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Navy launches new frigate capable of hitting targets in N.K.

All News 15:09 June 02, 2016

SEOUL, June 2 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean Navy said Thursday it has launched a new guided missile frigate which is capable of hitting ground targets inside North Korean in the event of conflict taking place on the divided peninsula.

Earlier in the day, the Navy held a ceremony to launch the 2,800-ton frigate named Daegu on Geoje Island, 470 kilometers southeast of Seoul, according to Navy officials.

The ship, an improved Incheon-class frigate, not only has ship-to-ground missiles, but will be equipped with the usual array of weapons such as 5-inch guns, a close-in weapons system and anti-ship and anti-submarine missiles. It also has weapons to deal with airborne threats along with various countermeasures and sensors.

The warship is 122 meters long, has a beam of 14 meters and can reach speeds of up to 30 knots.

The Daegu will undergo sea trials before being delivered to the Navy in late 2017 and deployed for military operations starting from late 2018.

Once deployed, it will replace the Navy's aging Ulsan-class frigates and smaller combat corvettes currently in the fleet, they said.

The new frigate will be tasked with patrolling and defending South Korea's sea territory and contribute as a deterrence against North Korea's aggression.

The new ship is the country's first warship with the hybrid propulsion system using both gas turbines and diesel generators. This arrangement allows the vessel to sail at a higher speed when it has to sail in combat situations, they added.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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