The Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) has awarded a contract to Raytheon to deliver nine Phalanx Block 1B close-in weapon systems (CIWS).
Under the $123m direct commercial sale, Raytheon will deliver the Phalanx systems for installation aboard the South Korean Navy’s Future Frigate eXperimental (FFX) Batch II frigate-class vessels and AOE II-class fast combat support ships.
Raytheon naval and area mission defence product line vice-president Rick Nelson said: "Phalanx provides the vital protective capabilities needed for the Republic of Korea Navy to achieve its maritime mission requirements in the littorals and high seas in which it operates
"Phalanx counters sophisticated subsonic and supersonic anti-ship missiles while increasing the outer perimeter for ship self-defence."
Deliveries of the advanced radar-controlled gun systems are scheduled to commence in 2016 and will be completed in 2022.
The Phalanx system is a rapid-fire, computer-controlled, radar-guided gun system capable of countering anti-ship missiles and other close-in air and surface threats.
Raytheon has delivered more than 890 Phalanx 20mm gun systems to navies of 25 nations to date.
The South Korean Navy’s FFX or Incheon-class ships are built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) for conducting multi-role operations including coast patrol, anti-submarine warfare and transport support.
Intended to replace the ageing fleet of Ulsan-class and Pohang-class corvettes of the ROKN, the FFX vessels will be built in two batches with an aim to deploying up to 15 ships into service by 2020 while DSME will build first ship of the second batch.
Image: An Incheon-class frigate at sea. Photo: courtesy of Roakr.