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South Korea's second Dokdo-class helicopter carrier begins sea trials

        , seen here at its ceremonial launch in May 2018.
       (Republic of Korea Navy)

Marado , seen here at its ceremonial launch in May 2018. (Republic of Korea Navy)

The Republic of Korea Navy’s (RoKN’s) second Dokdo-class helicopter carrier, which will be known in service as ROKS Marado (6112) once commissioned, has begun its first sea trials.

The vessel, which was ceremonially launched in May 2018, began its sea trials on 20 May, an industry source closer to the matter has confirmed with Jane’s .

Marado is a 199 m long landing platform helicopter (LPH) ship that has been constructed by South Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (HHIC). The ship displaces 14,500 tonnes and features a ‘through-deck’ flight operations area with five landing spots.

It has carrying capacity for up to 10 UH-60 helicopters, about 700 embarked troops, and 10 main battle tanks (MBTs) and associated support vehicles. These troops and vehicles can be delivered on-shore via two landing craft air cushions (LCACs) from its stern well deck.

While similar to its first-of-class sister ship, RoKS Dokdo (6111), in terms of platform design, Marado has been fitted with a different suite of sensors and weapons. These differences include the ELM-2248 (MF-STAR) multifunction surveillance radar from Israeli defence firm ELTA Systems in place of the SMART-L multibeam radar from Thales.

South Korea has also selected the SPS-550K three-dimensional air and surface surveillance radar from local company LIG Nex1, in place of the Thales MW08 surveillance radar found on the first-of-class.

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