The South Korean Navy’s 3,200-ton Gwanggaeto destroyer has been upgraded with anti-submarine warfare capabilities as part of the service’s modernization efforts.
Gwanggaeto was sent for upgrade in April 2020. The modernized warship was handed over to the Navy on Friday, state arms procurement agency Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said.
Seoul started modernizing three of its Gwanggaeto the Great-class ships in 2016.
The newly delivered KDX-I destroyer is now equipped with an indigenous combat system, and a towed array sonar system designed to strengthen anti-submarine capabilities.
On Tuesday, the North fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from the vicinity of Sinpo, where its main submarine shipyard is located. It marked the country’s eighth known major missile test this year.
Gwanggaeto the Great-class destroyers
The KDX-I ships are built by Daewoo Heavy Industries. The primary weapon deployed by Gwanggaeto the Great-class vessels is the Super Lynx helicopter, which acts in concert with shipboard sensors to seek out and destroy submarines at long distances from the ships. They also carry a close-in anti-submarine weapon in the form of the Mark 46 torpedoes, launched from triple torpedo tubes in launcher compartments either side of the forward end of the helicopter hangar. A secondary anti-shipping role is supported by RGM-84 Harpoon surface-to-surface missile. For anti-aircraft self-defense, it carries 16 RIM-7P Sea Sparrow. This class of destroyers also carry two 30mm Goalkeeper to provide a shipboard point-defense against incoming anti-ship missiles and aircraft. The main gun on the forecastle is an OTO Melara 127 gun.