The lead shipbuilder of South Korea, Hyundai Heavy Industries, has launched 4th Daegu-class frigate ROKS Donghae (FFG-822) for the Republic of Korean (ROK) Navy in Ulsan on 29th April, ROK Navy has announced.
More than 20 people participated in the launching ceremony including Mayors of Shim Gyu-Eon and Donghae, ROK Navy Headquarters and Hyundai Heavy Industries officials. The event was held in a smaller scale in order to avoid from COVID-19.
The first two frigates of the class – ROKS Daegu (818), which entered service in March 2018, and Gyeongnam (819), which was launched on 21 June 2019 – were built by South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), which will also build the fifth and sixth ships of the class.
The third and fourth ships, Seoul (821) and Donghae , are being built by HHI, which has also been contracted to construct the final two frigates of the class. The company is set to begin building the seventh and eighth vessels in the second half of 2020, with delivery to the RoKN expected to take place in 2023, according to HHI.
ROKS Donghae is the second ship with using this name. She inherited the name from ROK Donghaeham (PCC-751) which was commissioned in 1983 and served her country for 26 years.
The new Donghae ship will be delivered to the Navy at the end of 2021 after a trial run evaluation period, and will be deployed after completion of the electrification process.
The Daegu-class is based on the preceding Incheon-class frigate (an improved variant of her), and has otherwise been referred to an Incheon-class batch II, or FFG-II. Eight Daegu-class ships are planned, with the final goal of 20-22 frigates (of all types) in the ROKN. The Daegu-class frigates are being built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and Hyundai Heavy Industries.
FFX Batch II frigates displace 2,800 tons (3,593 tons full load), are 122 meters long, 14 meters wide and 34 meters high. They can accommodate a maritime helicopter.
They are fitted with a 16-cell Korean vertical launching system (K-VLS) to deploy K-SAAM (Korean Surface to Air Anti Missile), Hong Sang Eo (Red Shark) anti-submarine missile, and Haeryong (SSM-701K Sea Dragon) tactical land-attack cruise missiles. They are also fitted with torpedo launchers for anti-submarine warfare and eight SSM-700K Haeseong anti-ship missiles. All these missile systems are designed and produced by local company LIG Nex1. The gun systems consist in a Mk 45 mod. 4 naval gun system (main gun) and a Phalanx Block 1B CIWS.