The Republic of Korea Navy has commissioned its second Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship ROKS Marado in a ceremony in Jinhae, South Korea, on May 28.
The 14,500-ton ship was built based on lessons learned from the first unit in the class, ROKS Dokdo, which was commissioned 14 years ago in 2007.
While both ships measure 199 meters in length, Marado is a more potent ship, featuring improved radars, a locally-developed vertical launch system for ship-based surface-to-air Haegung K-SAAM missiles, and the capability of operating two V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.
More generally, South Korea worked on replacing a significant portion of foreign technologies installed on Dokdo with locally-developed systems on the Marado.
Following its commissioning ceremony, ROKS Marado is expected to start a deployment in October this year.
Also referred to as LPX, the two vessels feature a well deck that allows them to launch amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs) and landing craft air cushion (LCAC). In addition to combat tasks, the ships can also conduct disaster rescue and international peacekeeping missions.
The country is also working on a second generation of amphibious assault ships, dubbed LPX-II, which are expected to be small aircraft carriers with the ability to operate short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft.