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HHI to build second KDX-III Batch-II destroyer for South Korean navy

An artist's impression of a KDX-III Batch-II guided-missile destroyers for the RoKN. HHI announced on 9 November that it has secured a KRW636.3 billion contract from DAPA to build the second destroyer of this batch. (HHI)

South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) announced on 9 November that it has secured a KRW636.3 billion (USD541.7 million) contract for the construction of the second of three KDX-III Batch-II guided-missile destroyers for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN).

The announcement comes after the company revealed in early October that it had begun building the first of these Batch-II destroyers at its shipyard in Ulsan as part of a KRW676.6 billion contract awarded by South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) in 2019.

HHI is expected to deliver the first of these new destroyers, which are an improved variant of the Sejong Daewang class, by November 2024, while the second ship is set to be handed over to the RoKN in 2026.

The Batch-II vessels will not only be larger but also feature more advanced systems and weapons than those of the first batch.

According to the manufacturer, the new destroyers will be 170 m long (4 m longer than the three KDX-III Batch-I ships), 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 the RoKN inventory once they enter service.

HHI said that each of the Batch-II ships will be capable of operating at speeds of up to 30 kt, feature a ballistic missile defence capability, and be equipped with improved anti-submarine warfare technology, such as a more powerful sonar to detect and track submarines at longer ranges.

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