SEOUL, -- South Korea's defense procurement agency Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) placed an order with Hyundai Heavy & Industries (HHI) on Tuesday to build two Daegu-class FFX-II frigates ahead of schedule to support the ailing local shipbuilding industry.
The two FFX-II vessels will be the third and fourth in the series. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) launched the lead ship of the new Daegu-class FFX-II (also known as FFX batch II) frigate for the Republic of Korea Navy (ROK Navy) on June 2, 2016. Key updates of the Batch II over the ASW-focused Batch I include VLS and full electric propulsion system, as well as a larger hangar that can accomodate a 10-ton helicopter.
FFX-II batch II is the first South Korean warship to be fitted with DRS Hybrid Electric Drive system, coupled with Rolls-Royce MT-30 gas turbine engine for CODLAG integrated full-electric propulsion. This configuration is shared with the US Navy's LCS and Zumwalt destroyers, as well as with the Royal Navy's QE aircraft carriers and future Type 26 GCS. In terms of engine technology and acoustic reduction technology, this makes FFX-II one of the most advanced and 'reduced accoustic signature' ASW frigates among western navies.
Contacted in June by Navy Recognition, a DSME reprensentative said that first ship of the class ROKS-818, Daegu will be delivered to ROK Navy in late 2017 and will be commissioned in late 2018.
FFX-II batch II is not fitted with Mk 41 VLS buth with KVLS meaning it will deploy Korean missiles (most probably designed by LIG Nex 1 such as the Cheolmae-2 medium-range air defense missile, Hong Sang Eo anti-submarine rocket, and possibly the Hyunmoo-3 series of land attack cruise missiles).
The first FFX-II Batch II of the Republic of Korea Navy Daegu during its launch ceremony.