South Korea’s defense procurement agency Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced today that the first FFX Batch II (FFX II) frigate “Daegu” was delivered to the Republic of Korea Navy (ROK Navy).
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) launched the lead ship of the new Daegu-class FFX-II frigate for the Republic of Korea Navy (ROK Navy) on June 2, 2016. Key updates of the Batch II over the ASW-focused Batch I include VLS, full electric propulsion system, a towed array sonar system as well as a larger hangar that can accommodate a 10-ton helicopter (FFX-I has hangar for lighter helicopters like AW159).
FFX-II is the first South Korean warship to be fitted with DRS Hybrid Electric Drive system, coupled with Rolls-Royce MT-30 gas turbine engine for CODLAG integrated full-electric propulsion. This configuration is shared with the US Navy’s LCS and Zumwalt destroyers, as well as with the Royal Navy’s QE aircraft carriers and future Type 26 GCS. In terms of engine technology and acoustic reduction technology, this makes FFX-II one of the most advanced and ‘reduced accoustic signature’ ASW frigates among western navies.
FFX batch II is not fitted with Mk 41 VLS buth with KVLS meaning it will deploy Korean missiles (most probably designed by LIG Nex 1 such as the Cheolmae-2 medium-range air defense missile, Hong Sang Eo anti-submarine rocket, and possibly the Hyunmoo-3 series of land attack cruise missiles).
The first two vessels of the class are built by DSME. South Korea’s DAPA placed an order with Hyundai Heavy & Industries (HHI) in December 2016 to build two Daegu-class FFX-II frigates ahead of schedule to support the ailing local shipbuilding industry. These two vessels will be the third and fourth in the series.
“The Daegu is a warship with greatly improved capabilities to detect or attack such targets as ships and submarines and to defend itself from aircraft and guided missiles, compared with existing frigates and patrol combat corvettes,” DAPA said.
“The survivability of the Daegu has been maximized as it has stealth design,” said Bang Keuk-chul, head of the DAPA’s warship program team. “And it’s possible to carry out more effective anti-submarine operations with its hybrid propulsion system making less noise.”
Daegu-class FFX-II frigate main specifications:
Displacement (Full): Abt. 2800 (3,600)
Length/ Beam: 122m / 14m
Max. Speed: 30 kts
Complement: 120 sailors
Major weapons: 5” Main gun (K Mk.45 Mod 4) / 20mm CIWS (Phalanx Block 1B) / KVLS (16 cells)
Incheon Class (FFX Batch-I, 6 ships)
811 – Incheon
812 – Gyeonggi
813 – Jeonbuk
815 – Gangwon
816 – Chungbuk
817 – Gwangju