South Korea launches fifth FFX II Daegu-class frigate ROKS Daejeon

South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) has launched the fifth Daegu-class frigate for the Republic of Korea Navy at its Okpo shipyard.

Named Daejeon, the frigate received pennant number FFG-823 and will be delivered by the end of 2022, after further fitting out and trials.

Also known as FFX II, the frigate class introduces improved anti submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities compared to the Incheon-class predecessor frigates. The improved ASW capabilities are provided by the TB-250K towed array sonar system (TASS) developed by Hanwha Defense.

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.

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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, which are being delivered by DSME and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI). DSME is delivering the first, second, fifth and eighth units, while HHI will build the third, fourth, seventh and eighth frigate.

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.

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