The Dokdo-class is a class of Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH) amphibious assault ships operated by the Republic of Korea Navy. Designed by Hanjin Heavy Industries, the requirements for the amphibious landing ships were to enhance Korea's current amphibious operation capability, both in terms of assault and military operations other than war (MOOTW) type operations.
The Dokdo Class of LPH are named after islands deemed important or symbolic to the ROK Navy. Three ships were planned at first, but the third ship was cancelled during the period of Lee Myung-bak government.
ROKS Dokdo (LPH-6111) is named after the Liancourt Rocks, which are called "Dokdo" in Korean but "Takeshima" in Japanese. Although the South Korean Coast Guard took control of the isles in 1954, Japan still disputes the sovereignty of the rocks.
The second unit, the ROKS Marado, is named after Marado Island, commonly thought of as being both the ending and beginning point of Korea. Today a monument stands there recognizing it as the southernmost point of the country. This ship was cancelled once, but the budget was restored in 2012. A ski ramp for operations of V/STOL jet fighters is being considered for Marado.
The third unit was to be named after Baengnyeong Island, which is located in the Yellow Sea near the disputed Northern Limit Line (NLL) with North Korea. Baekryeong Island is the territory administered by South Korea that is closest to the NLL. It was an important military base and the site of fierce combat during the Korean War.
Dokdo LPH acts as a command and control platform for the maritime mobile fleet and supports three-dimensional landing operations as well as maritime air operations. It can also be deployed in a range of operations including in support of national overseas policy, peacekeeping operations, disaster recovery, counter-terrorism operations and national prestige enhancement.
Dokdo is the largest vessel in the South Korean Navy. It has almost similar specifications compared to the Spanish Navy's aircraft carrier Príncipe de Asturias and the Thai Navy's Chakri Naruebet light aircraft carrier.
Design and features
The hull is divided into four decks to accommodate helicopters, assault amphibious vehicles (AAV), landing craft air cushion (LCAC), tanks and trucks. Accommodation facilities, command posts and crew life support systems are located on deck 2.
Developed based on the concept of over-the-horizon assaults, Dokdo can conduct amphibious landing operations with high-speed LCAC and helicopters from beyond the horizon.
The ship's combat data system manages and controls onboard weapons and allows the ship to command support vessels and aircraft in the strategic mobile operation fleet.
The ship has an overall length of 199m, a width of 31m and a draught of 7m. The standard displacement of the vessel is 14,000t and full load displacement is 18,000t. The LPH can carry over 700 marines, 10 trucks, six tanks, six AAVs, three field artillery pieces, 10 helicopters and two LCACs. Dokdo can complement more than 330 crew members.
The flight deck can accommodate five UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters at a time. The aircraft hangar facility is provided for UH-60 helicopter and the AH-1 attack helicopter. The aeroplane shed on the lower deck is a multi-layer structure equipped with elevators.
The flight deck is covered with Urethane to withstand the heat created by the aircraft during operations.
The ship can operate short-range and VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft such as the Harrier or F-35B, when equipped with a ski jump board module.
The LPH is armed with RIM-116 RAM (rolling airframe missile) system. RAM is an infrared homing surface-to-air missile used against anti-ship cruise missiles.
The missile can travel at a maximum speed of Mach 2 while carrying a blast fragmentation warhead for a range of 9km. The ship is also fitted with two goalkeeper close-in weapon systems (CIWS) supplied by Thales Nederland. The system provides close-point defence against incoming missiles and ballistic shells. The seven barrelled CIWS can fire 4,200 rounds a minute for a maximum range of 2,000m.
The ship's long range volume search radar is the Thales SMART-L. The radar can detect and track targets within the range of 400km. The ship is also equipped with MW08 surface search radar and AN/SPS-95K navigation radar.
Dokdo's propulsion system is based on combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) plant. The propulsion system integrates four S.E.M.T. Pielstick 16 PC2.5 STC diesel engines. These engines were licence built in Korea by Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction.
Each engine, rated at 7,650kW, is equipped with sequential turbo charging (STC) system. The CAE Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) monitors and controls the hull, propulsion, electrical distribution, steering and battle damage control systems. The propulsion system provides a maximum speed of 23kt and cruising range of 10,000nm at 18kt speed.
Name: Dokdo Class LPH
Builders: Hanjin Heavy Industries
Operators: Republic of Korea
Cost: US$ 289 million
Type: Landing Platform Helicopter
Displacement: 14,300 tons (empty) / 18,800 tons (full)
Length: 199 m (653 ft)
Beam: 31 m (102 ft)
Draught: 7 m (23 ft)
Propulsion: 4 SEMT Pielstick 16 PC2.5 STC Diesel engine 32,000 shaft horsepower
Speed: 23 knots (43 km/h) maximum 18 knots (33 km/h) cruising
Boats & landing
craft carried: 2 LCAC (LSF-II)
Capacity: Up to 200 vehicles includes 6 tanks, 7 AAVs
Troops: 720 marines
Sensors and processing systems:
SMART-L air search radar, MW08 surface search radar, AN/SPS-95K navigation radar, TACAN, VAMPIR-MB optronic sight
Electronic warfare & decoys: ESM/ECM:SLQ-200(v)5K SONATA, Chaff launcher
Armament: 2 × Goalkeeper CIWS 1 × RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile
Aircraft carried: Up to 10 helicopters (UH-1H, UH-60P or Super Lynx)
Aviation facilities: Flight deck with 5 landing spots and hangar.