The ceremony was presided by the head of the National Assembly Defence Committee, Min Hong Cheol.
“The Gangwha-do is a state-of-the-art ship that can complete its mission under very rough circumstances. The strength of a nation depends on the strength of its Navy. Keep our seas safe and contribute to preserving the life and property of our people.”Min Hong Cheol, head of the National Assembly Defence Committee
For the record, the contract for the procurement of the ASR-II was signed in 2018 and the keel laying was held in 2020. The ship aims to complete auxiliary submarine rescue ship ‘Cheonghaejin’ capabilities.
The ship will first undergo sea trials before it is handed over to the ROK Navy in 2023, ready for operational deployment.
Regarding the technical characteristics, ROKS Gangwha-do is 120 meters-long, 19 wide with a displacement of 5,600 tons. The ship will host 130 crew members and be capable to embark a medium size helicopter. It is equipped an automatic ship position maintenance system, deep submergence rescue vehicle (DSRV), unmanned maritime scout vehicle, and saturation diving system. The DSRV should be able to rescue 17 personels in a single round (one more than the DSRV aboard the Cheonghaejin).
Rescue craft are launched and recovered through a center well (nammed moonpool) located in the center of ship. This way, operations are less influenced by waves.
The warship director of the defense acquisition program administration, Bang Geuk-Cheol said that the ship will become a “strong friend to underwater operations” that will allow submarines to focus on their missions without any worries.
ASRs are being named after historical sites that have been important in acquiring naval power in the past. Gangwha-do has historically been a place of resistance when the nation was under threat.