Military


FFK Ulsan class Frigate Korea (FFK)

The Ulsan class ships, designated as Frigate Korea (FFK), are multi purpose frigates with varied capabilities for ASW, ASUW, and AAW. These are the first frigates designed and built by South Korea, and were built by four different ship builders in South Korea. Four shipbuilders -- Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Daewoo Heavy Industries Co., Korea Tacoma Marine Industries Ltd., and Korean Shipbuilding and Engineering -- constructed the South Korean-designed Ulsan-class frigates and Tonghae-class corvettes for the navy.

The first ship of this class was launched in April 1980 by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. at Ulsan, South Korea, and commissioned in January 1981. ROKS Chongju (FFK-961), the last ship launched on March 1992 by Daewoo Heavy Industries Co. at Koje, South Korea, was commissioned on June 1993.

The ships are divided in Early versions and Late versions, which have different armament and electronic equipment. The full loaded displacement is 2,180 tons (for the first type) and 2,300 tons (for the second type). The Early versions consist of five ships (FFK 951-956), and the Late versions consist of four ships (FFK 957-961). The Early versions have 2 OTO Melara 76mm compact guns, 4 Emerson 30mm AA guns, 8 Harpoon SSMs, 6 324mm torpedos, sonar (PHS-32), WM-28 fire control radar, DA-05 air search radar. The Late versions are generally similar to the Early versions, except they have 3 Breda 40mm AA guns, ST-1802 fire control radar. The different AA gun and the round shaped structure of the mast distingish between the Early and Late versions.

The design is very powerful compared with other frigates with a similar displacement, given the heavy armament of two 76mm guns, 3 or 4 AA guns, 8 SSM, 6 torpedo, 12 depth charges. The ships have long range and great maneuverability, as they are equiped with two GE LM-2500 gas turbines and 2 MTU diesel engines, which provide a maximum speed 34 knots.

The overall length of this ship is 102 meters, beam 11.5 meters, draft 3.51metres and the height of 27.8 meters. The maximum displacement is 2,180 tons. The ship has excellent ranges, with the ability to navigate from Korea to Main land United states (distance of 4447 miles) at a cruising speed of 15 knots. Without refueling, from Korea to the Phillippines (distance of 911 miles) at a maximum speed of 34 knots and running within 25 hours without refueling.

The structure of this ship is a steel hull with aluminum alloy superstructure. There are three versions. The first five ships are the same except Kyung Buk, which has the four Emersion Electric twin 30 mm guns replaced by three Breda twin 40 mm. The last four of the class have a built -up gun platform aft and a different combination of surface search, target indication and navigation radars.

Weapon systems integration caused earlier concern and a Ferranti combat data system has been installed in the last five Litton systems Link 11 fitted in three of the class. This system can be classified into two major systems, one is automatized tactics data control system and the other being the armament control system. Three of the Ulsan (HDF-2000) are fitted with datalinks to shore as FAC leaders. There is a radar which detects waves automatically, tactics data and various detecting measures which are SONAR capable of detecting and tracking underwater targets within 16,000 yds. The anti - ship radar is capable of detecting surface targets within 300 miles, anti - aircraft radar capable of detecting anti-aircraft targets, TV and IR cameras and Laser Range Finder.

With advanced technology, the system automatically controls weapons such as medium-range surface to surface Harpoon guided - missile able to attack up to 64 miles, RBOC to defend against guided missiles, torpedoes and depth charge bombs which are anti - sub weapons, two 76 mm main guns and three 40 mm secondary guns. The system is capable of simultaneous attack on five anti-aircraft, anti-ship, and anti-sub targets.

The ship is equipped with two LM 2500 gas turbine of maximum 54000 horse power for the navigating speed at over 37 kts and two diesel - engines with the maximum speed of 18 kts. The two can be alternatively operated, considering efficiency and importance requirements. Additionally, there are two DTA 150 reduction gears which adequately transfers the power generated from major propulsion engine to propulsion shaft and two variable propeller devices which can be changed according to the speed and forward and backward movement of screws. All of these systems can be automatically and remote control anywhere from the bridge and engine control room. There is one ship stabilizer which can minimize the ship's rolling in bad weather condition.

The Ulsan class ships were named after the names of Provinces or large cities in South Korea, as was the practice with the Gearing class ships. Ulsan is a industrial city that includes large shipyards, automobile manufactores and petroleum chemical complex, located on the coastal of the East Sea.

The Bangladesh Navy is mostly limited to coastal patrolling, but it paid to have an ULSAN class frigate built in South Korea. A new frigate, the Bangabandhu, was ceremonially commissioned into the Navy of Bangladesh in June 2001. Built by Daewoo of South Korea, the Bangabandhu is derived from an existing fleet of Ulsan class ships that are in service with the Korean Navy. The frigate was ordered three years earlier and completed on schedule at a cost of $100 mn. The Bangabandhu displaces 2,370 tons and is fitted with a Thales command and control suite comprising a TACTICOS combat system, DA-08 surveillance radar, a Variant surface surveillance radar, a Mirador electro-optical tracking and fire control system and a LIROD Mk2 fire control radar. In 1994-95, the then government, in principal, decided to purchase a naval frigate for Bangladesh Navy, but it did not mature due to indecision. In the following year (1995-96), a decision was taken. According to schedule, the frigate was to be received on June 18, 2001. 38 defects in the frigate, including those in installation of SONAR Dome and Cylindical Inspector Array, making it unable to operate as a warship. All these errors could be eliminated at the DAEWOO shipyard.




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