According to Naval News, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) launched the eighth FFX Batch-II (Daegu-class) frigate, the ROKS Chuncheon (FFG-827), on March 22, local time, in its Ulsan shipyard.
«The ROKS Chuncheon’s offensive capabilities against submerged and surface targets has been greatly improved», said the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) director of combatant forces, Jeong Yeong-soon. «The ship’s enhanced anti-submarine warfare capabilities, in particular, will help defend the Northern Limit Line».
«The ROKN has relentlessly prepared for the future since its founding, producing both warships and competent personnel. Our maritime sovereignty will remain unchallenged as we continue to develop state-of-the-art multi-dimensional combat capabilities», said Admiral Kim Jung-soo, ROKN Chief of Naval Operations.
The ROKS Chuncheon (FFG-827) will be brought into service by late 2023, replacing the 1,500-ton and 1,000-ton corvettes operated by the ROKN.
The first ship of the class, ROKS Daegu (FFG-818), built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), was launched in June 2016 and commissioned in March 2018. ROKS Gyeongnam (FFG-819), the second ship of the class also built by DSME, was launched in June 2019 and commissioned in January 2021. The third and fourth ships, ROKS Seoul (FFG-821) and ROKS Donghae (FFG-822), were built by HHI and launched in November 2019 and April 2020 respectively. DSME launched the fifth and sixth ships of the class in May and September last year while HHI launched the seventh one last November.
Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) announced on Thursday that it has signed with the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) a KRW 670 billion contract for product engineering and construction for the first vessel of the Gwanggaeto the Great-class III batch-II.
The vessel to be built by HHI under this contract is the first of the three new Aegis destroyers that will be added to the South Korean Navy’s fleet, to be constructed in HHI’s Ulsan-based yard scheduled for delivery by 2024.
With full displacement of 8,100 tons, the new Aegis destroyer has an overall length of 170 meters/558 feet and can sail at a maximum speed of 30 knots/34.5 mph (approximately 55 km/h).
Featuring a newly added Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) capability, the destroyer can upgrade detecting and tracking capability that has more than doubled as well as an improved submarine-detection range that has more than tripled compared to those of the nation’s first Aegis destroyers, therefore, expected to enhance the naval forces’ operational capabilities. It will also boast a highly formidable combat system equipped with various weapons, including a five-inch gun, guided missiles and torpedoes.
HHI has a successful track record of working on the basic design of and constructing the South Korean Navy’s first Aegis destroyer named Sejong the Great, which was commissioned in 2008. Having also built the nation’s third Aegis destroyer named Seoae Yu Seong-ryong, HHI, with the recently won contract, is now set to be heralded as the builder of three out of the four Aegis destroyers in the nation. To date, it remains the only South Korean shipyard capable of both designing and building Aegis system-equipped vessels on its own.
«This new contract we won is yet another testimony to how HHI is recognized as a rich repository of superior technologies», commented Sang Hoon Nam, Executive Vice President & COO of HHI’s Naval and Special Ship Business Unit. «We aim to help the naval forces secure key weapons systems and its operations go ‘smart’ with enhanced capabilities, by successfully completing this project».