Korea’s First Aegis Destroyer Launched

Friday, June 01, 2007
Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) completed and launched Korea’s first 7,600-ton class Aegis destroyer. The launching ceremony for the ship was held May 25, 2007. In attendance were President Roh Mu-hyun, First Lady Kwon Yang-sook, Minister of Defense Kim Jang-soo, Chief of Naval Operations Song Young-moo, Chairman of the Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff Kim Kwan-jin, commissioner of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration Lee Sun-hee, Mayor of Ulsan Park Maeng-woo, CEO of HHI Choi Kil-seon, and 350 other guests at HHI's Special and Naval Shipbuilding Yard in Ulsan, Korea.

The destroyer was named Sejongdaewang-Ham after the legendary king of the Chosun Dynasty who strived to protect his people and his kingdom by fortifying that nation’s defenses.

After naval operational tests are completed the destroyer will be delivered by the end of 2008 and deployed by the Korean Navy. South Korea started to design and build the Aegis destroyer in November, 2004. South Korea is the third country with an Aegis destroyer, joining both the U.S. and Japan.

The Sejongdaewang-Ham is the first KDX-III destroyer in the Korean Navy. It will help strengthen Korean naval operational power, along with the six 4,300-ton class KDX-II destroyers. It is equipped with an AEGIS combat system, which includes the SPY-1D (V) radar, capable of detecting and tracking 1000 targets and attacking 20 of those targets simultaneously. The destroyer also has a wide-ranging anti-aircraft defense system, ground operations support, and can automatically track both guided and ballistic missiles or enemy fighter planes. It is expected to be the flagship of the Korean Navy.

The destroyer’s computer systems have been localized, including the weapons system controlling the perpendicular missile launcher, anti-warship missiles, and torpedoes; the electronic warfare equipment, and the sailing radar.

The word Aegis comes from the name of the mythological protective shield of Zeus. It was first used by the U.S. Navy as a name for an advanced missile under development in 1969. Since that time the U.S. Navy has called any highly protective warfare system an Aegis Combat System and destroyers equipped with the Aegis Combat System are called Aegis destroyers. The ships equipped with the Aegis Combat System in Spain and Norway are convoys, not destroyers.

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