The South Korean Navy will launch ROKS Pohang, its new Daegu-class FFX Batch II frigate with improved anti-submarine capabilities, on Wednesday.
Pohang is the sixth of the country’s 2,800-ton FFX Batch II frigates being built to replace the Navy's 1,500-ton frigates and 1,000-ton patrol combat corvettes. The ship will be delivered to the Navy in early 2023 after the completion of tests.
A launching ceremony will be at manufacturer Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co.'s (DSME) Okpo shipyard on the southern island of Geoje, with the attendance of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Won In-choul.
A total of 8 frigates of this class, also known as the Incheon-class Batch II or FFG-II, are set to be built by both DSME and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HII), for the South Korean fleet.
First ship of the class, ROKS Daegu, was built by DSME. It was launched in June 2016 and commissioned with the ROK Navy in March 2018. Second ship of the class, ROKS Gyeongnam was launched in June 2019 and was built by DSME as well. The third FFX Batch II Frigate, ROKS Seoul, was launched in November 2019. The third and fourth frigates of the class were built by HHI. DSME launched ROKS Daejeon in May 2021.
A 122-meter long warship of this class will be able to accommodate some 120 crew members onboard and can reach speeds at 30 knots. It will carry various weapons, including ship-to-ship and ship-to-surface missiles as well as a helicopter for naval operations.
Powered by four MTU 12V 4000 M53B diesel engine and one Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines in a Combined diesel-electric and gas (CODLAG) arrangement, the frigate features a hybrid propulsion system to reduce underwater radiated noise.
The ship is fitted with a 16-cell Korean vertical launching system (K-VLS) to deploy K-SAAM (Korean Surface to Air Anti Missile), Hong Sang Eo (Red Shark) anti-submarine missile, and Haeryong (SSM-701K Sea Dragon) tactical land attack cruise missiles. An FFX Batch II ship is also fitted with torpedo launchers for anti-submarine warfare and eight SSM-700K Haeseong anti-ship missiles. All these missile systems are designed and produced by local company LIG Nex1. The gun system consists in a Mk 45 MOD. 4 naval gun system (main gun) and a Phalanx Block 1B CIWS.
According to the military, the new frigate also has improved capability to detect and attack submarines with a towed array sonar system and a long-range anti-submarine torpedo.
The SQR-250K TASS, low frequency passive sonar system is used for detecting, identifying and tracking enemy submarines. Its hybrid propulsion system reduces underwater radiation noise, which greatly enhances the anti-submarine ability of the vessel.