Intelligence and Terrorism News
South Korea launches high-tech warship
May 25, 2007, 13:35 GMT
Seoul - South Korea launched Friday its first destroyer equipped with the Aegis ballistic-missile combat system to strengthen its naval defence capabilities against North Korea.
The 7,600-ton class KDX-III destroyer can carry 16 ship-to-ship missiles, 128 ship-to-air missiles and 32 cruise missiles as well as torpedoes, the defence ministry said.
The ship was built at a dockyard in the south-eastern city of Ulsan at a cost of 1 trillion won (1.07 billion dollars).
'It will help build up the power of our navy as the world's top-class warship with the most advanced defence system and striking power,' South Korea's President Roh Moo Hyun was quoted as saying at the launch ceremony by Yonhap news agency.
South Korea plans to deploy the new ship for naval operations in 2009 after testing it. The country plans to commission two other Aegis destroyers in the next five years.
South Korea became the fifth country in the world to have a destroyer equipped with the Aegis system following the United States, Japan, Spain and Norway.
Aegis, developed by Lockheed Martin, was designed as a complete system integrating radar and weapons to be capable of simultaneous operations against targets on land, in the air and at sea.
Both Koreas are still technically at war, because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, but not a peace treaty.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur