South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced on 4 December that the contract for the detailed design and construction of the first FFX-III-class guided-missile frigate for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) is expected to be awarded in the first quarter of 2020.
The DAPA said that the estimated cost for the design and construction of the first vessel, the name and dimensions of which have yet to be revealed, will be KRW450 billion (USD377.6 million), adding that this stage of the FFX-III project is set to be completed in 2024. Local media have reported that a total of six ships of the class are set to be built for the RoKN.
In December 2016 the DAPA announced that it had awarded South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) a KRW16.6 billion contract to carry out preliminary design and development work on the 3,000-tonne frigate class, which is expected to feature improved anti-submarine warfare and air-defence capabilities.
The agency said at the time that the FFX-III vessels, which will incorporate stealthy elements in their design, will feature an advanced multi-functional phased-array radar offering 360° of coverage that can simultaneously track and detect multiple potential threats.
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