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South Korea speeds up delivery of new hovercraft to boost local industry

Naval Industry News - South Korea
South Korea speeds up delivery of new hovercraft to boost local industry
South Korea will push forward the delivery of two landing ships by one year to bolster the Navy's defense capabilities and help the struggling ship building sector, the state defense procurement agency said Thursday.In December, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) placed a US$130 million order with Hanjin Heavy Industries Co. to build two hovercraft landing ships, with a goal of delivering them to the Navy by 2020, not by the originally 2021 date, DAPA said in a statement.
South Korea speeds up delivery of new hovercraft to boost industry 640 001An artistic rendering of ROK Navy's future hovercraft landing ship
(Credit: Hanjin Heavy Industries Co.)
"If the hovercraft landing ships are deployed in 2020, the Navy's operational capabilities will receive a boost amid growing tensions from North Korea," a DAPA spokesman said.

Moreover, the order will stimulate the flagging shipbuilding industry in the southern port city of Busan, home to Hanjin Heavy, he said.

In 2007, Hanjin Heavy delivered two landing ships to the Navy in a 104 billion-won deal, according to DAPA.

South Korea's military has stepped-up efforts in recent years to enhance its defense capabilities to counter the North's evolving nuclear and missile threats.

Local shipyards have been reeling from a sharp decline in new orders and an oversupply in global markets after being hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis. Some of them have cut jobs and sold noncore assets to stay afloat with many engaged in self-rescue programs.

The high-speed landing ship produced by Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction under the LSF II programme is a 155-tonne vessel (27.9m in length, 14.6m in width). It is capable of traveling up to 40 knots (74km/h) carrying 150 troops or 1 tank & 24 soldiers. Furthermore, this military vessel can travel as far as 185km without additional fueling.

(Source: Yonhap)