South Korean Navy’s latest warship, the landing ship built under the LST-II program was launched on Thursday and named as ‘No Jeok Bong.’
The 4,900-ton Cheon Wang Bong-class ship has two helipads and can accommodate choppers, mechanized landing craft, amphibious assault vehicles and more than 300 troops.
The new ship is named No Jeok Bong after one of the peaks of Yudal Mountain in Mokpo, South Jeolla Province. It will be delivered to the Navy in November next year and commissioned in 2019
It is meant to replace the smaller amphibious landing ships currently in operation, the 2,600-ton Go Jun Bong-class, or LST-I, landing ship which has a single helipad that is used just for take-off and landing.
"Once the No Jeok Bong is put in combat operation it will enable large-scale combined landing operations of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force," Jeon Jei-guk, head of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, said in a launch ceremony held at the shipyard of Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan as quoted by Yonhap agency and other South Korean media.
The No Jeok Bong, 127 meters long, can carry more than 120 crew and sail at a maximum speed of 23 knots, or 40 kilometers per hour.
It's equipped with a domestically-developed combat system and a landing operation command center, according to DAPA.
It will be tasked with transporting troops, equipment and other materials to military bases and islands. In the event of a conflict, it will be mobilized for transporting expeditious response forces besides undertaking and humanitarian missions.
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