South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) could award the project to build indigenous Aegis-equipped warships to Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), even after allegations of classified information leak by some Navy officials to HHI.
Three Navy officers are suspected to have allowed Hyundai officials in 2014 to secretly film confidential documents related to Korea Destroyer Next Generation (KDDX) project. It was done to give the shipbuilder an advantage in winning the contract, local media had reported in September.
Citing the ongoing probe, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), which is also vying for the 21 billion-won ($17.6 million) project, filed for a court injunction against the project. In August, DAPA reviewed both companies’ basic design proposals and gave Hyundai higher scores, Yonhap reported Friday.
"The Seoul Central District Court dismissed Daewoo's application on Tuesday, saying it is unclear if Hyundai uses the information that it allegedly illegally acquired," a DAPA official told reporters.
The arms procurement agency will officially announce a preferred bidder early next month to sign a contract within this year.
Korea Destroyer Next Generation (KDDX) Project
The KDDX Project to build 6,000 ton-class warships was launched in 2018. Deadline to finish design and begin construction is set for 2023 and 2024 respectively. The project is to be completed by late 2020s.
DSME completed their conceptual design in 2019. In its baseline configuration, DSME’s KDDX has a length of 155 meters, a beam of 18 meters and a draft of 9.5 meters for a displacement of 8,000 tons. It features 48x VLS cells forward, 16x VLS cells aft, 16x anti-ship missiles and 2x K-DAGAIE NG decoy launchers.
HHI unveiled an entirely new design featuring an inverted bow in this year.