South Korea starts construction of second amphibious assault ship

The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced the construction start of a second Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship on Friday, April 28.

The keel-laying ceremony was held at Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. in Busan, according to DAPA.

The first Dokdo-class ship, ROKS Dokdo, was built at the same shipyard as the second vessel in the class. It was launched in 2005 and commissioned in 2007.

Measuring 199 meters in length with a beam of 31 meters, ROKS Dokdo is one of the largest amphibious assault ships in Asia, DAPA noted.

Named ROKS Marado, the second vessel is set to be launched by April 2018, while the commissioning is expected to take place by 2020, following tests and evaluations.

DAPA also said the new vessel would incorporate improvements and upgrades that were identified by the Republic of Korea Navy through the operation of ROKS Dokdo.

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