South Korea unveils plans to design and build new Arsenal Ships


CGI showing concept Joint Firepower Ship design. Photo c/o SBS.

The Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) has announced that it is planning to build a new fleet of "Joint Firepower Ships", and selecting a shipbuilder to design the ships.

The Joint Firepower Ship is the South Korean name for an "Arsenal Ship" concept, which is a ship bristling with missiles to support other ships in the fleet, as well as in coordination with land based and aerial surveillance and targeting systems.

The ROKN selected South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) as the preferred partner to formulate the conceptual design of the Joint Firepower Ship, which was announced on 13 April 2023.

Among those to be finalized as part of the conceptual design would include the ship's dimensions and size, shape and external design, the type and quantity of weapon systems and sensors, and the Required Operational Capability (ROC).

These are expected to be reached by the end of 2023, and would be submit for feasibility and review prior to making a decision if the project would proceed to building as part of the country's mid-term defense plan.

The ROKN aims to have three ships by the late 2020s, and would be primarily a platform capable of conducting pre-emptive strikes against North Korean targets inland including command centers, land attack missile launchers, and other military infrastructure should an imminent threat from missile attack is confirmed.

It is believed that the Joint Firepower Ship would be armed with up to 80 missiles using a  new line of ship-launched cruise and ballistic missiles capable of striking land and sea targets, and would also be armed with ship-launched anti-aircraft missile systems for defense against anti-ship missiles and aircraft.

[1] Naval News
[2] Asia Times

South Korea unveils plans to design and build new Arsenal Ships South Korea unveils plans to design and build new Arsenal Ships Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on April 21, 2023 Rating: 5

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