Knowing the South Korean K-745 Blue Shark Torpedoes in the Philippine Navy

The Philippine Navy, during its heyday in the 1950s, obtain the technology that involves torpedoes that is capable to strike the surface and sub-surface vessels, wherein this skill went lost in the process as obsolescence in the tools provided took in that cripple this capability. 

It is being rediscovered and re-enhanced once again, as part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and its efforts of Modernizing its organization by improving its standards, train more personnel, repair or upgrade existing facilities as well as building new ones, and most of all buying new assets as well as the weaponry that comes with it.

The torpedo that will soon enter service within the Philippine Navy,
making it a key naval weapon within the organization.
Image Source.

As of the posting of this article, we discussed throughout the length of time on this website, among separate articles about the sub-components that the Jose Rizal-class Frigates and the AW-159 Wildcats will have once these assets will be in service within the Philippine Navy. 

Both obtain new skills, systems, weapons, and capabilities which is relatively new in the service branch, wherein it provides them a significant improvement in delivering their mandate as compared to the time before these projects came into fruition.

One of those components that will find its way to these aforementioned assets is the torpedo, wherein its essentials define a lot in terms of its capability to flush out sub-surface targets and its the main weapon for anti-submarine warfare, although the same can be utilized against surface fleet targets that are usually being done by anti-ship missiles that can provide similar damaging results against the targeted vessel. 

This is one weapons component that will surely utilize by the service branch where, given that two platforms will be fitted by these swimming munitions, then it only makes sense to have a single source of torpedoes that provides a similar type of munitions that are needed to get the job done while getting that satisfaction on the performance of the fleet, saying that it really goes appropriate to the duties and responsibilities of the Navy as an organization.

Hence, this article will be about a South Korean-made torpedo where, as chosen by the manufacturers of the Jose Rizal-class Frigates, may go as the default underwater munition that the Philippine Navy uses once it's sophisticated assets will enter service, improving its capability along the way.

LIG Nex1
Check their Website Here.
LIG Nex1 is one of the leading defense companies in South Korea.
Image Source: Korea Bizwire.

Before understanding the manufacturer in-depth, let us have a primer to what are the products that these companies found their way to the main Philippine Navy assets such as the ones fitted onboard the Jose Rizal-class Frigates. 

Speaking of Jose Rizal-class Frigates, alongside the K-745 Blue Shark which is the main topic of this article, LIG Nex1 is also the same company that will supply the SSM-700K "Haesong C-Star" missile, which will be one of the main weapons of the frigates designed to target surface threats, alongside the aforementioned torpedoes which are designed also to such purpose, alongside eliminating submarine threats in the process.

These said weapons munitions were developed and manufactured by South Korea's notable defense-industrial complex in the name of LIG Nex1. Regarding this company (as it's about us page being highlighted in red), LIG Nex1 was developed in 1976 as GoldStar Precision, which is the one that produces state-of-the-art military technology originally intended for the South Korean Armed Forces and eventually, to be exported to foreign clients such as the Philippines through the sophisticated Frigates that were produced by Hyundai Heavy Industries which is another South Korean company that specialized itself on producing both civilian and military vessels. 

The company's area of business ranges from Precision Guided Munitions, Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance, Command, Control & Communication, Avionics, Electronic Warfare, Unmanned tech & Robotics, and Cyber Warfare/High-energy weaponry. It is worth taking note that under their Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance portion of the business, they have several radar systems that are up for picking such as the AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) Radar for what it seems to be the depicted T/TA/FA-50 family of Lead-in Fighter Trainer Aircraft made by another South Korean company which is the Korean Aerospace Industries or KAI. 

This goes in correlation with the plans of development from KAI to enhance or improve its T/TA/FA-50 family of light combat jet aircraft into a Block 20 variant which may come with Beyond Visual Range capability which was both discussed in our January article here and in our succeeding April article here. It might also be worth taking a nice look at their avionics where they were also the ones who develop the systems for the FA-50s that the Philippine Air Force obtains.

From here, it is ascertained that their prominence in South Korea's defense industry is something to ponder upon wherein they provide their home nation's armed forces the sophisticated tools it needs in a way that this diminishes their reliance on other countries and instead of creating their own path in such a manner that the efforts and technological advantages these South Korean defense companies obtain may somehow get exported abroad, competing for a procurement project other prominent products produced by prominent companies which in this way helps boost the local economy and the profits of these defense industries to keep their operations on-going. 

There is no doubt that the Jose Rizal-class Frigates have proportionate Korean-made tech fitted on the ship which in the process, they maximize the Korean-made components installed on-board which include notable LIG Nex1 such as the Blue Shark Torpedoes.

Now, with the company's undisputed reputation in providing the technology that the Republic of Korea Armed Forces needed in its defense especially when a threat looms coming from its evil twin neighbor up north, it is worthy of a discussion with regards to the development of these torpedoes wherein there lies a story with regards to its creation into its present being, currently in service with the home nation's military and soon to be integrated within the inventory of the Philippine Navy, a branch within the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

South Korea's Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) is the primary user
of the nation's indigenously-built K-745 Blue Shark Torpedoes.
Image Source.

The development of South Korea's first indigenous torpedo such as the K-745 Blue Shark Torpedo started way back before its test fire in 2004 where the South Korean Agency for Defense Development and LIG Nex1 jointly cooperated in its inception, testing, and eventually its entry into the South Korean Armed Forces through DAPA or the Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

Since then, these torpedoes found their way within the South Korean Armed Forces, fitted on several of their military platforms and assets such as their P-3 antisubmarine maritime patrol aircraft, Leonardo AW-159 Antisubmarine Helicopters, and onboard their navy ships such as the Incheon-class Frigates and Daegu-class Frigates that shipyards such as the Hyundai Heavy Industries helped built for the South Korean Navy. 

In the Republic of Korea Navy, which is the main maritime fleet of the South Korean Armed Forces, they obtain other types of torpedoes aside from the one we discussed such as the Red Shark, White Shark, and the recently-developed Tiger Shark, all of which are developed by the same company which is the LIG Nex1. 

From this description, the design perspective of the Blue Shark points more to its light-weight attributes that are specifically designed for deployment on maritime helicopters such as the AW-159 Antisubmarine Helicopterssurface ships such as the Jose Rizal-class Frigates, and anti-submarine patrol aircraft such as the P-3 Orions as a primary weapon, coming at the purpose of striking enemy submarines lurking in waters of what composes the Philippine geography being an archipelago - a clump of islands surrounded by the water that means sustainability and economic development.

It is worth taking note that the Koreans also developed Heavyweight Torpedoes such as the Tiger Shark wherein its primary purpose is to be a more formidable weapon as it is the primary asset of the Chang Bogo-class Submarines in the South Korean Navy, something that may be worth pondering shall the Philippine Navy pushes to have submarines with such type of underwater asset being one of the candidates of the program.

With the torpedoes providing their worth within the South Korean Navy, it is at no doubt that a company like LIG Nex1 desires to have its wares exported in the same manner as other suppliers which may mean profit to the company's operation that satisfies a lot for its stakeholders and workers which will pave growth not only to this company but also to the local South Korean Defense Industry. This is where Hyundai Heavy Industries gets in, with their weapons choice includes such types of torpedoes which will be part of the Philippine Navy weapons composition for the years to come.

This Leonardo AW-159 Antisubmarine Helicopter of the Philippine
Navy is armed with a training variant of the K-745 Blue Shark Torpedo
which will be its mainstay weapon.

Image Courtesy to Frances Mangosing,

In this article that was originated from a South Korean News Outlet SBS, it is considered the first time for a local South Korean company like LIG Nex1 to export its torpedoes in the form of "Chung Sang Eo" torpedoes which are discussed here as the K-745 Blue Shark Lightweight Torpedoes.

On the contents of the article, the first Philippine Navy asset which will be fitted by such type of torpedoes produced by the South Korean company is the recently-delivered Leonardo AW-159 Antisubmarine Helicopters wherein two units were purchased, delivered, and recently entered into service upon the newly-concluded 121st Philippine Navy Founding Anniversary that took place this month upon this article published. It is worth taking note of the image shown above which depicts the K-745 trainer weapons kit fitted on the main helicopter platform.

Aside from the Leonardo AW-159 Antisubmarine Helicopters, another likely vessel to have such weapons fitted is the South Korean-made Frigates such as the Jose Rizal-class which are currently in production in the shipyards of Hyundai Heavy Industries which is the one who bagged the project for two vessels which will be the future assignment of the AW-159 Antisubmarine Helicopters once these ships will be delivered in the country by next year which apparently, being set on dates earlier than its intended delivery

From here, both the ships and the helicopters that it came up with will be armed with the same type of torpedo which goes with the logistics perspective wherein these armaments will be the key for the main anti-submarine operations in which these weapons are meant for destroying underwater targets lurking, posing a threat in the waters that surround the country, as well as complementing other weapons component in terms of eliminating surface targets which are as threatening as the underwater ones. 

The torpedoes will be fired from one of the ship's two J+S triple torpedo launchers fitted on the ship's broadsides made by SEA, a British Company that supplies such components to the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. 

Then here comes the thing that is worth pondering: If the South Koreans have P-3 Orions in their inventory and they have these types of torpedoes fitted on such aircraft, isn't it ideal also for the Philippines now that they are opting for this type of aircraft coming from the United States of America? The answer is that this is an ideal thing to have and a big plus if the plans for P-3 Orion purchase comes through as it definitely means a lot with regards to the capability of the Philippine Navy not only in terms of maritime surveillance but also in terms of showcasing its antisubmarine warfare capabilities that is a big plus in defending the national territory, sovereign integrity and the safety of the citizenry.

So, the entry of the K-745 Blue Shark Lightweight Torpedoes within the Philippine Navy Service means a lot where it will help arm the new Jose Rizal-class Frigates and new Leonardo AW-159 Antisubmarine Helicopters to the teeth in terms of eliminating underwater threats with the great potential if the P-3 Orion purchase option gets into materialization. 


The Philippine Navy is now experiencing its own renaissance period in terms of its military capabilities wherein antisubmarine operations and enhanced amphibious assault operations are now becoming possible all thanks to the newly-purchased pieces of equipment that were recently commissioned in the service branch's 121st Founding Anniversary.

It is worth taking note that by the year 2020, the fleet will receive its brand new frigates from South Korea which is a first for the organization given that it packs more firepower and sophistication than the ones that are currently in operations within the Philippine Navy where this is a welcoming step for the organization's desire of being a more credible organization with the aspiration of adding 25-30 ships for its operations for the years to come.

From these set of plans that are set to materialization along the time period, the role of the K-745 Blue Shark Torpedoes will be more significant as the country - the Republic of the Philippines is considered the first exporter of such munitions product from LIG Nex1 in which it will join South Korea as a prominent user of such weapon that is intended to target both surface and underwater vessels such as submarines. Supplying the Philippine military market of such munitions may serve as a first step for the indigenous South Korean industries to somewhat increase their market share in terms of selling munitions where it benefits the company to improve their products more and eventually getting the satisfaction for the customers that avail these weapons.

A worth pondering note on this one is that with the purchase of the BRP Conrado Yap, the Jose Rizal-class Frigates, and even the Philippine Air Force FA-50PH, these torpedoes are a sign of strong South Korean-Philippine relations wherein the latter together with the United Nations of 1950s help the former in fighting off communism from its neighboring North Korea while the former providing the latter military assets which will help improve the once-ailing armed forces with old armaments into new, better and sophisticated assets that are in line with the 21st-century aspect of the systems-based military battle structure.

Hence, it is an interesting thing to see where this weapons munition may soon help provide key Philippine Navy ships the firepower it needs to tackle and enhance the capabilities it obtains especially in terms of antisubmarine water where it goes as essential as Maritime Domain Awareness given that the country's geography is an archipelago. This, among others, are the key driving force for obtaining the capabilities needed to have the minimum credible defense posture that the nation, its sovereignty, and its citizenry needs for peace, growth, and development.

(c) 2019 PDA, first edition 2021.


Unknown said...

is it comparable to a mk48 adcap?

jofeliciano said...

Good for AFP and bullying of other countrie/s will be a thing of the past.

Unknown said...

Pls improve your paragraph / sentence construction to make your point more understandable.

Pitz Orpiano said...

Thank you for pointing that out. We are currently working on improving content creation as this blog site continues to evolve as defense topics get more relevant each day. Rest assured that we will get existing articles edited for bearable reading, as well as re-phrasing new content before being published.

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