South Korea commissions second Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship


The ROKS Marado during its launching in 2018. Photo c/o South Korean Military Channel.

The Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) has commissioned its second Dokdo-class landing platform helicopter during ceremonies held on  28 June 2021.

The ship, named the ROKS Marado (LPH-6112), was commissioned 14 years after its sistership, the lead ship of the class ROKS Dokdo (LPH-6111) which was brought into service in 2007.

It was built by Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction (HHIC) in Busan, with the keel laid on 28 April 2018 and launching held on 14 May 2018.

Compared to the original Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship, the new ROKS Manado features improvements including reinforced landing deck that could carry heavier aircraft like the V-22 Osprey, improved anti-air and flight systems.

This includes a new EL/M-2248 MF-STAR AESA multifunction surveillance radar from Elta Systems of Israel, replacing the Thales SMART-L multi-beam radar found on the ROKS Dokdo.

Flight control tower design was changed as well, with the location moved from the front on the island tower to the rear part.

It also has the Phalanx 20mm close-in weapon system instead of the Goalkeeper 30mm CIWS, with the location shifted as well. The Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) found on the original ship was also replaced by the Korean Vertical Launching System (K-VLS) with the Sea Bow K-SAAM missile which has a longer engagement range.

A new indigenous combat system using the LIGNex1's SPS-550K 3D air and surface surveillance radar, SAQ-600K optronic sights, among others.

The ROKN will bring the ship to a series of Initial Operation Capability (IOC) tests from July to December 2021, before increasing its operationalization.

Media reports also mentioned that the ROKN might consider using the ROKS Marado as a host ship to welcome the Royal Navy's aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth during its scheduled visit to ROKN Fleet Command in Busan in August-September 2021.

[1] Naval News
Yonhap News

South Korea commissions second Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship South Korea commissions second Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on June 29, 2021 Rating: 5

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