The Republic of Korea Navy has received the first of eight Daegu-class (FFX II) frigates, ROKS Daegu (FFG-818), South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced on Thursday.
Daegu is expected to become operational in the second half of 2018.
The frigate was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) and launched at DSME’s Okpo shipyard in June 2016.
The second ship is also being built by DSME while ships three and four will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) under a $586 million contract DAPA contract from December 2016.
FFX II frigates are improved Incheon-class (FFX) frigates. At 2800 tons, Daegu-class ships displace 500 tons more than their predecessors and measure 122 meters in length.
The second batch frigates are being equipped with a 16-cell Korean vertical launching system for defense against air threats and six torpedo tubes for anti-submarine warfare. Powered by Rolls-Royce’s MT30 gas turbines, the frigates are capable of reaching speeds of 30 knots, according to DAPA.
Daegu and sister ships will carry a towed array sonar system (TASS) in addition to naval guns and a Phalanx close-in weapon system.
The frigates are intended for a variety of missions including anti-submarine warfare, anti-air warfare, patrol, surveillance, search and rescue and exclusive economic zone protection.