South Korean Navy receives first modernized KDX-1-class destroyer Yang Manchun

South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a statement that Yang Manchun (pennant number DDG 973) officially returned to service on 9 September 2020 following a ceremony held at the Jinhae Naval Base in South Gyeongsang Province.

South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) re-delivered the first KDX-I Destroyer to the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy following a Performance Improvement Program (PIP).

The PIP consisted of upgrades to the main equipment and systems of the ship to bring them on par with technology found aboard the latest vessels of the ROK Navy.

According to a DSME statement, ROKS Yang Man-Chun is the third ship in the series of KDX-I destroyers developed by DSME in the 1990s with pure domestic technology from basic design to electrification. The KDX-I destroyer is the first Korean Navy vessel to have anti-aircraft, anti-surface, and anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

DAPA said the upgrades included replacing the ship’s ageing combat management system (CMS) with a modern, locally developed one that can not only handle three times as much data as the previous CMS but also process the information 100 times faster.

To enhance its anti-submarine warfare capabilities, the 135.4 m-long destroyer has been fitted with a much more advanced towed array sonar system that is similar to the one found on the RoKN’s FFX-series frigates.

ROKS Yang Man-Chun is the first KDX-I vessel to receive the upgrade. 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.

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