ROK launches first new KDX III Batch II AEGIS guided missile destroyer

ROK launches first new KDX III Batch II AEGIS guided missile destroyer
ROK launches first new KDX III Batch II AEGIS guided missile destroyer

South Asian countries continue to invest in navies as the tension between China, and Taiwan is rising. Republic of Korea (ROK) shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) launched the first KDX III Batch II AEGIS-equipped guided missile destroyer on 28 July 2022. The ship will be named ROKS Jeongjo the Great (DDG-995) once in service ROK Navy (ROKN).



The ship was ordered in October 2019 under a US$565 million contract between the ROK Defence Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and Hyundai Heavy Industries. The vessel will be the ROKN's fourth AEGIS-equipped guided missile destroyer and the largest in service, with an empty displacement of 8,200 tons, compared to the current Sejong the Great-class destroyers' empty displacement of around 7,600 tons.

ROK launches first new KDX III Batch II AEGIS guided missile destroyer

ROKN will get two more ships will be built, with HHI aiming to deliver all three 170-meter-long ships by November 2024. The new KDX III Batch II destroyers are based on the KDX III Batch I Sejong, the Great-class destroyers, but with several improvements such as improved combat, detection, and tracking systems, and anti-ballistic missile capability using Raytheon SM-3 Block IB interceptor missiles.

ROK launches first new KDX III Batch II AEGIS guided missile destroyer

The destroyer is equipped with a missile interception platform and improved anti-submarine warfare capabilities. It will be armed with the SM-2 Block IIIB missile and may be modified to carry the SM-6 missile. According to Naval News, the new KDX III Batch II destroyers will have 88 vertical launch systems (VLS) in total, including Mk. 41 VLS with 48 cells, K-VLS with 16 cells, and K-VLS II with 24 cells. The Mk. 41 VLS will carry US-made missiles, whereas the K-VLS will carry the K-SAAM air defence missile, the K-ASROC anti-submarine rocket, and the Haeryong tactical surface launch missile (TSLM) land attack cruise missile. Meanwhile, the K-VLS II will enable the deployment of the ROK's future long-range surface-to-air missile, the Cheongung 3 L-SAM, as well as a future supersonic anti-ship missile. The Lockheed Martin AN/SPY-1D(V) and the AEGIS Baseline 9.C2 combat systems will also be installed on the ship.