SEOUL, July 28 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea on Thursday launched a new 8,200-ton destroyer armed with a missile interception platform and stronger anti-submarine capabilities, the Navy said, as the country pushes to bolster defense against North Korea’s evolving military capabilities.
The ceremony for the Jeongjo The Great destroyer, named after a visionary king of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), took place at the shipyard of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. in Ulsan, some 410 kilometers southeast of Seoul.
The Aegis-equipped destroyer is the first warship built as part of Seoul’s acquisition program, code-named Gwanggaeto-III Batch-II, under which the country plans to procure three high-tech destroyers. It is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in late 2024
Some 150 people, including senior government, military and industry officials, joined the launch ceremony.
“As a symbol of the efforts to build a strong, high-tech ocean-going Navy and a national strategic asset, the 8,200-ton destroyer is expected to further boost the Navy’s combat capabilities,” the Navy said in a press release.
The 170-meter-long, 21-meter-wide destroyer is equipped with radar-evading functions and the newest Aegis combat system capable of not only detecting and tracking ballistic missiles but also intercepting them.
The vessel is also to be fitted with ship-to-ground guided ballistic missiles and long-range ship-to-air guided missiles and equipped with the locally developed advanced sonar system targeting enemy submarines and underwater weapons, like torpedoes.
The destroyer will also be able to carry MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopters that the country plans to start introducing in 2024, according to the Navy.
“We will strive harder to construct a strong ocean-going military based on cutting-edge technologies in preparation against future threats and for shifts in the battle environment,” a Navy official was quoted as saying in the press release.