Surface Forces: Sejong The Great



December 27, 2008: South Korea put into service the its first (of three) Aegis equipped destroyers. "Sejong The Great." This is a KDX-III (Korean Destroyer Experimental) class guided missile destroyer. It was preceded by the 3,900 ton KDX-I in 1998, and the 5,500 ton KDX-II in 2002. The 9,900 ton KDX-IIIs are approximately the same size as the U.S. Navys Arleigh Burke lass guided missile destroyer. Actually, the KDX III is a little larger than the Burkes, and have 128 VLS cells for missiles, compared to 96 on the Burkes. The KDX can also carry two helicopters.

The KDX-III is the first Korean ship large enough to carry the AEGIS system, and may get anti-missile upgrade (which some Japanese Aegis ships have). Built in South Korea, the KDX IIIs cost about $900 million each. All three KDX IIIs should be in service by 2012.

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