South Korean aerospace manufacturer and defense company LIG Nex1 announced that they signed a contract with the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) worth 154.9 billion won ($117 million) for the Light Torpedo-II System Development Project. The development of the Lightweight Torpedo II system is a project to improve the detection and attack capabilities of current K745 Blue Shark mounted on surface ships that attack enemy submarines. The K745 Blue Shark is a light anti-submarine torpedo developed for the Republic of Korea Navy in 2004. The Blue Shark torpedo can be deployed from surface ships, ASW helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft.
LIG Nex1 developed the K745 Blue Shark torpedo for South Korea’s navy in 2004. It operates in two modes: a direct search mode and an indirect search mode. Direct search mode is activated as the torpedo is launched from a surface ship or dropped from a helicopter. In the indirect search mode, a target is struck by activating active search after diving into a launch area from a chopper or a maritime aircraft. Capable of being launched from surface ships, helicopters, and maritime patrol aircraft, the torpedo can operate even in shallow waters up to 45 knots (83 kilometers/52 miles per hour) and has a maximum range of more than 19 kilometers (11 miles).
LIG Nex1 plans to put more effort into the market development of other underwater weapons and unmanned technology so that the company could cooperate further with participating SMEs. The Lightweight Torpedo-II will reportedly be capable of quickly responding to enemies’ improving decoys and promptly striking a target from a farther distance with precision. The performance improvement adjusting to the local underwater environment and precision strike capability is expected to enable more efficient naval operations, enhancing the survivability of the Republic of Korea Navy’s ships. Blue Shark torpedoes are fitted to the Incheon class frigate (FFX).
LIG Nex1 Co., Ltd. (formerly known as NEX1 Future and LG Innotek) is a South Korean aerospace manufacturer and defense company. It was established in 1976 as Goldstar Precision. LIG Nex1 was previously owned by LIG Holdings Company, which in turn was owned by the LIG Group. In 2013, a consortium led by South Korea private equity firm STIC Investments acquired 49 percent stake in LIG Nex1 for 420 billion Korean won. It develops and produces a wide range of advanced precision electronic systems, including missile, underwater weapon systems, radars, electronic warfare, avionics, tactical communication systems, fire control systems, naval combat systems, and electro-optics.