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FFX - Daewoo DW 3000H Frigate

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) announced 31 December 2013 that the company had won $305.8 million order to construct a frigate for the Korean Navy. The deal with the Defense Acquisition Program Administration entails producing and delivering the warship to the South Korean Navy by 2017, the shipbuilder said. Under the deal, the shipyard will build an Incheon Class frigate equipped with anti-air defence and helicopter landing capabilities. In their design made a few changes - the hulls were increased to 122 meters (Batch I - 117 meters), draft standard will oscillate at the level of 3700 tonnes (Batch I - 2,300 tonnes). Changes will also include equipment and its placement on the board. The vessel was to have an overall length of 114m, width of 14m and a depth of 25m. The standard displacement of the ship is 2,300t. It can accommodate a crew of 145 to 170. About eight ships of Batch II are to be built by DSME until 2017.

A frigate is a kind of surface combat ship, able to attack and defend against submarines, aircraft, and warships. Jung Sung-Ki reported in October 2013 that "... procurement plans include the FFX program to build a dozen new frigates with advanced sensors and a wide variety of weaponry. The FFX program is intended to replace the aging fleet of existing Ulsan class frigates and Pohang class corvettes with multimission frigates. The 2,300- to 3,000-ton FFX vessels are to be built in two batches with an objective of putting up to 24 ships into service by 2026."

Between 6-9 FFX Batch II ships are planned to be built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. These include many of the same core systems onboard Batch I ships, though they may be slightly larger. Instead of using a CODOG system, Batch II ships will be powered by a single 36-40MW MT30 turbine, and propulsion will be all-electric. A 16-cell K-VLS Korean Vertical Launch System adds locally-designed SAAM medium-range air defense missiles in place of the Batch Is short-range RAM, along with vertically launched anti-submarine missiles like Koreas own Red Shark, and longer-range Haeseong-II cruise missiles. Theres enough room to add another 16-32 cells in Batch III. A larger hangar allows Batch II frigate to handle larger 10-ton helicopters, like KAIs own naval Surion helicopter.

DW3000H design is based on Korea Ulsan class frigates the DW2000 frigate (Ulsan-mod), frigates used in Korea and Bangladesh Navy. In 1989, South Koreas Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) built a 4,000-ton destroyer that can carry a helicopter. It has become the main destroyer model of the Korean navy, demonstrating 100% competence in design engineering. This model of destroyer has self-defense capabilities with a speed of 30-knots and outstanding warfare capabilities that can track and destroy missiles as well as airplanes, surface combatants, and submarines. Following the successful building of three 4,000-ton class destroyers, DSME was awarded an order for a 5,000-ton class destroyer in 1999. The company built two more vessels since the delivery to the Korean navy in December 2003.

Based on such technological capability, DSME became the first Korean company to receive an order for a 2,300-ton class frigate from the Bangladesh navy, which placed Korea among the warship exporters. In addition, DSME has built numerous 1,000 ~ 3,000-ton warships of various kinds.

Daewoo unveiled a new frigate concept, the stealthy DW 3000H, at the Defense & Security 2012 Trade Show in Bangkok, Thailand. Principal dimensions of the DW 3000H are a length of 114 meters, a beam of 13.8 meters, a depth of 8.2 meters, a draft of 3.9 meters, and a displacement of 3,000-4,000 tons. The frigates propulsion system is a combined diesel and diesel arrangement driving two controllable pitch propellers for a top speed of 28 knots. To improve seakeeping characteristics, the hull has a pair of adjustable fin stabilizers and two pairs of bilge keels (strakes running along the length of the hull).

In common with other contemporary warship designs, the DW 3000H features an integrated mast Thales I-Mast 500 most likely fitted with ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile) uplink/control capability. Fire-control equipment includes a forward-facing gunfire-control director a Thales Sting atop the bridgehouse and a rear-facing Thales MIRADOR electro-optical director atop the helicopter hangar.

The DW 3000H is to be multirole frigate with a focus on anti-submarine warfare (ASW). Primary weapon systems are a single Oto Melara 76 mm gun in a stealth turret, an eight-cell vertical launch system for surface-to-air missiles very likely the ESSM, eight surface-to-surface missiles most likely American-built Harpoons or the equivalent Korean-built SSM-700K in two quad launchers located amidships, two 30 mm MSI DS30 guns fitted atop the hangar deck and a Phalanx close-in weapon system that is mounted one deck higher. A pair of decoy launchers is also fitted.

The ASW suite comprises two triple-torpedo tubes in enclosed recesses on the main deck level as well as what appear to be two anti-torpedo decoy launchers mounted atop the hangar deck. A hull-mounted sonar is fitted in a retractable sonar dome, though it is not clear if a towed array system is fitted. The frigate can accommodate one helicopter in the hangar. The display model shows a Lynx helicopter.

The frigates propulsion system is a combined diesel and diesel arrangement driving two controllable pitch propellers for a top speed of 28 knots. To improve seakeeping, the hull has a pair of adjustable fin stabilizers and two pairs of bilge keels (strakes running along the length of the hull). In common with other contemporary warships, the DW3000H features an integrated mast Thales I-Mast 500 most likely fitted with ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile) uplink/control capability. Fire-control equipment includes a forward-facing gunfire-control director a Thales Sting atop the bridgehouse and a rear-facing Thales MIRADOR electro-optical director atop the helicopter hangar.

By 2014 most of these reported design features had changed. Batch II ships were to be powered by a single 36-40MW MT30 turbine, and with all-electric propulsion using Finmeccanicas newly-developed Permanent Magnetic Motor hybrid-electric drive. Other changes were tied to a 16-cell K-VLS Korean Vertical Launch System that will let the frigate add locally-designed SAAM medium-range air defense missiles in place of the Batch Is short-range RAM, along with vertically launched anti-submarine missiles like Koreas own Red Shark, and longer-range Haeseong-II cruise missiles. Theres enough room to add another 16-32 cells in Batch III.

On 24 February 2014 Raytheon Company announced a $123 million contract to deliver nine Phalanx Block 1B Close-In Weapon Systems to the Republic of Korea Navy. Under the direct commercial sale, the largest ever for the Phalanx program, Raytheon will deliver the Phalanx systems for installation aboard the FFX Batch II frigate-class ships and AOE II-class fast combat support ships. Deliveries were to begin in 2016 and were scheduled to be completed in 2022. The contract was signed during the fourth quarter 2013.

On 14 November 2018 Daewoo received orders for ships No. 5 and No. 6, following No. 1 and No. 2 ships, and confirmed the strongest defense company in the defense business. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (CEO Jung Sung-lip) announced on 14 November that it had concluded a contract to build 5,6 berths of the 2,800-ton class new frigate (FFG-II) of the ROK Navy. The contract amount is W631.5bn, and DSME will complete construction by the end of 2022 and deliver it to the ROK Navy. The company also won orders worth W26.6bn for submarines on Feb 2nd.

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering has the largest number of submarine orders in Korea with 17 vessels. In addition, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Eng. Has secured 46 shipbuilding orders including the latest Aegis ship. In connection with the agreement, the director of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Specialties Division, Park Doo-sun, said, "The process is proceeding successfully, with the second ship successfully proceeding to Daegu in February. "We will also build the 5th and 6th ships that we have won this time without any hitches, and will contribute to the national defense and secure the core power of the ROK Navy."

Foreign Sales

Thailands government was thought to be interested in equipping the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) with two to three new frigates. The Royal Thai Navy chose the South Korean naval ship manufacturer to build a pair of new frigates that will cost about 13 billion baht. An RTN selection committee announced on 21 Apr 2013 it had chosen Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering to manufacture the frigate, a navy source said. The company was one of the two South Korean firms to enter the final round of the bidding. The other three foreign firms ousted from the previous rounds were from Spain, Italy and China. The RTN preferred European frigates but they were too expensive.

During the bidding stage of this contract, DSME beat 13 world famous warship contractors. By the end of 2012 the next generation frigate options included Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard 054 / Jiang Kai-class frigate, Lockheed Martin's Littoral Combat Ship, Germany ThyssenKrupp Marine thing Systems Company MEKO type frigates and South Korea's Daewoo shipyard design. The Chief of Thailands Naval Operations Mr. Surasak Runroengrom said, Its not easy to integrate a new battle system with our previous war ships. However, DSME presented a specialized model to meet our request. Thus we decided to award the order to DSME.

On August 08, DSME won a new order for a warship from the Thailand Navy. It was the biggest defense contract ever awarded by the Thai Navy, with a value of approximately 470 million USD. This contract is the second defense order awarded to DSME this year following a combat support ship ordered by the Norwegian Navy. The frigate will be 122.5m long, 14.4m wide with 3,700 full load displacement and is scheduled to be delivered to the Thai Navy in August 2018.




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