(ATTN: UPDATES throughout; CHANGES photo)
SEOUL, March 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Tuesday held a ceremony launching a new 2,800-ton frigate with enhanced anti-submarine capabilities, the state arms procurement agency said.
The ceremony for the Chuncheon took place at the shipyard of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. in Ulsan, some 410 kilometers southeast of Seoul, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).
Some 50 people, including Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Kim Jung-soo and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. President Lee Sang-kyun, attended the event.
"Since the Navy's founding, it has made preparations for the future by relentlessly building warships and nurturing troops up until now," Adm. Kim said in his congratulatory remarks.
"The construction of the frigate, Chuncheon, has been possible as we have looked many years ahead while preparing for the future," he added.
The 122-meter-long frigate is equipped with a 20-mm Phalanx close-in weapons system and underwater missiles, as well as hull mounted and towed array sonar systems, officials said.
The latest vessel is the eighth and last warship built as part of Seoul's frigate acquisition program, code-named FFX Batch-II. The program is designed to replace the country's aging fleet of 1,500-ton frigates and 1,000-ton corvettes.
Yoon's outreach to Southeast Asia keeps China in the loop
Allies' defense chiefs highlight watertight alliance based on full extended deterrence against N. Korean threats
(News Focus) Police under fire for lax response to emergency calls hours before Itaewon crush
Police under fire for lax response to emergency calls hours before Itaewon crush
Role of administrative authorities questioned in Itaewon disaster