submarines compared to similar boats using lead-acid batteries.

Objectively, Samsung’s lithium-ion battery technology still has a certain leading edge and a large market share in the world, but it is mainly concentrated in 3C digital and automotive applications. In the field of power batteries, there is still a blank in the field of lithium-ion batteries for submarines.

Furthermore, Samsung SDI’s lithium battery technology is not perfect, and there have been serious safety incidents before. The explosion of the Samsung Note-7 mobile phone in 2016 caused great financial losses to the Samsung Group, and the badness caused by the explosion has not yet been eliminated.

And this time Korean conventional submarines use lithium-ion batteries produced by Samsung. It remains to be seen how safe the products and whether the product performance can meet the submarine’s military use, once a fire and explosion occur The consequences of the accident are disastrous, or it will have a fatal blow to Samsung and the South Korean Navy.

In fact, military powers such as Germany, France, and Russia have been conducting research on the application of lithium batteries to submarines very early on and have successfully developed submarines. Lithium battery samples used, but after years of exploration, it has not been possible to replace lead-acid batteries with lithium batteries on submarines. It can be seen that the above-mentioned military powers are still cautious in terms of lithium batteries on submarines.

This time Japan and South Korea both announced that they will be equipped with lithium batteries on their new submarines. This is an innovation to some extent, but it must truly pass all technical verifications. It will take a long time to develop combat capabilities. The South Korean Defense Procurement Planning Authority's plan is that the first 'lithium submarine' will not be in service until around 2025, which shows that the technology is not yet mature.

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