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Hyundai receives USD325 million contract for first Ulsan-class Batch III frigate

Computer-generated imagery of the Ulsan class Batch III (Hyundai Heavy Industries)

Computer-generated imagery of the Ulsan class Batch III (Hyundai Heavy Industries)

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has received a KRW400 (USD325 million) contract to design and build the first Ulsan-class Batch III frigate for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN).

The contract, which has been signed with South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), was announced on 16 March.

The vessel is the first of six 3,500-tonne frigates planned for the batch. The contract covers detailed designed work and construction of the first-of-class. HHI received the contract to carry out basic design work for the batch in 2916.

The vessel will have an overall length of 129 m and a width of 15 m. It will feature a hybrid electric and gas propulsion system, and can attain a maximum speed of 30 kt.

The frigate can utilise its electric propulsion systems during anti-submarine operations to minimise its acoustic signatures. Accordingly, the vessel will rely on gas turbine propulsion when it needs to operate at high speeds, said HHI.

HHI also noted that the warship will be equipped with a four-sided fixed multifunction phased array radar “capable of 360-degrees omni-directional detection, tracking, and engagement”.

Computer-generated imagery that accompanied HHI’s media release suggest that this equipment could either be the ELM-2248 (MF-STAR) multifunction surveillance radar from Israel’s ELTA Systems, which is also found on the RoKN’s second Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship, or an indigenously developed product of South Korean company Hanwha Systems.

The vessel will be constructed at HHI’s shipyard in Ulsan and is scheduled to be handed over in 2024.

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