South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has reportedly handed over the first multipurpose training boat (MTB) to the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy.

The vessel was built by the local shipbuilding company Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction (HHIC) and has completed a series of trial operations, reported the official South Korean news agency, Yonhap.

“The launch of the 230t training vessel into the Korean Navy fleet is expected to enable the navy to strengthen its advanced training capabilities.”

DAPA Ship Acquisition Programme official Moon Ki-jeong was quoted by Yonhap as saying: “The deployment of the MTB would enable our navy to conduct a more scientific and safe training.”

The MTB is a naval training boat that is equipped with anti-ship, anti-aircraft, and anti-submarine and electronic warfare training support systems.

Launch of the 230t training vessel into the ROK Navy fleet is expected to enable the navy to strengthen its advanced training capabilities.

HHIC initially began construction work on the new training boat in July 2015.

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The new MTB is expected to enter service with the Navy this month following a two-week familiarisation period, Yonhap reported.

In addition, HHIC won a bid to construct a second MTB for the ROK Navy for KRW40.05bn ($37.66m) last year.

This MTB contract formed part of the larger KRW350bn ($329.15m) deal that was secured by the company to build a total of eight vessels for the navy.

The other contracted ships to be constructed by HHIC included four next-generation patrol boats (PKX) and three landing craft utilities (LCU).