South Korea just launched its newest destroyer - M5 Dergi
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South Korea just launched its newest destroyer

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Republic of Korea (South Korea) on Thursday launched a new 8,200-ton destroyer armed with ballistic missile defenses.

A ceremony to launch the 8,200-ton KDX-III Batch-II Aegis destroyer, designed largely with domestic technology, was held in Ulsan.

The ceremony for the Jeongjo The Great destroyer, named after a visionary king of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), took place at the shipyard of Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, some 410 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

The warship is equipped with the latest Aegis combat system, which has the ability to track and intercept ballistic missiles. It is expected to play a major role in the Korean Missile Defense System (KAMD).

“As a symbol of the efforts to build a strong, high-tech ocean-going Navy and a national strategic asset, the 8,200-ton destroyer is expected to further boost the Navy’s combat capabilities,” the Navy said in a press release.

The 170-meter-long, 21-meter-wide destroyer is equipped with radar-evading functions and the newest Aegis combat system capable of not only detecting and tracking ballistic missiles but also intercepting them.

The vessel is also to be fitted with ship-to-ground guided ballistic missiles and long-range ship-to-air guided missiles and equipped with the locally developed advanced sonar system targeting enemy submarines and underwater weapons, like torpedoes.

The destroyer will also be able to carry MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopters that the country plans to start introducing in 2024, according to the Navy.

“We will strive harder to construct a strong ocean-going military based on cutting-edge technologies in preparation against future threats and for shifts in the battle environment,” a Navy official was quoted as saying in the press release.

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