24 September 2009

SKorea Launches Two High-Speed Patrol Boats

24 September 2009

The ships weight 440 ton each and the maximum speed of 74km/h. (photo : Chosun)

Cutting-Edge High-Speed Patrol Boat Launched

The Navy on Thursday launched an advanced high-speed patrol boat equipped with guided missiles that is to play the key role in defending the Northern Limit Line, the de facto sea boundary between the two Koreas.

The Yoon Young-ha is named after a sailor killed in a 2002 inter-Korean naval clash near the NLL. The launch came on Thursday, the eve of the fifth anniversary of the skirmish. Lt. Col. Ahn Ji-yong, a veteran of the clash, was named captain of the new vessel.

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Song Yung-moo presided over the launch, which was attended by Yoon Du-ho, the father of the late Lt. Col. Yoon Young-ha, veterans of sea clashes, some 150 other family members of those killed and military officers. "The NLL is well guarded thanks to the brave fight put up by the six who died,” Song said.

The missile-armed high-speech patrol boat Yoon Young-ha, named after the lieutenant colonel who died in a 2002 inter-Korean naval skirmish, is launched on Thursday, the eve of the fifth anniversary of the clash, at Youngdo Shipyard in Busan./Yonhap

The high-speed, 440-ton boat is much larger than the 130-ton Chamsuri speed boat used so far. It will be equipped with four Korean-made Haesung (sea star) ship-to-ship missiles with a range of over 150 km.

North Korea's Osa-1 missile-equipped high-speed boat has a displacement of 171 tons and is equipped with four 46 km-range Styx ship-to-ship missiles, making it the inferior of the Yoon Young-ha class in terms of both firepower and size. The new patrol boat has 76 mm-caliber guns with a range of over 20 km formerly only mounted on medium-size and large warships of more than 1,000 tons.

Equipped with search and chase radar developed in the country for the first time, a cutting-edge command system for electronic warfare equipment, and stealth capability, the Yoon Young-ha class’ has 80 percent of the combat capability of a 3,500-ton Korean cruiser, the Navy said. The boats will go into service in the first half of next year. The Navy plans to build at least 20 of them.

(Chosun)

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