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South Korea will buy three more Aegis destroyers.

| 2021

According to information published by The Korea Herald on April 1, 2021, South Korea’s arms procurement agency said that it will invest about 7 trillion won ($6.19 billion) to build three more Aegis destroyers and buy 36 American-made attack helicopters as part of a long-term initiative to bolster its military capabilities.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Republic Of Korea Ship Sejong the Great DDG 991, head of KDX-III Aegis destroyer class (Picture source: U.S. Navy photo)

The South Korean Navy is seeking to produce Aegis destroyers with better ballistic missile defense in upgrades to its Sejong class destroyer, the country’s first Aegis warship commissioned in 2008. The Navy expects to build the new destroyers by 2028, which will cost about $3.5 billion.

On the sidelines, the Navy is spending roughly $400 million to locally develop a close-in weapon system, known as CIWS, to mount on warships. The system targets short-range hostile fire.

The KDX-III Aegis destroyer class, or Sejong the Great Class destroyers are built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), along with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, and are operated by the Republic of Korean Navy (ROKN).

These ships have a full displacement of 10,000 tonnes and can accommodate up to 300 crew members. They have a full length of 165m, a beam of 21m, and a draft of 6m. They can reach a cruising range of 5,500 nautical miles at speeds of 20 knots, but can also reach maximum speeds of up to 30 knots.

They are armed with 80 SM-2 Block IIIB/IV, 16 SSM-700K Hae Sung long-range anti-ship missiles, 32 Hyunmoo III land attack missiles, and 21 RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM). They are also equipped with a 127mm Mk-45 Mod 4 naval gun and a 30mm Goalkeeper Close-In Weapon System (CIWS). They can also be fitted with 16 Hong Sang Eo (Red Shark) anti-submarine torpedoes.

The Aegis Combat System is an advanced naval surface defense system and is the foundation for Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense. Aegis can simultaneously attack land targets, submarines, and surface ships while automatically implementing defenses to protect the fleet against aircraft and missiles by simultaneously tracking a thousand targets within a 500-kilometers radius.

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