Babcock to deliver WHLS for South Korea's Jangbogo III submarines

Babcock International has received a new contract to manufacture and supply weapon handling and launch systems (WHLS) for the South Korean Jangbogo III submarine programme.

The seven-year contract is slated to continue until 2024 and has been awarded by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) for the third boat-set.

The current deal follows Babcock’s recent contract with DSME for the design, manufacture and delivery of WHLS solutions for the first and second boat-sets.

Procurement and production under the latest contract is set to begin immediately and the first hardware is slated for delivery in March 2020.

The project will be delivered by a global supply chain with suppliers in the UK, Spain and South Korea.

Babcock Defence Systems Technology managing director Jeff Lewis said: “This is another major achievement for Babcock and underlines our ability to work with customers across the world."

The WHLS is equipped with an air turbine pump (ATP) and programmable firing valve launch (PFV) system.

The equipment is compact and uses less firing air, allowing the system to generate less noise during operation, while also requiring less maintenance than other WHLS solutions.

It has been developed based on the principles used in the various WHLS currently being delivered by the company to other navies, including the British Royal Navy’s Astute-class vessels and the Spanish S-80 submarines.

The company previously secured a five-year contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) in June 2014 to support WHLS and submerged signal ejector (SSE) equipment for use on-board the Royal Navy's operational submarines.