In 2015, South Korea launched a project to build a new class of vessels with improved anti-aircraft detection capability and survivability to replace the aging escort and patrol ship. According to the country’s arms procurement agency, the estimated cost for the design and construction of the lead ship will cost around US$377 million.
This initial phase of the FFX Batch III program will be completed by 2024. A total of six ships will be built for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN), local media reported.
In December 2016, the local shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries secured a US$14 million contract from DAPA to start preliminary design and development work for the future Ulsan-class vessels.
The FFX Batch III will displace 3,000 tons and feature a phased array radar. The ship combat system will consist of a combat management system, a multi-functional phase array radar, an IRST (Infrared Searcher and Tracker), an EOTS (Electro-Optical Targeting System), and an integrated sensor mast. One of the biggest improvement over the previous FFX-I Incheon-class and FFX-II Daegu-class vessels will be a larger VLS package.