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HD Hyundai Heavy Industries starts building next-gen Aegis-equipped ship

South Korea’s HD Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., the shipbuilding affiliate of HD Hyundai Co., has embarked on the full-scale construction of the next-generation Aegis-equipped ship (Gwanggaeto-III Batch II) No.2, which will be the core maritime power of South Korea’s air and missile defense (KAMD).

HD HHI held on Tuesday a keel-laying ceremony for the second ship of the next-generation Aegis-equipped ship at its headquarters in Ulsan. The keel-laying ceremony is the first process in the construction of the ship, which involves cutting the steel plates used in the hull.

South Korea’s Navy plans to introduce a total of three next-generation Aegis destroyers, and HD HHI is responsible for the construction of all three ships.

The lead ship, Jeongjo the Great, was launched under the auspices of President Yoon Suk Yeol in July last year. The second ship began construction on this day, and the final third ship is scheduled to commence construction in November next year.

The company performed the basic design of the 7,600-ton Sejong the Great-class, the first-generation Aegis destroyer, and successfully built the first ship, Sejong the Great, and the third ship, Seoae Ryu Sungyong, of the three Sejong the Great-class ships, delivering them to the Navy in 2008 and 2012, respectively.

The next-generation Aegis destroyer will have a length of 170 meters, a width of 21 meters and a displacement of 8,200 tons. It will be able to navigate at a maximum speed of 30 knots (about 55 km/h). Compared to the existing Sejong the Great-class Aegis-equipped ship, it will have enhanced ballistic missile defense capabilities and significantly improved anti-submarine warfare capacities.

Its main armament includes ship-to-land ballistic missiles, long-range ship-to-air guided missiles, long-range anti-submarine torpedoes and lightweight torpedoes. It will be equipped with a state-of-the-art Aegis combat system, multifunction phased array radar, electro-optical tracking equipment and integrated sonar system, providing formidable combat capabilities.

In addition, it will be designed with a fuel-saving auxiliary propulsion system consisting of two 1.7-megawatt electric motors to reduce fuel consumption.

The second ship of the next-generation Aegis-equipped ship is scheduled to undergo block assembly in March next year, followed by its launch and sea trials starting in 2025, with delivery to the Navy in December 2026.
Source: The Korea Economic Daily

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