South Korea has been planning to donate a Pohang-class corvette to Colombia in order to strengthen naval relations between the navies of the two nations since October 2011. The deal was officially approved in 2019. The ship is being modified since, in order to meet Colombian specifications.
This ship will be the second corvette donated by South Korea to Colombia. In 2014, the ROK Navy transferred ROKS Doghae-class “Anyang” – which was withdrawn from active service in 2011 – to Colombia.
ROKS Iksan was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries and launched as “ROKS Iri” on March 24th, 1987. She entered service on September 1988 and was renamed as ROKS Iksan on February 1999 when the namesake city was merged. After 30 years of service, she was retired on December 31, 2018.
She will continue to serve the Colombian Navy.
About Pohang-class corvette
The Pohang is a class of Patrol Combat Corvette (PCC) of the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN). A total of 24 ships were built by several South Korean shipyards: Korea Shipbuilding Corporation, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Korea Takoma.
The primary mission of the corvette is coastal line patrolling. Pohang class is deployed as a main force to monitor defence in the South Korean coast. These ships were equipped to perform anti-submarine, anti-ship and anti-aircraft warfare operations in the littoral environment.
As the Pohang-class ships are progressively being phased out of the ROK Navy (being replaced by the new generation Incheon-class frigates, and then eventually by the FFX batch II and FFX batch III), several of the corvettes have been transferred to South Korea’s allies (namely Peru, Vietnam, the Philippines and Egypt). The first-in-class ship is now a museum in Pohang city. The 14th ship of the class, ROKS Cheonan, was sunk on 26 March 2010 by a torpedo launched by a North Korean Yeono-class submarine, killing 46 sailors.
Pohang-class Main specifications:
- Length: 88m
- Beam: 10m
- Draft: 2.9m
- Displacement: 1220 loaded
- Propulsion: CODOG configuration (gas and diesel engines)
- Speed: 32 knots maximum; 15 knots cruising
- Range: 4000 miles
- Crew: 95
- Weapons: 2 x OTO Melara 76 mm/62 compact cannon; 2 x 2 Otobreda 40mm/70 cal; 2 x 2 RGM-84 Harpoon Block 1B; 3 x 2 Mark 32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes