The South Korean Navy will receive the first of several new generation high-speed patrol boats for operation near the border with North Korea in the Yellow Sea.
The new 230-ton patrol killer medium rocket ship will be delivered in a ceremony to be held at Busan shipyard of Hanjin Heavy Industries later today, according to the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration officials quoted in the Korean media.
It will be deployed near the Northern Limit Line early next year following three months of crew training and other preparations.
The PKMR-211 is the first of the 230-ton Gumdoksuri (Golden Eagle)-class ships to replace the 170-ton Chamsuri (Sea Eagle)-class vessels. It has a crew of over 20 sailors and can sail at a maximum speed of 41 knots an hour.
The boat is 45 meters long, seven meters wide and is equipped with 130-mm guided rockets, 76-mm cannon and other combat systems developed locally.
"The ship's combat capability has been strengthened significantly compared with that of the Chamsuri-class ones," said Kim Sang-hee, head of the DAPA's high-speed boat project team was quoted in the reports as saying.
The patrol boat is expected to improve the Navy's ability to counter North Korea's high-speed infiltration forces thanks to its 130-mm guided rockets’ ability to strike rigid inflatable boats from a long distance.
South Korea, the United States and Japan commenced a joint missile warning exercise on Tuesday, which would enable them to detect and track missiles launched from North Korea. The trilateral exercise began its two-day run in the waters off South Korea and Japan, mobilizing four Aegis combat system-equipped ships from the three countries, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), according to Yonhap
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