South Korea's close proximity to two potential adversaries in China and North Korea make the Republic of Korea Navy one of the most important branches of service for the peninsular nation. The service utilizes all manner of warships and submarines to cover a bevy of sorties needed in deterrence and direct-contact operations. The frigate group alone encompasses three major designs in the Daegu-class, Incheon-class, and Ulsan-class warships. The Incheon-class accounts for six total ships led by ROKS Incheon (FFG-811) herself, a multi-mission-minded warship launched ny Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) on April 29th, 2011, delivered to the navy in January of 2013, and fully commissioned on January 17th, 2013.
As of this writing (2021), she maintains an active presence in the South Korean fleet.
ROKS Incheon (FFG-811) was born from the "Future Frigate eXperimental" (FFX) initiative having origins in the early part of the 1990s. Reworked in the following decade, the South Korean Navy required some twenty-four 3,000 ton vessels to succeed aging, outgoing types. However, constraints ultimately led to just six of the lot seeing realization, and the displacement of these warships reduced twice to conclude at 2,300 tons.
As such, the Incheon-class is operated alongside the Daegu-class, which themselves number eight in all, bringing the total available modern frigate group strength to fourteen backed by four ships of the Ulsan-class (therefore eighteen available fighting frigates in all).
The Incheon-class hull measures 374 feet long with a beam of 46 feet and a draught of 13 feet. The shallow quality of the draught means the warship can operate close-to-shore and involve itself in offshore actions such as bombardment, evacuation, or amphibious support when needed. Displacement is 2,265 tons (long) under standard loads and up to 3,200 tons (long) under extreme full loads.
The ship's profile is all-modern, with clean lines and limited protrusions apparent. The hull line runs unbroken from bow to stern with slab-sided design used at the joining of the hull superstructure and hull proper. The bridge section sits directly aft of the turreted deck gun at the forecastle and the section seats the enclosed mast works among other communication and sensor outcroppings. The smoke funnels are contained amidships and are fully-enclosed while being low-profile. A brake between the funnels and the hangar enclosure showcase crossed missile launcher units. The helicopter deck is positioned directly over the aft-end of the warship.
The warship is powered through a conventional propulsion scheme arranged in COmbined Diesel-Or-Gas (CODOG) involving 2 x MTU 12V 1163 TB83 series diesel engines with 2 x General Electric LM2500 gas turbines. The CODOG allows the warship to utilize diesel or gas power under varying conditions, enhancing fuel efficiency, performance, and operational ranges. Each shaft is mated to a diesel engine and a geared gas turbine, the former used for general cruising and the latter coming into play for high-speed dashing actions when needed. All told, the vessel makes headway at 30 knots in ideal conditions and can range out to 4,500 nautical miles.
Aboard is a typical operating crew of 140 personnel encompassing officers and enlisted. An air arm is also supported for medium-lift helicopters that can be launched, retrieved, and serviced from the combination helipad-hangar deck space at the stern of the ship. Typical forms include the "Super Lynx" or AW159 series types which offer Over-the-Horizon (OtH) and submarine-hunting (ASW) capabilities.
The ship is outfitted with the SPS-550K air-search 3D radar, the SPG-540K fire control radar, and the SQS-240K hull-mounted sonar. The SAW-540K EOTS "Naval Shield" Integrated Combat Management System (ICMS) rounds out the suite of powerful sensors and processing equipment available to the crew.
Armament is led by the 1 x 127mm (5") /L62 caliber Mk 45 Mod 4 turreted deck gun over the forecastle giving a hefty ballistics punch. There are 8 x SSM-700K Haeseong anti-ship missile launchers along with 8 x Haeryong tactical land-attack missile launchers providing offense and defense against surface and land-based targets. For close-in work against aerial threats, the ship carries 1 x 20mm Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) and 1 x RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) Block 1 launcher. Rounding out the armament suite are 2 x Triple torpedo launchers for the K745 "Blue Shark" torpedo family.
All told, the warship can deter or neutralized targets on land, in the air, on the sea, or under it - making it a true multi-mission frigate, frigates bridging the gap between smaller corvettes and larger destroyers.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
A shallow draught, and other qualities, give this vessel the ability to support amphibious assault operations close-to-shore.
Offshore bombardment / attack of surface targets / areas primarily through onboard ballistic weaponry.
Activities conducted near shorelines in support of allied activities.
Offshore strike of surface targets primarily through onboard missile / rocket weaponry.
Active patroling of vital waterways and maritime areas; can also serve as local deterrence against airborne and seaborne threats.
✓Airspace Denial / Deterrence
Neutralization or deterrence of airborne elements through onboard ballistic of missile weaponry.
Serving in support (either firepower or material) of the main surface fleet in Blue Water environments.
Vessel's hull design is such that it can operate in close-to-shore / shallow water environments.
Main armament is housed in primary turret(s) arrangement offering enhanced protection.
Onboard systems alert and protect the vessel from airborne, low-flying airborne threats through ballistic and / or missile weaponry.
An Over-the-Horizon operational capability is granted to the vessel, typically through launched fixed-wing / rotary-wing aircraft.
The vessel supports the launching of missiles against airborne, waterborne, or land-based targets at range; typical of modern designs.
Ability to launch torpedoes against ocean-going targets.
374.0 ft 114.00 m
46.0 ft 14.02 m
13.0 ft 3.96 m
CODOG (COmbined Diesel-Or-Gas): 2 x MTU 12V1163TB83 diesel engines (cruising) with 2 x General Electric LM2500 gas turbines (dashing) driving 2 x Shafts astern.
30.0 kts (34.5 mph)
4,501 nm (5,180 mi | 8,336 km)
kts = knots | mph = miles-per-hour | nm = nautical miles | mi = miles | km = kilometers
1 kts = 1.15 mph | 1 nm = 1.15 mi | 1 nm = 1.85 km
1 x 5" (127mm) /62 caliber Mark 45 Mod 4 turreted deck gun.
8 x SSM-700K "Haeseong" anti-ship missile launchers (twin quadruple packs).
8 x "Haeryong" land-attack cruise missile launchers (twin quadruple packs).
2 x Triple torpedo tubes (K745 "Blue Shark" torpedo family).
1 x Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Block 1 Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher.
1 x 20mm Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS).
(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
1 OR 2 x Medium-lift navy helicopter launched, retrieved, and supported through the stern-based helipad-hangar deck area.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective naval campaigns / operations / periods.
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