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HHI launches seventh Daegu-class frigate for South Korean navy

South Korea's HHI launched Cheonan, the seventh Daegu (FFX-II)-class frigate on order for the RoKN, in a ceremony held on 9 November at its facilities in Ulsan. (RoKN)

South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has launched the seventh of eight Daegu (FFX-II)-class guided-missile frigates on order for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN).

Named Cheonan (with pennant number 826), the 122.1 m-long warship entered the water during a ceremony held on 9 November at HHI's shipyard in Ulsan and is expected to be handed over to the service in 2023 following a series of trials, according to an RoKN statement.

Cheonan , which is named after an RoKN corvette that was torpedoed by North Korea in 2010, is one of four frigates of the class ordered from HHI, with the other four – the first, second, fifth, and sixth – being built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME).

Of these eight warships, the first three have already entered service. The sixth vessel of the class, Pohang , was launched in September.

The Daegu class is a larger variant of South Korea's six Incheon (FFX-I)-class ships, the first of which entered service in 2013. The class has an overall beam of 14 m, a standard displacement of 2,800 tons, and a full-loaded displacement of 3,650 tons.

Each FFX-II ship is powered by one Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine engine and two Leonardo DRS permanent magnet motors driven by MTU 12 V 4000 diesel-generator sets in a combined diesel-electric or gas (CODLOG) configuration. Each of the ships can attain a maximum speed of 30 kt.

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