11 Maret 2010
Hyangbo Rong LST (photo : Wiki)
The Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) is to loan the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) with one of its four Alligator-class tank landing ships (LSTs), Hyangro Bong , this year as an interim measure to fill a gap in the latter's afloat logistics and amphibious capability.
The RMN's only large amphibious ship, the 8,450-ton Newport-class LST, KD Sri Inderapura , was gutted by a fire on 8 October 2009 creating an urgent requirement for new tactical sealift and logistic ships.
Hyangro Bong displaces 4,278 tons and has a military lift capacity of 200 troops, 15 main battle tanks, six 3-ton vehicles and four LCVPs. It has a platform for a helicopter the size of a UH-60A and is fitted with two 40 mm guns and two 20 mm guns.
Built by Korea Tacoma (now Hanjin Heavy Industries), four ships of the class entered service in the RoKN from 1993 to 1999.
The RMN's only other major transport assets are two 4,200-ton logistic support ships, KD Sri Indera Sakti and KD Mahawangsa . Approval for new construction to replace Sri Inderapura is unlikely to be initiated before 2011-12 due to funding pressures.