The Republic of Korea Navy has received the first improved KDX-I destroyer after it completed an overhaul period at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).
The combat system and underwater detection upgrade of ROKS Yang Man-Chun, the youngest of the three ships in the class, is the country’s first surface warship improvement project, according to the country’s defense procurement agency DAPA.
The project is being delivered by DSME under a 2018 contract that will see all three 3,200-ton destroyers receive capability upgrades, which will also include new towed array sonar systems.
ROKS Eulji Mundeok and ROKS Gwanggaeto the Great, the other two ships in the class, are expected to complete their upgrades by the end of 2021.
Indigenously-developed by DSME in the 1990s, KDX-I destroyers marked the ROK Navy’s transition from a coastal to a blue-water navy. As noted by DAPA, they are the first South Korean warships to incorporate anti-aircraft, anti-ship, and anti-submarine operation capabilities in a single platform.