The Republic of Korea Navy on Wednesday took delivery of 2,300 ton frigate, named Gwangju, the sixth and last ship in the first batch of the Navy's newest Incheon-class frigates.
The frigate is expected to be deployed on patrols starting March next year after undergoing five months of operational sea trials, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said, Yonhap reports.
South Korea is currently in the process of building new frigates and corvettes to replace older vessels. The project which kicked off in 2006 will run till 2026.
The second batch of Incheon-class frigates calls for the construction of eight 2,800 ton frigates. In regards to the third batch, the size of a vessel or other details have not been finalized.
The Gwangju is equipped with a 5-inch main gun, anti-ship and anti-air missiles as well as other state-of-the-art weapon systems and sensors. The ship can embark a helicopter that can greatly increase its ability to hunt down submarines.
Once deployed, it will be tasked with patrolling and defending South Korean waters against North Korean threats.
The DAPA said that it plans to deliver the first frigate of the second batch at the end of next year after test operations. It said efforts are under way to launch the third batch this year.
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