Article Archive: Current 1999 2000 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
 Latest
 News
 
 Most
 Read
 
 Most
 Commented
 Hot
 Topics
Surface Forces: Screwed Sailors In South Korea
   Next Article → INTELLIGENCE: Mind Reading That Works
April 13, 2011: After the South Korean corvette Cheonan was sunk by a North Korean submarine in March, 2010, the media published a lot of information about these Pohang class warships. The most embarrassing revelation was that, although the Pohangs were built for anti-submarine warfare, they were only effective against the 20 or so Cold War era ocean going subs the North Koreans had. These are all elderly, noisy boats, which rarely go to sea. Most of North Korea's 90 subs are much smaller than the ocean going ones, and operate along the coast. The shallow coastal waters have more currents and a lot more underwater noise. Turns out that the Pohang's sonar, while adequate on the high seas against noisy older boats, is very inadequate close to the shore. Plans were made to install a more powerful sonar, but none could be found that would fit. And even if a new sonar did fit, it would weigh so much more that it would unbalance the ship.

The Pohangs are small ships. They are only 88.3 meters (290 feet) long and displace 1,200 tons. The crew of 95 operates a large number of weapons. There are four Harpoon anti-ship missiles, two 76mm cannon, two twin-40mm autocannon, six torpedo tubes (each with a Mk46 324mm/12.75 inch anti-submarine torpedo) and twelve depth charges. Max speed is 59 kilometers an hour, cruising is 28 kilometers an hour. Endurance is about ten days.

Between 1983-93, 24 Pohangs were put into service. So far, one has been retired, and one (Cheonan) has been sunk. A 2,300 ton frigate is replacing the Pohangs, but these new ships won't start entering service for another two years, and will only be built at the rate of about one a year. So for the next decade or so, the Pohangs will still be out there, providing targets for North Korean torpedoes. An attempt has been made to avoid that, by installing devices that can detect the sound of incoming torpedoes, along with acoustic (noise making) decoys that can divert the aim of some types of torpedoes. But, for the moment, the Pohangs are as vulnerable as they were a year ago.

Next Article → INTELLIGENCE: Mind Reading That Works
  

Show Only Poster Name and Title     Newest to Oldest
Tucci78    How about a Perry or two?   4/13/2011 1:59:35 PM
The ROK Navy has never operated any of the Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7) class frigates, but these have served - and are still serving - with the US Navy and the navies of nations all over the world, notably Australia and the Republic of China.  They're getting long in the tooth for American service, and the slimeballs in Mordor-on-the-Potomac are spending our nation into bankruptcy, so the military budgets have to get cut anyway.  Why not transfer a couple of Perry-class ships to ROK control? This would give the South Koreans platforms big enough (about 4,300 tons) to handle dccent sonar systems, and with a few of these to provide passive and active detection capabilities, the heavily armed Pohang corvettes can function as "killer" assets.
 
Quote    Reply

enomosiki       4/13/2011 11:58:39 PM

The ROK Navy has never operated any of the Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7) class frigates, but these have served - and are still serving - with the US Navy and the navies of nations all over the world, notably Australia and the Republic of China.  They're getting long in the tooth for American service, and the slimeballs in Mordor-on-the-Potomac are spending our nation into bankruptcy, so the military budgets have to get cut anyway.  Why not transfer a couple of Perry-class ships to ROK control? This would give the South Koreans platforms big enough (about 4,300 tons) to handle dccent sonar systems, and with a few of these to provide passive and active detection capabilities, the heavily armed Pohang corvettes can function as "killer" assets.


They already have the FFX programme on the drawing board to replace the Pohang-class boats. FFX will be much more capable and have larger displacement than Pohangs, while still being light enough for littoral duties. South Koreans are trying desperately to get rid of anything and everything built before the 90's, and getting the Perries wouldn't fit the bill at all. Granted, transfer of Perries will give the ROKN a short-term countermeasure against minisubs, but from what I've seen so far, ROK would rather take the short-term risk and have everything upgraded as fast as possible, instead of using stop-gap measures and slowing down the acquisition process. It's happened with the KDX programme. It's happening with KAH programme. It will most likely happen with FFX programme as well.
 
Quote    Reply

Tucci78    ''In the long run, we are all dead''   4/14/2011 1:04:20 AM

They already have the FFX programme on the drawing board to replace the Pohang-class boats. FFX will be much more capable and have larger displacement than Pohangs, while still being light enough for littoral duties. South Koreans are trying desperately to get rid of anything and everything built before the 90's, and getting the Perries wouldn't fit the bill at all. Granted, transfer of Perries will give the ROKN a short-term countermeasure against minisubs, but from what I've seen so far, ROK would rather take the short-term risk and have everything upgraded as fast as possible, instead of using stop-gap measures and slowing down the acquisition process. It's happened with the KDX programme. It's happening with KAH programme. It will most likely happen with FFX programme as well.
 
Who said anything about the transfer of surplus Perry-class frigates as more than one of a number of possible "stop-gap measures" needed right now, not in a few years, and not as anything "slowing down the acquisition process" in their FFX program?
If the writer of this StrategyPage.com article has gotten his facts straight, the sinking of the Cheonan indicates not only that the Pohang-class corvettes are setups for North Korean submarine attack (which gives the ROK navy a sharp jerk when it comes to an appreciation of the value of their principal ASW hunter-killer assets) but that the rabid weasels in Pyongyang are willing - right now - to make lethal aggressive moves against South Korean naval forces. 
 
So we're looking at a two-year (or more) window of vulnerability before an untried class of new frigates even starts entering service, and about ten years before the Pohang corvettes can be withdrawn from waters in which they're more the victims of torpedo attack than the providers of effective ASW defense.  That's a helluva long time to hang all those sailors over the proverbial shark tank.  Not to mention what those North Korean sneakboats might do to the commercial shipping and fishing fleets upon which the South Korean economy depends. 
 
As the socialist screw-up in North Korea continues to implode, the thugs who have been controlling their country and destroying its ability to function as a viable sociopolitical entity are going to get increasingly desperate.  And armed thugs masquerading as a government have a nasty track record of lashing out with lethal force when they get desparate enough.
 
Anybody willing to bet that the Kim kleptocracy isn't institutionally insane enough to pitch a full-bore wargasm rather than "go gentle into that good night"?
 
The South Korean government (and the ROK Navy) have got to be looking damned hard at something besides detectors and decoys to mount on the Pohang corvettes during this period of now thoroughly demonstrated susceptibility to North Korean torpedo attacks. 
 
If the transfer of a few Perry-class frigates to ROK control is such a bad idea (and there's absolutely no valid argument offered that there's anything intrinsically adverse about the notion), then what else can the South Koreans do to deter their murderous northern neighbors from torpedoing every ship in South Korean coastal waters?
 
I'm open to constructive suggestions.  "Wait for the FFX" isn't one.

 
Quote    Reply

heraldabc    The sonar does not have to be on a Pohang.    4/14/2011 1:28:02 AM
Build a sonar sled and TOW it behind a Pohang. Research into wake and acoustic defensive decoys. R&D  some unmanned mobile UGVs for shallow water work from the frigate. Lay a shelf sensor network off where you know the DPRK hides their boats and lay ambush mines. Tie that into a sea frontier defense similar in concept to an IADS.
 
It isn't hard at all to use the tech you have NOW Adapt it and you can quickly build to defeat these bandits.       

H.
 
Quote    Reply

trenchsol       4/14/2011 11:58:56 AM
1200 tons is not so small for a corvette. Perhaps, the ships of that size have only one 76mm auto cannon installed more often.
 
DG

 
Quote    Reply

enomosiki       4/16/2011 10:08:55 AM



They already have the FFX programme on the drawing board to replace the Pohang-class boats. FFX will be much more capable and have larger displacement than Pohangs, while still being light enough for littoral duties. South Koreans are trying desperately to get rid of anything and everything built before the 90's, and getting the Perries wouldn't fit the bill at all. Granted, transfer of Perries will give the ROKN a short-term countermeasure against minisubs, but from what I've seen so far, ROK would rather take the short-term risk and have everything upgraded as fast as possible, instead of using stop-gap measures and slowing down the acquisition process. It's happened with the KDX programme. It's happening with KAH programme. It will most likely happen with FFX programme as well.

 

Who said anything about the transfer of surplus Perry-class frigates as more than one of a number of possible "stop-gap measures" needed right now, not in a few years, and not as anything "slowing down the acquisition process" in their FFX program?


If the writer of this StrategyPage.com article has gotten his facts straight, the sinking of the Cheonan indicates not only that the Pohang-class corvettes are setups for North Korean submarine attack (which gives the ROK navy a sharp jerk when it comes to an appreciation of the value of their principal ASW hunter-killer assets) but that the rabid weasels in Pyongyang are willing - right now - to make lethal aggressive moves against South Korean naval forces. 

 

So we're looking at a two-year (or more) window of vulnerability before an untried class of new frigates even starts entering service, and about ten years before the Pohang corvettes can be withdrawn from waters in which they're more the victims of torpedo attack than the providers of effective ASW defense.  That's a helluva long time to hang all those sailors over the proverbial shark tank.  Not to mention what those North Korean sneakboats might do to the commercial shipping and fishing fleets upon which the South Korean economy depends. 

 

As the socialist screw-up in North Korea continues to implode, the thugs who have been controlling their country and destroying its ability to function as a viable sociopolitical entity are going to get increasingly desperate.  And armed thugs masquerading as a government have a nasty track record of lashing out with lethal force when they get desparate enough.

 

Anybody willing to bet that the Kim kleptocracy isn't institutionally insane enough to pitch a full-bore wargasm rather than "go gentle into that good night"?

 

The South Korean government (and the ROK Navy) have got to be looking damned hard at something besides detectors and decoys to mount on the Pohang corvettes during this period of now thoroughly demonstrated susceptibility to North Korean torpedo attacks. 

 

If the transfer of a few Perry-class frigates to ROK control is such a bad idea (and there's absolutely no valid argument offered that there's anything intrinsically adverse about the notion), then what else can the South Koreans do to deter their murderous northern neighbors from torpedoing every ship in South Korean coastal waters?

 

I'm open to constructive suggestions.  "Wait for the FFX" isn't one.





I take it that you haven't read my post thoroughly. In it I mentioned that ROK, even though it fully understands that Pohangs are vulnerable, given their past history of simply lallygagging when it comes to acquisition process, will most likely not go with another option, especially the Perries, because not only will those aging ships suck up their defense
 
Quote    Reply