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S. Korean Navy's first-generation submarines decommissioned

All Headlines 15:58 June 30, 2016

SEOUL, June 30 (Yonhap) -- The last first-generation South Korean submarines were decommissioned Thursday after serving for a quarter century, the Navy said.

The Navy held a ceremony to retire the last two Dolgorae-class submarines in the Submarine Force Command headquarters inside a naval base in the southern port city of Jinhae earlier in the day. "Dolgorae" translates to dolphin in English.

The two midget submarines entered into service with the Navy in 1990 and 1991.

The Navy had operated three Dolgorae-class submarines that displaced some 223 tons as its initial set of underwater forces. The first of the Dolgorae submarines entered into service in 1985 and served the country until the Navy decommissioned it in 2003.

Measuring slightly more than 30 meters in length, the Dolphins could accommodate 14 crewmembers and were usually used for so-called inshore operations, because they lacked endurance to operate far from base.

As South Korea sought to build up its submarine capabilities, the Navy launched the Korean Attack Submarine program. A total of 14 diesel-engine attack submarines in the 1,000-ton range have been introduced over the years.

With the increase in the number of subs, the Navy formed the Submarine Force Command, becoming the sixth country in the world to do so.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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