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South Korean navy receives second FFX-II-class guided-missile frigate

The Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) has received the second of eight Daegu (FFX-II)-class guided-missile frigates on order for the service, according to a statement issued on 31 December 2020 by South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

Named Gyeongnam (with pennant number 819), the 122 m-long ship was handed over by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), which also built first-of-class ROKS Daegu (818) and is also building the fifth and sixth frigates of the class. The remaining four ships of the class are being built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).

Gyeongnam, which was launched on 21 June 2019 at DSME’s Okpo shipyard on Geoje Island, is expected to be operationally deployed later this year.

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 tonnes, and a full-loaded displacement of 3,650 tonnes. Each FFX-II-class 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.

The Daegu class is armed with one 127 mm MK 45 MOD 4 naval gun and one Raytheon six-barrelled 20 mm Phalanx close-in weapon system mounted on the top of the aft superstructure.

It also features a 16-cell Korean vertical launching system for surface-to-air missiles and anti-submarine rockets. The cells, each of which can be sub-divided depending on the type of missile, can also be used for land-attack missiles.

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