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S. Korea's Navy gets new anti-submarine warfare frigate

South Korea's Navy on Thursday received a brand-new guided missile frigate with strong anti-submarine warfare capabilities, the country's arms agency said.

The 2,800-ton Daegu ship features stealth design and uses a hybrid electric drive propulsion system, which reduces noise and enables rapid maneuvers when necessary, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

It's also equipped with a towed array sonar system (TASS) and Hong Sang Eo long-range anti-submarine torpedos.

Other armaments include ship-to-ground, ship-to-ship guided missiles, naval guns and a Phalanx close-in weapon system.

South Korean Navy's new guided missile frigate, the Daegu, in an undated photo provided by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration. (Yonhap)

"The Daegu is a warship with greatly improved capabilities to detect or attack such targets as ships and submarines and to defend itself from aircraft and guided missiles, compared with existing frigates and patrol combat corvettes," DAPA said.

In addition, it will be used as a major warship to defend South Korean waters and attack an enemy at war as it's armed with a ship-to-surface guided missile system to strike major ground targets, added the agency.

It is the first vessel produced in South Korea's second guided missile frigate (FFG) acquisition program, code-named Ulsan-class Batch-II.

Its construction began in December 2013 by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, a local shipbuilder.

The delivery ceremony was held at its shipyard in Geoje Island, South Gyeongsang Province.

The Navy plans to put it in combat operation in the latter half of this year after training a crew and making other preparations.

"The survivability of the Daegu has been maximized as it has stealth design," said Bang Keuk-chul, head of the DAPA's warship program team. "And it's possible to carry out more effective anti-submarine operations with its hybrid propulsion system making less noise."

Kim Jung-mi  edt@koeapost.com

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