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Republic of Korean Navy launches new 2800-ton class frigate - ‘Gyeongnam’

Republic of Korean Navy launches new 2800-ton class frigate - ‘Gyeongnam’


New frigate equipped with five-inch naval guns and can travel at a maximum speed of 30 knots; will replace the 1500-ton class frigate

Chief of Naval Operations Sim Seung-seob: “We plan to make the Gyeongnam the most powerful and safest ship”


The Republic of Korean Navy’s second 2800-ton class frigate (FFG-) ‘Gyeongnam’ has taken a powerful step toward carrying out its mission of maritime protection. A ship launching ceremony for the Gyeongnam took place at the Okpo shipyard of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Maritime Engineering (DSME), located in Geoje, South Gyeongsang Province, in the afternoon on June 21st. A ship launching ceremony is the ritual first launch of a warship equipped with equipment and weapon systems. 

The ceremony was attended by Sim Seung-seop, Chief of Naval Operations as principal guest and some 120 officials from Navy, Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) of Korea, and DSME, including Moon Ki-jung, chief of ship division of DAPA and Lee Sung-geun, CEO of DSME. 

The ceremony opened with a pledge of allegiance to the nation and was followed by a progress report, announcement of the ship’s name, opening remarks, awarding people of merit, congratulatory address, launching, and praying for safe navigation. When Rear Admiral Kim Jeong-soo, chief of the Planning and Management Department of the Navy Headquarters, named the new frigate (FFG-) ‘Gyeongnam’ and its hull number ‘819’ via Certificate of Naming No. 482 after the progress report by the CEO of DSME, all present celebrated the name with loud applause. In naming the new frigate (FFG-) Gyeongnam, the Navy is carrying on a tradition of naming frigates after names of metropolitan cities and provinces in Republic of Korea. 

In keeping with nautical tradition, Ms. Lee Kyung-sook, wife of the principal guest Chief Sim, cut the ribbon between the platform and the vessel using a hatchet. Amid fluttering colorful papers, the Gyeongnam headed out to the sea for the first time, sounding its whistle loudly. 

The Gyeongnam was built to replace the Navy’s 1500-ton class frigate (FF) and 1000-ton class patrol combat corvette (PCC). The ship is 122m in length and 14m in width, and can reach a maximum speed of 30 knots (55.5per hour). The ship is equipped with five-inch naval guns, ship-to-ship guided missiles, tactical ship-to-ground guided missiles, and close-in weapon systems, and can carry one maritime operations helicopter. The propelling system has a hybrid system using gas turbines and propulsion motors.


The Gyeongnam is Korea’s newest and most capable battle ship, with the best ground-to-submarine operational capability. According to the Navy the ship will play a prominent role not only in improving the naval forces’ combat power but also in strengthening their ability to carry out combined operations. 

The construction of Gyeongnam began in February 2018 with a shipbuilding contract between the DAPA and the DSME, signed in October 2016. The Navy has a plan to deploy the Gyeongnam in operations around 2021, after delivery, takeover, and force integration. 

“Armed with up-to-date combat systems, the Gyeongnam will be able to show the most powerful combat power when it is manned by soldiers with strong operational capabilities,” Chief Sim said in his congratulatory address, stressing that “we will make the Gyeongnam the most powerful and safest ship by maximizing the operational capabilities of our soldiers via thorough combat readiness and actual fight training.”

By Seung-Hoi, Ahn < >

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