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HCX-19 Hyundai Combatant eXperimental 2019

On 22 October 2019, the biennial Korea International Maritime Defense Industry Exhibition opened in Busan, the naval center of South Korea. This Korea International Maritime Defense Industry Exhibition attracted defense companies from more than 100 countries and regions all over the world. Of course, As a showcase for the Korean shipbuilding industry, most of them are Korean companies. At present, the South Korean Navy has proposed an ambitious iterative plan for its new navy ship, and these concepts were also unveiled for the first time at this exhibition. At the same time, the South Korean shipbuilding industry attaches great importance to the ship's export industry, and many new concepts of export ships have appeared in this exhibition.

HCX-19 stands for Hyundai Combatant eXperimental 2019. South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries, which built the "Incheon" class frigate, introduced the new-generation multi-purpose frigate concept called "HCX-19" at this exhibition. It is about 110-120 meters long and has a displacement of 3,500 to 4,000 tons. The width of the ship will range between 14-16 m and it will be equipped with retractable surface-to-surface missile launchers, a universal vertical launching system, a 76 mm main gun with guided munitions, close-in weapon system, and laser weapons.

The shape design is similar to that of the French "overseas intervention frigate", but it weakens the armed forces. Some design concepts are more similar to the "British Global Fighter 26" advocated by the "Modular", "multi-tasking" and "high redundant load" design. The bow and stern are equipped with huge multi-tasking load bays.

It was created to show HHI’s vision of what surface combatants will look like in the 2030ies and its design relies on two concepts. The first concept is the drone mothership. HHI expects that surface combatants will need to be able to deploy unmanned systems in all domains: Air (UAV), Surface (USV), Sub-surface (UUV) and that these vessels will even need to be able to deploy remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). It is worth mentioning that in order to better operate the drone, the HCX-19 is also equipped with a side-opening ultra-small drone deck on the bow side for taking off and landing rotor drones.

The other major concept that HHI is trying to convey with the HCX-19 is that the notion of “ship class” is likely to disappear and today’s corvette, frigates and destroyers will likely be merged into a single class of ship in the 2030ies.

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Page last modified: 02-12-2019 18:13:21 ZULU