The Republic of Korea Navy has launched ROKS Marado, its improved Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship, at Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction shipyard in Busan.
The ceremony took place Monday and was hosted by South Korean defense minister Song Young-moo.
According to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), the minister’s wife, Koo Ja-jeong, served as the ship sponsor.
The keel-laying ceremony for ROKS Marado took place April 2017, after HHIC signed a KRW 417.5 billion contract with DAPA for construction of Marado on December 23, 2014.
Compared to the first ship in the class, the ROKS Dokdo, Marado will have improved landing operation capabilities, according to DAPA. The ship features South Korean anti-ship guided missile systems and the Phalanx close-in weapons system.
In addition to being used for anti-surface warfare (ASuW), anti-air warfare (AAW) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations, the 199-meter-long ship will be used for government-led support activities such as disaster relief and emergency evacuation operations.
Marado is expected to be commissioned in 2020, following tests and evaluations, according to DAPA.