The Korean Navy has been christening ships with names of historically respected figures or those who sacrificed their lives to protect the country. The new Aegis destroyer will be launched in July.
The ROK Navy currently possesses three KDX III Batch I Aegis destroyers: ROKS Sejong the Great, ROKS Yulgok Yi I, and ROKS Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong. ROKS Jeongjo the Great, first ship of the second batch, is expected to be larger in terms of its size and have improved Aegis combat system and sonar. Its keel was laid by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) on 5 October 2021.
Also, the new ship will be armed with the US-made long-range surface-to-air missile SM-6 that intercepts North Korean ballistic missiles coming from higher than the intermediate altitude. SM-6 missile, developed by the US defense company Raytheon, can be fired within the maximum range of 460km, which is more than double than that of SM-2 which is currently used by the Korean Navy. The Navy will spend 760 billion KRW to introduce approximately 100 SM-6 missiles by 2031.
The ROK Navy plans to complete the deployment of new three Aegis ships as scheduled by the end of 2020s.