SEOUL — South Korea’s Navy has received its first training ship, built with a reduced radar signature, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration announced Oct. 20.
The delivery came two years after the ship was launched in 2018 at a dockyard of Hyundai Heavy Industries in the South Korean coastal city of Ulsan.
Named after an island south of the Korean Peninsula near where Adm. Yi Sun-sin had won a battle against a Japanese fleet in 1592, the Hansando auxiliary training ship helicopter is expected to help improve effectiveness of naval trainings, DAPA said in its news release.
“This is the first time that the Republic of Korean Navy has secured a ship only for crew training,” said Rear Adm. Jeong Sam, head of DAPA’s combat ship acquisition department. “The deployment of the training vessel will boost the naval power to a greater extent with the utilization of advanced naval training systems onboard.”
The admiral also said the vessel will be deployed to conduct disaster relief operations as well as maritime security missions as needed.
The 4,500-ton, 142-meter-long ship employs stealth features in its design and can sail more than 12,000 kilometers at the speed of 18 knots, according to the release. It features large lecture rooms and separate practice rooms for educating of naval cadets. The ship is equipped to carry 120 crew members and more than 300 trainees, and can accommodate up to two medium-sized naval helicopters.
It also comes with computer-based training systems that can simulate combat situations and operations aboard various types of naval vessels in service, including destroyers and frigates.
“The ship is also installed with advanced medical systems, including three surgery rooms, a medical office, a negative pressure room to handle outbreaks of infectious diseases onboard,” Jeong said.
The vessel is armed with 76mm and 40mm guns built by Hyundai Wia, along with an anti-missile decoy system. It is also fitted with chaff launchers, torpedo launchers, electronic warfare systems and a hull-mounted sonar.
Brian Kim is a South Korea correspondent for Defense News.