South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has launched the third Daegu-class frigate for the Republic of Korea Navy.
The future ROKS Seoul was launched on November 11 and is scheduled for delivery in early 2021.
In addition to being third ship in its class and the fourth ROK Navy ship to bear the name of the South Korean capital, Seoul is the first unit built by HHI. The first two ships were built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering.
ROKS Daegu, the lead ship in the class was commissioned in March 2018, while the second vessel was launched at DSME’s Okpo shipyard in June this year.
The country’s defense procurement agency DAPA has awarded construction contracts for all eight 2,800-ton frigates in the class.
Also referred to as FFX II, the ships are improved Incheon-class (FFX) frigates. They displace 500 tons more than their predecessors and measure 122 meters in length.
The second batch frigates are being equipped with a 16-cell Korean vertical launching system for defense against air threats and six torpedo tubes for anti-submarine warfare. Powered by Rolls-Royce’s MT30 gas turbines, the frigates are capable of reaching speeds of 30 knots, according to DAPA.
Daegu and sister ships will carry a towed array sonar system (TASS) in addition to naval guns and a Phalanx close-in weapon system.
A program to build the third batch (FFX III) frigates, which will displace 3,000 tons and feature an active phased array radar, is also underway.