Juho Lee story with additional reporting by Xavier Vavasseur
The HCX-21 is a lightweight future surface combatant being designed by Hyundai Heavy Industries. It will have a standard displacement of 1,400 tons, a length of 75 meters, a breadth of 20 meters and a draft of 8.3 meters. It benefits from the technologies and know how acquired by HHI in designing the HCX-19. The “Hyundai Combatant eXperimental 2019” was unveiled at MADEX 2019 to show HHI’s vision of what surface combatants will look like in the 2030ies.
The trimaran hull design of HCX-21 is similar to that of the Independence-class littoral combat ship of the U.S. Navy. The ship will be available in several different configurations. These include, but are not limited to, offshore patrol, antiship, antisubmarine, and unmanned vehicle operations.
“The design is a future proof long term solution. We built in flexibility from the ship’s inception so that it will be able to accommodate advances in technology such as drones and energy weapons. In fact, the entire ship can be reconfigured. We can swap out the gun, the mission bays and even make alterations to the aft deck area to tailor the ship to our customer’s needs, ranging from high-intensity warfighting to patrol duties,” said an HHI representative in an interview with Naval News. He stressed however that the ship is still in the concept design phase. “We expect it to be ready by the late 2030s.”
It is hoped that the ship will bring high technology capabilities at an affordable price.
“Although we welcome all customers, we expect our primary market to be countries in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and South America. Those countries looking to quickly augment their naval warfare capabilities at a low price will find this asset very valuable.”