South Korea commissions sixth Incheon-class frigate ROKS Gwangju

The Republic of South Korea Navy has commissioned its sixth FF frigate, named ROKS Gwangju, the country’s arms procurement agency announced.

According to a report by the South Korean news agency Yonhap, the new frigate is expected to start patrols in March next year after it completes operational sea trials.

ROKS Gwangju is the last of six 2,300-ton frigates. Launched in August 2015, the frigate has a crew of 120 and is capable of reaching a maximum speed of 30 knots.

South Korea has already launched the first FF-II frigate ROKS Daegu. The second-batch frigates are bigger than the FF frigates displacing 2,800 tones.

FF-II frigates will be equipped with a 16-cell Korean vertical launching system for defense against air threats and six torpedo tubes for anti-submarine warfare. DSME, the shipbuilder in charge, said Daegu would be delivered to the Navy in 2017 and is expected to become operational in the second half of 2018.

The new frigates South Korea is building are replacing the nation’s Pohang-class corvettes and Ulsan-class frigates.