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MADEX 2023: Hanwha Ocean unveils command ship concept for unmanned systems

A model of the Ghost Commander concept on display at MADEX 2023. Hanwha Ocean has developed a 5,000-tonne variant of the concept in anticipation of a requirement for such a vessel from the South Korean government. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

Hanwha Ocean has unveiled its proposal for South Korea's anticipated command ship programme, which will play host to an array of unmanned aerial, surface, and underwater vehicles (UAVs, USVs, and UUVs).

The proposal, which the company calls the 5,000-tonne variant of the Ghost Commander, was made public for the first time at the MADEX 2023 exhibition in Busan.

Hanwha Ocean also displayed a 16,000-tonne variant of the Ghost Commander at the same exhibition. However, this model was built to showcase the shipbuilder's capabilities and was not done in response to any anticipated programmes, a company representative told Janes at the show.

The company is in the process of producing a scale model for the 5,000-tonne variant. Descriptions of the vessel provided to Janes by the company's representative indicate that it has an overall length of 130 m and a top speed of about 25 kt.

“The South Korean government is expected to issue a tender for mother ships in the next few years. The mother ships will be a host to various unmanned systems for missions such as maritime patrol, strike operations, and mine countermeasures,” said the representative.

Unlike the 16,000-tonne variant, which features a two-tiered through deck system, the 5,000-tonne variant features a flight deck designed for rotary-winged systems at stern.

The command ship can accommodate one helicopter on this flight deck and up to 24 catapult-launched fixed- or rotary-wing UAVs in its hangar and a storage area beneath the flight deck.

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