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S. Korean Aegis destroyer to check its combat capabilities in June

All Headlines 15:30 March 01, 2010

SEOUL, March 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's first Aegis destroyer will undergo a comprehensive evaluation of its fighting capabilities near Hawaii in June, a Navy source said Monday.

The source said Sejong the Great will conduct tests while taking part in the multinational Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercise. Lockheed Martin -- the developer of the Aegis system -- and U.S. Navy experts will act as observers and evaluate the weapons systems during the trial.

Without going into detail, the official said the 7,600 ton destroyer will mainly check its anti-aircraft capabilities, which includes Standard Missile-2 (SM-2), Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and Goalkeeper close-in weapons systems (CIWS).

SM-2s are the primary long-range fleet air defense weapon. Both RAMs and the Goalkeeper CIWS, which use seven 30 millimeter rotary cannons, and are designed for short range defense and to cope with threats that get through outer defenses and electronic counter measures.

The ship represents the largest class of destroyers in the South Korean fleet, with two other Aegis vessels slated to be commissioned by 2012. One Aegis destroyer has already been launched and is undergoing sea trials.

Sejong the Great was commissioned in late 2008 and is equipped a SPY-ID(V) phased array radar, which can track up to 1,000 targets and attack 20 threats simultaneously.

The ship has one 127 millimeter main gun, one CIWS and over 100 anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles, along with torpedoes.

Seoul said after the last Aegis destroyers are delivered it will build six 'mini' Aegis combat destroyers by 2026. These ships will have a displacement of around 5,600 tons.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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