South Korea is set to begin basic designing of an indigenous Aegis-equipped destroyer in a move to enhance the Republic of Korea Navy’s defense capabilities. Following basic planning and a review of the military’s requirements, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) on Friday issued a bid notice to select an entity in charge of the designing. After completing the design by the second half of 2023, DAPA is planning to begin its construction in 2024, according to its officials.
In 2018, the government decided on the Korea Destroyer Next Generation (KDDX) project to locally build 6,000 ton-class destroyers by the late 2020s to be equipped with the homegrown combat system. Korea’s two main shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy Industry (HHI) and DSME, are competing, each with their own design. DSME completed their conceptual design in 2019. DAPA is expected to award the basic design contract to one of the two competed shipyards this year.
Bids for the design work on the new destroyer will be accepted by July this year. At a projected 6,000 tons, the new generation of destroyers is envisioned as being significantly smaller than the Sejong the Great-class destroyers currently in service with the Republic of Korea Navy, which have a standard displacement of some 8,500-tons. Construction of the first in the new class of ships is expected to start in 2024, once the design work wraps up, tentatively by the second half of 2023. The first vessel is expected to be built by the late 2020s at a cost of around $1.57 billion.