South Korea Makes Splash with Latest KDX-III Destroyer
Recently launched Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong features Lockheed Martin’s Aegis Weapons System
At an early age, the revered 16th century Korean scholar and military strategist Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong absorbed the teachings of Confucius, who once said, “A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door.”
Today with an aggressive neighbor to its north, the Republic of Korea, commonly referred to as South Korea, is taking that Confucianism to heart as well and made Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong a central part of its navy’s shipbuilding plan to defend the country from North Korea and other threats. On March 24, the South Korean Navy launched the Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong, the third of three 7,600-ton KDX-III class, Aegis-equipped destroyers.
The Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong features Lockheed Martin’s Aegis Weapons System, which provides the ship with full anti-air, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capabilities. Aegis combines the SPY-1D(V) radar, the MK 41 Vertical Launch System, the SM-2 Standard Missile and an open architecture combat system to maximize fleet defense.
"The Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong can support battles in air, land and sea,” said Lee Sang-gab, Captain of the Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong in a March 24 interview with Arirang News. “It will become the best combat ship, especially in defending the South from any aggressions by the North."
Built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, 415 kilometers (257 miles) southeast of Seoul, the Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong measures 166 meters long (544 feet) and 21 meters (69 feet) wide. It sails at a top speed of 30 knots with a range of 1,000 km (621 miles) and carries 120 missiles. The navy anticipates commissioning the Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong in 2012 following various sea trials.
South Korea launched the KDX-III program in 2004 to bolster its defense against North Korea. The navy deployed the first ship of the class, Sejong the Great, in 2008 and the second, the Yulgok Yi Yi, in September 2010.