The South Korean Navy has launched a new frigate, the Incheon, at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan, Seoul, in a bid to boost its deterrence following North Korean attacks last year.

The 114m-long, 2,300t frigate is capable of cruising at speeds of 30kt while accommodating a crew of 140 and an anti-submarine helicopter.

The frigate is armed with anti-ship and anti-aircraft rolling airframe missiles, a 3D radar system and a Torpedo acoustic countermeasure to fight enemy torpedo attacks.

The $232m frigate will be the lead ship of 20 new frigates to be built by 2020 under a naval project, code-named FFX.

South Korean naval operations chief Admiral Kim Sung-chan said the frigate, with its enhanced anti-ship, anti-aircraft and electronic warfare capabilities, would aid in the effective destruction of enemy submarines.

The new frigate is expected to enter service with the navy in mid-2013 after undergoing six months of testing.