South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) has launched the Republic of Korea Navy’s sixth FFX II frigate at its Okpo shipyard.
Also referred to as the Daegu-class, the frigates are being built by DSME and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) as a replacement for the 1,500-ton frigates and 1,000-ton corvettes currently in service.
Pohang, as the sixth ship in the class has been named, entered the water on September 8, just four months after the fifth ship in the class was launched.
The Daegu-class ships displace 2,800-tons, and reach speeds of 30 knots powered by Rolls-Royce’s MT30 gas turbines. The ships are being equipped with a 16-cell Korean vertical launching system for defense against air threats and six torpedo tubes for anti-submarine warfare. Also included are naval guns and a Phalanx close-in weapon system.
The ships also feature a hangar and a helicopter deck capable of hosting and operating a 10-ton helicopter.
South Korea has awarded contracts for all eight ships in the class. DSME is delivering the first, second, fifth and sixth units, while HHI will build the third, fourth, seventh and eighth frigate.
FFX II frigates have improved anti submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities compared to the Incheon-class predecessor frigates, thanks to the TB-250K towed array sonar system (TASS) developed by Hanwha Defense.
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.