IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly:
- Hyundai Heavy Industries is designing South Korea’s second batch of KDX-3 ships
- Design contract edges the country closer to operating a class of six Aegis-equipped destroyers
South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has awarded a contract to design a second batch of three Sejong Daewang (KDX-3)-class guided-missile destroyers to Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the company confirmed to IHS Jane’s on 26 May.
The Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) currently operates a fleet of three KDX-3 ships that were commissioned between 2008 and 2012. The first (RoKS Sejong Dewang ) and third (RoKS Yu Seong-Ryong ) vessels in class were built by HHI while the second hull (RoKS Yulgok Yi I ) was constructed by competitor Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME).
This first batch of 166 m vessels have been equipped with the Aegis Baseline 7.1 combat system, according to IHS Jane’s Fighting Ships . Plans to operate a class of six ships in the class were first confirmed in December 2013.
News of the design contract comes nearly year after a US Department of State announcement in June 2015 that it had approved the sale of three sets of Aegis combat systems and associated shipborne components to South Korea under a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) programme for its second batch of KDX-3 destroyers.
The sale covers three sets of Aegis shipboard combat systems, Mk 41 vertical launching systems (VLS), data link management systems, and the AN/UPX-29(V) identification friend or foe interrogator. An official from Lockheed Martin also confirmed to IHS Jane’s in the same month that the radar system that has been approved under the sale is the AN/SPY-1D(V) multifunction radar. The sale is estimated to be worth some USD1.9 billion.
HHI has however declined to discuss how it plans to incorporate each of these systems in its design, or if there are significant departures from the first batch, noting only that work has just started and that the vessel will still very much be a variant of the first batch of KDX-3 ships.