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HHI lays keel for RoKN's first KDX-III Batch II guided-missile destroyer

An artist impression of the first ship of the second batch of KDX-III-class guided-missile destroyers for the RoKN. South Korean shipbuilder HHI announced on 6 October that it had held a keel-laying ceremony for this destroyer the previous day. (HHI)

South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has announced that it held a keel-laying ceremony on 5 October in Ulsan for the first of three Sejong Daewang (KDX-III)-class Batch II guided-missile destroyers for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN).

Construction of the destroyer began in February after HHI secured a KRW676.6 billion (USD565 million) contract in October 2019 for the ‘detailed design' and build of the warship, which is expected to be launched in the second half of 2022 and handed over to the navy in November 2024.

The Batch II vessels will be larger and feature more advanced systems and armament that those of the first batch. According to HHI, the new destroyers will be 170 m long (about 3 m longer than the three KDX-III ships of the first batch), 21 m wide, and have a standard displacement of 8,100 tonnes (compared to the 7,600 tonnes of the Batch I ships), which will make them the largest destroyers in RoKN inventory once they enter service.

HHI said that this improved variant is expected to be capable of operating at speeds of up to 30 kt, feature an improved ballistic missile defence capability, and be equipped with enhanced anti-submarine warfare technology, including a more powerful sonar to detect and track submarines at longer ranges.

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