Tag Archives: DAPA

Ulsan-Class Frigate

According to Naval News, a mid-sized Korean shipbuilder called Samkang M&T announced on January 4th that it won a contract for the construction of a 3,500 tons FFX Batch III frigate. The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) contract is worth 33.5 billion won (about 27.8 million US dollars).

FFX Ulsan-Class
Samkang M&T to build FFX Ulsan-Class Batch III Frigate for ROK Navy

The vessel is among six 3,500-ton Ulsan-class Batch-III (also known as FFX Batch III) frigates set to be built for the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy. This ship built by Samkang M&T will be delivered in 2026. Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) was awarded the contract for the «basic Design of Ulsan-class Batch-III» in 2019 and won the contract for «detailed design and construction» of the first ship last year.

Ulsan-class Batch-III frigates are 423 feet/129 meters long with a width of 49 feet/15 meters and a maximum speed of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h. The new frigate series will replace the outdated frigates and patrol corvette ships, in order to protect the future carrier strike group or commercial ships.

The vessel with a crew of 120 features a dramatic improvement in its anti-aircraft defense capability compared to the existing Ulsan-class frigates by a four-sided fixed multi-function phased array radar capable of 360 degrees omni-directional detection, tracking and engagement. It is armed with a 5-inch/127-mm gun, surface-to-surface guided missiles, and Close-In Weapons System (CIWS).

The frigate with hybrid propulsion system can avoid detection from submarine by applying electric propulsion system that produces less noise. In an emergency, it can operate at high speeds using gas turbine; thus, significantly enhancing its operational capabilities.

Bridge and ferry system

General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) announced on 30 September 2021 that it and its partner, Hanwha Defense Corporation (HDC), have been selected by Republic of Korea’s Defence Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) to jointly produce 110 amphibious bridging vehicles for the Republic of Korea Army.

Republic of Korea selects General Dynamics European Land Systems’ amphibious bridge and ferry system

Under the Korean Amphibious Bridging Vehicle (KABV) program, the GDELS M3 Amphibious Bridge & Ferry System will be localized to meet specific Korean requirements and will be designated M3K. The M3K was chosen in a competitive selection process.

M3 is the world’s fastest and most capable amphibious bridge and ferry system based on load capacity, assembly time and maneuverability, both on water and land. The M3 is already operated by the militaries of Germany, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia. With more than 1.3 km/0.8 mile of bridge length, the Republic of Korea will operate the largest M3 fleet.

«We are very delighted that the Republic of Korea is the fourth Asian customer to select our M3 as their future amphibious bridge and ferry system», said Doctor Thomas Kauffmann, GDELS’s vice president of international business and services. «It reconfirms the unique bridging capabilities of the M3 and demonstrates the essential importance of tactical bridging for modern armies in terms of interoperability and military mobility».

«From an industrial point of view, this project is a great success for our employees here in Kaiserslautern», said Doctor Christian Kauth, vice president and managing director of GDELS-Bridge Systems. «We have established an excellent collaboration with our Korean partner Hanwha. The success is (further) proof of the general advantage of 4×4 solutions when it comes to amphibious bridging and demonstrates the leading role of GDELS in the military floating bridge market».

KF-X project

According to Oh Seok-min from the Yonhap News Agency, South Korea began assembling a prototype of what would be the country’s first indigenously developed fighter jet Thursday, September 3, 2020, in a landmark step that means the ambitious project is materializing.

This undated photo provided by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration on September 3, 2020, shows a prototype of South Korea’s envisioned fighter jet being assembled at the Korea Aerospace Industries Co. (KAI) facility in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province

Under the KF-X project worth 8.8 trillion won (US$7.3 billion), South Korea has been working since late 2015 to develop a home-grown cutting-edge fighter aircraft to replace the Air Force’s aging fleet of F-4 and F-5 jets.

Following the design confirmation last year, Korea Aerospace Industries Co. (KAI) got down to the final assembly of a prototype jet at its assembly line in Sacheon, 440 kilometers/273 miles south of Seoul, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

KAI is the country’s sole aircraft manufacturer and is in charge of the KF-X project.

The prototype is expected to be ready in the first half of 2021, and the agency is eyeing 2026 for the completion of development after ground and flight tests, according to DAPA.

Last month, the state-run Agency for Defense Development (ADD) produced a prototype of an advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar system as a key part of the envisioned combat jet.

«Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, the KF-X project has been under way as planned, and the prototype is expected to be available next year», DAPA official Jung Kwang-sun said.

The aircraft is designed to be able to fly at a maximum speed of Mach 1.81, with its flying range reaching 2,900 kilometers/1,802 miles. It bears outward similarities to the fifth-generation F-35A Lightning II, according to the KAI.

With a maximum payload of 7,700 kilograms/16,976 lbs., the fighter is capable of installing 10 pods for missiles and fuel barrels. It will be able to carry several types of air-to-air missiles, such as Germany’s IRIS-T and European developer MBDA’s active radar guided Meteor missiles, it added.

Next Generation

According to Navy Recognition, South Korea approved a basic plan to develop a homegrown Aegis-equipped destroyer that will enhance the Navy’s capabilities to defend greater maritime interests, Seoul’s arms procurement agency said.

South Korea approves Korea Destroyer Next Generation development plan (DAPA Image)
South Korea approves Korea Destroyer Next Generation development plan (DAPA Image)

The Defense Project Promotion Committee decided on the Korea Destroyer Next Generation (KDDX) project, under which the country will locally develop the destroyer by the late 2020s with a budget of around 1.8 trillion won (US$1.59 billion), the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said.

Seoul plans to deploy six KDDX destroyers by the mid or late 2030s. The total cost of developing and producing the six vessels is expected to top 7 trillion won, observers said.

«The KDDX is a project to procure destroyers for the purpose of safeguarding maritime interests and responding to potential disputes at sea», the DAPA said in a press release following the committee session presided over by Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo.

The committee also approved a plan to upgrade the Link 16, a tactical data link system installed on warplanes or warships to ensure the smooth sharing of information with the U.S. military during training or other combined operations.

To upgrade it, Seoul will purchase an enhanced encryption device through a government-to-government Foreign Military Sale (FMS) program with Washington. Three U.S. defense firms are expected to vie for the project, worth 400 billion won, to procure the device by the mid-2020s.