South Korean Destroyer to Check its Operational Readiness


The South Korean Navy's first Aegis destroyer, Sejong the Great, will check its combat capabilities during a comprehensive evaluation near Hawaii in June 2010.

According to a navy source, the guided-missile destroyer will carry out tests of its fighting capabilities to check its operational readiness while participating in the international maritime exercise - known as the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.

During the course, the 7,600t destroyer will mainly check its anti-aircraft capability, which includes Standard missile-2 (SM-2), rolling airframe missiles (RAM) and Goalkeeper close-in weapons systems (CIWS), which will be evaluated by US Navy experts, according to yonhapnews.

SM-2s are the destroyer's primary long-range fleet air defence weapon while both the RAMs and the Goalkeeper CIWS are designed for short-range defence.

Armament on-board the ship includes one 127mm main gun, one CIWS, over 100 anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles, and torpedoes.

The South Korean Navy is due to receive two more Aegis vessels by 2012, one of which is currently undergoing sea trials.

Seoul said it would build six mini Aegis combat destroyers by 2026, which will have a displacement of around 5,600t.