The Korea Coast Guard (KCG) has taken delivery of at least six of eight 500-tonne Tae Geuk-class patrol vessels it ordered from Busan-based shipbuilders Kangnam Corporation and Hanjin Heavy Industries Corporation in late 2016.
The patrol boats will supplement the KCG's existing fleet of 15 Tae Geuk vessels.
Two of three being built at Kangnam's yard (with pennant numbers 518 and 523) were commissioned on 25 July and 5 December 2019, respectively. The delivery status of the third Kangnam-built hull, 526, remains unclear.
Hanjin Heavy Industries Corporation, meanwhile, carried out a mass launching of the remaining five hulls on 30 April 2019 at its shipyard in Yeongdo, Busan, although four of the hulls (519, 520, 521, and 522) were already outfitting in the water. Ships 519 and 522 were commissioned on 25 July and 27 December 2019, respectively; 520 was commissioned on 31 October 2019, and 521 was in service by 23 October 2019. Delivery of ship 525 is expected to take place before the end of February.
According to the KCG, the five hulls being built by Hanjin are one-for-one replacements for 30-year-old patrol vessels in the 250 tonne and 300 tonne categories.
The eight new Tae Geuk-class vessels are slightly longer, heavier, and faster than the first 15 of the class, which were built between 2008 and 2012. The latest variants have an overall length of 63.2 m, a beam of 9.1 m, a draft of 2.6 m, and a displacement of 640 tonnes fully loaded. Powered by four MJP waterjets, two MTU 16V 4000 M90, and two MTU 12 V 1163 TB93 diesel engines, the vessel can attain a top speed of more than 35 kt.
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