South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has launched the fourth of eight Daegu (FFX-II)-class guided-missile frigates on order for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN), HHI announced in a statement.
Named Donghae (with pennant number 822), the 122.1 m-long warship entered the water during a ceremony held on 29 April at HHI’s facilities in the southeastern coastal city of Ulsan, and is expected to be handed over to the service in late 2021.
The first two frigates of the class – ROKS Daegu (818), which entered service in March 2018, and Gyeongnam (819), which was launched on 21 June 2019 – were built by South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), which will also build the fifth and sixth ships of the class.
The third and fourth ships, Seoul (821) and Donghae , are being built by HHI, which has also been contracted to construct the final two frigates of the class. The company is set to begin building the seventh and eighth vessels in the second half of 2020, with delivery to the RoKN expected to take place in 2023, according to HHI.
The Daegu class is a larger variant of South Korea’s six Incheon (FFX-I)-class ships, the first of which entered service in 2013.
The class has an overall beam of 14 m, a standard displacement of 2,800 tonnes, and a full-loaded displacement of 3,650 tonnes. Each FFX-II ship is powered by one Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine engine and two Leonardo DRS permanent magnet motors driven by MTU 12 V 4000 diesel-generator sets in a combined diesel-electric or gas (CODLOG) configuration. Each of the ships can attain a maximum speed of 30 kt.
The Daegu class is armed with one 127 mm MK 45 MOD 4 naval gun and one Raytheon six-barrelled 20 mm Phalanx close-in weapon system mounted on the top of the aft superstructure.
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