Initiating the first step in a process to construct six new Batch III frigates South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) signed an initial 16.6 billion KRW ($13.7M) with Hyundai Heavy Industries on December 27.
The contract will see the shipbuilder start planing and design work on the country’s 3,000-ton Batch III FFX frigates.
The new vessels will displace 200 tonnes more than their Daegu-class (FFX-II) predecessors which are, in turn, 500 tonnes heavier than the Incheon-class (FFX-I) frigates.
DAPA said that the construction of the six new ships would cost 2.8 trillion South Korean Won.
South Korea operates six Incheon-class frigates with construction underway on Daegu-class guided missile frigate.
ROKS Daegu, the first FF-II ship, was launched by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in June this year.
South Korea intends to build a total of eight second-batch frigates. Six days ago, on December 21, HHI received a $586 million contract from DAPA for FFX-II ships number three and four.
According to DAPA, FFX-III frigates will be fitted with a phased array radar to detect, track and respond to multiple threats simultaneously and will receive improved anti-submarine and air warfare capability.