The nation's next-generation Aegis destroyer Jeongjo the Great was launched on July 28 to help the Republic of Korea Navy play a more active maritime role in the world.
The Navy and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) held the launching ceremony for the vessel at the shipyard of Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan. The destroyer was designed and built with domestic technology.
As the Navy's first 8,200-ton Aegis destroyer, Jeongjo the Great measures 170 m long and 21 m wide and is about 600 tons heavier than the destroyer Sejong the Great (7,600 tons). The new vessel's system for intercepting ballistic missiles and firepower have been greatly enhanced, with a top speed of 34 knots, or about 64 km per hour.
Equipped with the latest Aegis combat system, the destroyer has long-range surface-to-air missiles such as the SM-6 and surface-to-ground ballistic missiles. The missiles can be aimed at main strategic targets from long distance and the vessel has improved capacity to intercept intercontinental missiles.
Greatly raising the ship's anti-submarine warfare capacity are advanced integrated sonar (equipment that measures target distance under water through sound waves) made with domestic technology and long-range anti-submarine and light torpedoes. The adoption of the naval helicopter MH-60R Seahawk in 2024, the Navy and DAPA said, will further boost the nation's anti-submarine power.
For the propulsion system, two hybrid electric drives (HED) were added to the vessel's four gas turbine engines to boost fuel efficiency.
President Yoon Suk Yeol attended the launching ceremony and said, "We have now made with our technology the world's best Aegis destroyer through a combination of domestic cutting-edge technology."
"Jeongjo the Great is the Navy's first 8,200-ton next-generation Aegis destroyer based on a state-of-the-art combat system that can detect, track and intercept ballistic missiles. This national strategic asset will raise the Navy's combat capacity to another level."
The destroyer's delivery to the Navy is slated for late 2024, and after receiving and installing all the weapon systems, the ship will be deployed for duty.