(LEAD) HD Hyundai Heavy, Babcock pushing to jointly develop submarine

SEOUL, South Korean shipbuilding giant HD Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. said Wednesday it will cooperate with British defense titan Babcock to jointly develop a submarine for exports. To that end, officials of both companies recently held a meeting at HD Hyundai Heavy's research and development center in Seongnam, south of Seoul, to discuss the future direction for export-oriented submarine business and ways of promoting mutual cooperation in the "mission system" sector, the shipyard said. In 2023, HD Hyundai Heavy, a unit of HD Korea Shipbuilding and Offshore Engineering Co., kicked off a project to develop submarines of less than 3,000 tons. Those submarines would be equipped with Babcock's weapon handling and launch system, it added. HD Hyundai Heavy said the joint development project is expected to help the company secure technological superiority in the global submarine market down the road. The shipbuilder has built a 1,800-ton-class submarine equipped with an air-independent propulsion (AIP) system for the first time in the world, and it boasts of technologies for basic design and construction of 3,000-ton-class submarines. In addition, HD Hyundai Heavy has won orders for a frigate, a corvette and other warships from the Philippines. HD Korea Shipbuilding and Offshore Engineering, a subholding company of shipbuilding, oil refining and machinery conglomerate HD Hyundai, has three domestic units under its wing -- HD Hyundai Heavy Industries, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co. and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co. Source: Yonhap News Agency