ROK Navy retires 3 Pohang-class corvettes and 5 Chamsuri-class patrol boats

The Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy decommissioned 8 naval vessels from active service on 28 December.

ROK Navy

The decommissioning ceremony took place at Jinhae Naval Base in Changwon. The navy retired three Pohang-class corvettes and five Chamsuri-class patrol boats.

The three decommissioned corvettes are ROKS Wonju (PCC-769), ROKS Seongnam (PCC-775), and ROKS Jecheon (PCC-776), all of which are Flight-IV vessels. The five other retired vessels were fast patrol boats with hull numbers 313, 315, 317, 318 and 319, which have been in service with the navy since the 1980s.

As of today, only seven Pohang-class corvettes remain in service. They are being quickly replaced by new Daegu-class frigates.

The three corvettes will likely be donated to Southeast Asian and Latin American countries. In 2021, two corvettes were donated to Colombia and Peru.

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On the other hand, the fast patrol boats will likely be used for target practice or dismantled.

The Pohang-class is a series of corvettes built by different South Korean shipbuilding firms. The class consists of 24 ships and some after decommissioning were sold or given to other countries. 

South Korea has also donated Pohang-class corvettes to Egypt, Vietnam and the Philippines as it replaces the vessel class with newer and more capable frigates. The country is actively working on the modernization of its navy fleet.

Recently, the navy completed a major upgrade program for KDX-I destroyers. The completion of the program was marked with the delivery of the last out of three upgraded Gwanggaeto Daewang (KDX-1)-class destroyers, Eulji Mundeok.

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The KDX-I destroyers were designed to replace the old destroyers in the South Korean Navy that were transferred from the US Navy in the 1950s and 1960s.

Developed by DSME in the 1990s, they are the first South Korean warships to incorporate anti-aircraft, anti-ship, and anti-submarine operation capabilities in a single platform.