Hanwha Ocean and HD Hyundai Heavy Industries had competed to win a bid for the fifth and sixth ships of FFX Batch-III. The construction of naval vessels with enhanced aircraft and submarine detection capabilities is part of South Korea's project to replace an aging fleet of corvettes and frigates.
Earlier this month, Hanwha Ocean announced that the company is thinking over a large-scale investment to establish an indoor factory that can build two naval vessels at the same time. Without being affected by hurricanes or heavy rain, the plant can help the ship maker complete the manufacturing process and deliver products within the scheduled delivery date. The factory would be equipped with two 300-ton-class cranes and a lighting device.
"We were selected as the preferred bidder for the FFX Batch-III project," Hanwha Ocean's public relations specialist Kim Sung-mi told Aju Korea Daily on July 14. The company said it aims to contribute to the South Korean Navy's self-defense capability through the construction project.
South Korea has strived to build frigates with upgraded war capacities following the sinking of its Pohang-class corvette, Cheonan, in March 2010, near a front-line island in the Yellow Sea that killed 46 seamen. International experts concluded that Cheonan had been sunk by a North Korean torpedo.
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