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South Korean Navy's second large-scale landing platform helicopt...

The ship will be delivered to the Navy in 2020, and will be used to support disaster rescue or international peacekeeping operations.


The Marado ship, South Korea's second large-scale landing platform helicopter (LPH), was launched from the shipyard of Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction in Yeoungdo, Busan at 2:00 PM on May 14th.

A ship launching ceremony is held when a warship equipped with combat devices and weapons is set afloat for the first time.

The ceremony was hosted by Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo and was attended by approximately 200 dignitaries from the military, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, and the shipyard, including Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Eom Hyun-seong, Marine Corps Commandant Lt. Gen. Jun Jin-goo, Head of Project Management Operations of Defense Acquisition Program Administration Gang Eun-ho, and Chairman of Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Cho Nam-ho. The ceremony was made particularly meaningful by the participation of Kim Eun-young, a representative resident of the Marado, the last graduate from the Marado branch school, and Sohn Yang-young and Lee Kyung-pil who were born on the Meredith Victory, a U.S. ship used during the Heungnam Evacuation in 1950.

“The military should support peace through stronger power"

After starting with a pledge of allegiance to the nation, the launch ceremony continued with a project progress report, announcement of the ship name, a commemorative speech, awarding of the men of merit, a congratulatory speech, and the cutting of the rope tethering the ship, and ended with breaking a champagne bottle to wish for safe sailing.

Following the Navy's tradition, the South Korean Navy's second LPH was named "Marado" with code LPH-6112 by Chief Um through Statement of Denomination No. 476. The Navy named it to reflect its will to protect the southern waters and maritime routes of the Korean Peninsula.

Minister Song’s wife, Koo Ja-jeong, used a small axe to cut the rope tethering the ship for the ceremonial launch of the naval ship, and the Marado ship made its first public debut with the sound of a loud horn, five-colored balloons and scraps of white paper flying.

“To preserve our maritime sovereignty at sea, an arena of both competition and cooperation, and to confidently play our role as a member of the international community, we have to move farther towards greater oceans,” Song said in his congratulatory speech. “I am convinced that this ship, the Marado, will bring a new trail to South Korea,” he added. He also said, “Beyond the South Korean people, the whole world is now expecting a change for peace. Most importantly here, our military forces have to support the efforts of the government in building peace. I hope that this ship, the Marado, will move ahead for peace and prosperity in the Korean Peninsula and beyond."

14,500-ton LDH launched after 11-year construction process

The Marado has been finally launched after an 11-year construction process. This 14,500-ton transport ship, which is 199 meters long (653 feet), 31 meters wide, and can travel at a maximum speed of 23 knots (42km per hour) with some 300 crew members aboard, is capable of carrying more than 700 landing forces in full armor, seven helicopters, and two high-speed amphibious boats. It can act as a task fleet or a flagship for landing forces depending on the mission.

With this addition of a large-scale transport ship, the range of peacekeeping activities that the Korean Navy can perform has been widened. According to the Navy, the Marado's primary mission is to transport military forces and combat devices for landing operations, but as an amphibious harassment ship, it will play a big role in operations other than combat, including rescue operations after large-scale disasters, evacuation of overseas residents in emergency situations, and multilateral security cooperation.

The Marado is equipped with advanced radar and combat devices, including anti-ship guided missiles produced by South Korea. This sets it apart from the Dokdo, another ship of the same class. The ship also has enhanced detection capability with a fixed air defense radar that can perform a full range of detection at all times.

In addition, it is known that the Marado can operate some vertical take-off and landing planes, such as Osprey-class, with its reinforced helicopter deck. The Marado will be delivered to the Navy in late 2020 after the end of construction and trial operations.



By Seung-Hoi, Ahn < >

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