The South Korean Government has awarded a contract to Hyundai to build the country’s next-generation frigates.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said the new ships would be equipped with improved anti-ship, anti-air and anti-submarine capabilities.

The new frigates will replace the aging fleet of Ulsan Class frigates and the Pohang Class patrol combat corvettes, which are currently in service.

A formal contract will be signed by the end of 2010, and the first ship will be delivered to the navy in 2014.