September 26, 2023

HJ Heavy Industries Secures Contracts for Four New High-Speed Boats for ROK Navy

HJ Heavy Industries has once again demonstrated its exceptional competitiveness in the shipbuilding sector by securing orders for four new high-speed boats for the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy. The company emerged as the primary target company for qualification testing and was awarded contracts by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) on January 24. The contract value for the construction of each ship is approximately 100 million won.

This achievement follows HJ Heavy Industries’ successful completion of the construction of 16 new fast patrol boats, known as PKX-B Batch-I or Patrol Killer Medium Rocket (PKMR) vessels, for the Navy. The company’s remarkable feat of winning contracts for four ships in the follow-up project, Batch-II, further solidifies its position in the industry.

The new fast boat program aims to replace the Navy’s Chamsuri-class fast boats, which played a crucial role in the victories of the first and second naval conflicts of Yeonpyeong in 1999 and 2002, respectively. The upcoming 200-ton-class fast boats, equipped with powerful guided missiles, a long-range fire control system, electronic warfare systems, and a stealth design, are considered the true next-generation naval ships. These vessels are expected to significantly enhance firepower, maneuverability, detection capabilities, defense systems, and overall mission performance compared to the existing Chamsuri fast boats.

HJ Heavy Industries, which has been at the forefront of fast boat construction in Korea since the launch of the country’s first fast boat, the “Student,” in 1972, has built over 100 Chamsuri fast boats, serving as the Navy’s flagship vessels. With the responsibility of constructing a total of 20 vessels, the company has continually achieved monumental milestones in the field of high-speed vessels in Korea.

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To further improve the shipbuilding process, HJ Heavy Industries plans to install new equipment and enhance performance, ensuring that the new PKX-B Batch-II fast boats can be effectively employed as an urgent response force for coastal defense.

The CEO of HJ Heavy Industries expressed their pride in being the birthplace of domestic fast boats over the past 50 years and emphasized their commitment to leveraging the accumulated technology in building small and medium-sized battleships and landing craft. They emphasized their role in protecting the nation’s waters and strengthening sea power.

Naval News Comments:

The PKX-B Batch-II ships are expected to be an evolution of the first batch, known as PKMR. The PKMR vessels boast enhanced survivability and heavy armament compared to previous patrol boats. Notable equipment on board includes a 130 mm guided anti-ship missile from LIG Nex1, a 76 mm main gun, an electronic warfare system, and advanced anti-ship missile countermeasures. Additionally, the ships are equipped with two remotely controlled 12.7 mm machine guns, enhancing their effectiveness against North Korean missile ships in close-range encounters.

The PKMR measures 44.7 meters in length, 7.1 meters in width, and 13 meters in height. These vessels are among the fastest in the ROK Navy, capable of reaching a top speed of 40 knots. Their speed is achieved through three CODAG waterjet engines, two GE LM500 gas turbines, and two CAT C32 Acert diesel engines. The PKMR ships employ the STX Engine SPS-300K radar for surface target tracking, LIG Nex1’s SPS-560K 3D radar for detecting airborne threats, and the SAW-560K electro-optical targeting system for fire control. Each PKMR vessel is manned by a crew of 23 personnel.