The South Korean Navy has reportedly launched its new guided missile frigate, Gwangju, advancing the country’s efforts to modernise naval capabilities.

The new vessel represents the sixth addition to the navy’s fleet as part of a project to construct 20 next-generation vessels by 2020, Yonhap news agency reported.

With these new warships, the navy will be able to replace older frigates and patrol combat corvettes.

The 2,300t Gwangju will have a capacity to accommodate 120 crewmen and will be capable of cruising at a maximum speed of 30k.

In addition, the new frigate will feature three-dimension scanning radar and sonar torpedo detecting system, as well as anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles.

"With the addition of these new warships, the navy will be able to replace older frigates and patrol combat corvettes."

The missiles are designed to engage in anti-aircraft, anti-submarine, and anti-ship operations.

A statement from the navy said that the vessel will be deployed to defend South Korea’s sea territory and contribute as deterrence against North Korea’s aggression, the news agency reported.

Scheduled for deployment in late 2016, the vessel is said to now undergo test navigation and examinations.

In May, the South Korean Navy launched its new type 214 submarine, the sixth underwater capability of the navy.

Designed to accommodate approximately 40 sailors, the submarine is capable of making a round-trip from South Korea to Hawaii in the US without refuelling.

It will be capable of charging a storage battery without air using air independent propulsion (AIP). With this capability, the vessel will be available for operations for two weeks without floating to the surface.