- The Republic of Korea Navy has received its third Cheonwangbong-class landing ship
- Service is on track to operate a class of four vessels, which will significantly bolster the country’s amphibious capabilities, by end-2019
The Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) has received its third Cheonwangbong (LST-2)-class tank landing ship from local shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).
The vessel, which will be known as ROKS Ilchulbong with pennant number 688 once commissioned, was handed over to the service 2 April, South Korea’s Defense Administration Program Agency (DAPA) announced on the same day.
Ilchulbong is the third of four planned LST-II tank landing ships for the RoKN. First-of-class Cheonwangbong (686) was commissioned in November 2014. A second ship, ROKS Cheonjabong (687) was inducted in August 2017, while the fourth vessel, Nojeokbong (689) was launched in November the same year.
The Cheonwangbong class has an overall length of 126.9 m, an overall beam of 19.4 m, and a hull draught of 5.4 m. It has a standard displacement of 4,900 tonnes, and can accommodate a crew complement of 130.
Powered by four MAN 12V28/33D engines in a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) configuration, The LST can attain a top speed of 23 kt, an economic cruising speed of 18 kt, and a standard range of 8,000 n miles (14,816 km) at 12 kt.
The ship can accommodate two mechanised landing craft on its foredeck that can be deployed via a 65-tonne capacity deck crane, and can embark up to 300 fully equipped soldiers, and eight amphibious assault vehicles. The platform’s flight deck can take up to two helicopters, such as the UH-60A.
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