South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has announced that ‘Yang Man-chun’ destroyer’s combat capabilities have been upgraded.

DAPA modernised the destroyer’s combat system and target detection capabilities. The 3,200t destroyer was delivered to the navy following modernisation refit, test and evaluation.

The destroyer, which is the first of three KDX-I (Gwanggaeto the Great-class) vessels, now features three times more capability in target management and 100 times faster than the earlier version, according to the arms procurement agency.

Additionally, the use of local technologies has reduced maintenance time and cost.

The replacement of the Towed Array Sonar System with the equipment used on new frigates has improved the underwater target detection and tracking, noted DAPA.

This is said to improve the ability of the navy to carry out future anti-submarine operations.

DAPA battleship division head navy commodore Jeong Sam said: “The success of the ‘KDX-I performance improvement project’, which is the navy’s first surface ship performance improvement project, and the success of localisation of the destroyer-class combat system further developed the capability to improve the performance of ship-mounted equipment.

“It contributes greatly to strengthening the military power and capacity of the domestic defence industry.”

The other two destroyer are said to complete their refit by next year.

In June this year, France-based ECA Group won a contract to supply steering and diving consoles (SNDC) for South Korea Navy’s 1st submarine of JANGBOGO III- Batch II Class.

Last year, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs decided to expand the navy after China and Japan began work on new aircraft carriers.