According to local media The Asia Business Daily (아시아경제신문), Hyundai Heavy Industries won the KRW 7 trillion KDDX order, quoting a “military official” source. “The evaluation was made with a total score of 100 points (80 points for technology and 20 points for cost), but it is known that Hyundai Heavy Industries advanced Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering by a decimal difference” the media reported.
South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) is set to make an announcement this month according to The Asia Business Daily, saying that a formal contract could be signed (with HHI) in October. Basic design should be completed by the second half of 2023, while detailed design and construction of the first ship could start from 2024.
Contacted by Naval News, a DSME representative said the shipbuilder was still in the race and that this announcement was not official. The KDDX procurement program currently generates a lot of rumors as it is one of the largest in South Korea’s history.
A ROK Navy source confirmed to Naval News that an official confirmation has not been made by DAPA yet. “DAPA will officially announce the winning contractor once the bidding result gets through the committees” the officer said.
Representatives from HHI and LIG Nex1 were not available for comment at the time of publishing this article.
As we reported, DAPA started on May 29 the competitive bidding process for the next generation destroyer of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy known as “Korea Next-Generation Destroyer” or KDDX. According to the DAPA website, companies have until July 20 to submit their bid. South Korea’s two main shipbuilders, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), are competing, each with their own design.
DAPA says that the “Korea Next-Generation Destroyer” program calls for the development of an “Original Korean Destroyer” class by incorporating the latest advancements in domestic shipbuilding and weapon technologies, in line with the “Smart Navy” initiative of the ROK Navy.
According to the program schedule, the basic design is expected to be completed by the second half of 2023. Detailed design and start of construction is set to take place four years from now (2024). The program calls for the construction of six vessels which will be smaller and lighter than the AEGIS type KDX III Batch I and II vessel, but with all Korean weapons and sensor suites. Two key drivers of the program are:
- the implementation of the latest technologies in terms of ship automation, electric propulsion and future proofing
- make the KDDX class more affordable to operate and maintain compared to the KDX III type destroyers
The future destroyer class will displace about 8,000 tons, and is expected to feature K-VLS only (no MK 41 cells) to deploy the latest missiles by LIG Nex1 such as the naval variant of the Hyunmoo-3C (Eagle-3 독수리-3) cruise missile with a range of 1,500 km as well as the naval variant of the Cheongung 3 (also known as L SAM) with a range of 150 km. It will also feature an advanced integrated mast (I-MAST) combining several sensors (TACAN, ESM, IFF, UHF, VHF, IRST) and radar arrays (in S and X bands) in a single mast.
Naval News learned during Seoul Airshow (ADEX 2019) that KDDX is set to feature a BAE Systems’ Mark 45 5 inch main gun with the new automated handling system (set to be installed first aboard UK’s Type 26 frigate).
To learn more about HHI and DSME proposals, check out our detailed article on KDDX at this link.