The Namhae vessel is 60 meters long, 10.5 meters wide, and weighs 700 tons. The first three ships of the Yangyang-class (Yangyang, Ongjin and Haenam) were launched between 1999 and 2004. The lead ship of the new batch, Namhae, was launched in April 2020. Sistership Hongseong was launched in September 2020 and the final ship Goseong was launched in March this year. All six minesweepers of the class were built by Kangnam Corporation in Busan.
Geuk-cheol Bang, head of DAPA’s naval business division said:
“The Namhae ship will have improved mine-searching and clearing capabilities compared to the existing minesweeper, and will become a strong support for protecting Korea’s major ports and maritime traffic routes.”
Meanwhile, according to DAPA, the second and third ships of the MSH Phase II project, the ‘Hongseong’ and ‘Goseong’, are currently conducting sea trials and will be delivered to the ROK Navy sequentially.
The hull of the ships is made of FRP (fiber reinforced plastic). A variable depth sonar (VDS) is fitted to detect mines, and mine clearing equipment and mine clearing tools such as the “Magnetic/Acoustic Combined Mine Sweep” are used to carry out clearing missions. In addition, she can conduct minesweeping operations remotely using Mine Disposable Vehicles and unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). The Yangyang-class typically carry two Pluto UUVs by Gaymarine. The armament is simple, with a single 20mm Vulcan main gun and M60 machine guns. This is more punch than what is found aboard typical MCM vessels of other navies. This is because the ROK minesweeper’s armament is aimed at detonating the mines floating on the surface of the water.
Contacted by Naval News, local company SONARTECH confirmed that they have delivered a set of Multi Beam Side Scan Sonar (SeaView400 M) for Namhae.
The first three ships of the class belong to the 52nd Mine Squadron in Jinhae-gu, Changwon-si, Gyeongsangnam-do.