Home Asia Pacific South Korea launches final Daegu-class FFX II frigate ROKS Chuncheon

South Korea launches final Daegu-class FFX II frigate ROKS Chuncheon

ROKS Chuncheon launch ceremony
Photo: ROK Navy

The Republic of Korea Navy and shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries held a launching ceremony for the service’s final Daegu-class frigate at the shipbuilder’s Ulsan yard on March 22.

Future ROKS Chuncheon is one of eight FFX Batch II frigates built jointly by Hyundai Heavy and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).

Chuncheon was launched almost exactly four years after the lead ship in the class, ROKS Daegu, was commissioned in March 2018.

FFX II ships displace 2,800-tons and are improved Incheon-class (FFX) frigates. They displace 500 tons more than their predecessors and measure 122 meters in length. They also feature a hangar and a helicopter deck capable of hosting and operating a 10-ton helicopter.

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 South Korea defense procurement agency DAPA.

The ships carry a TB-250K towed array sonar system (TASS) developed by Hanwha Defense 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. Also referred to as “mini-AEGIS” frigates, the first ship in that class is expected to be delivered in 2024.