Gwanggaeto the Great-class destroyer

The Gwanggaeto the Great-class destroyers, often called KD-I class, are destroyers, but are classified by some as frigates, operated by the Republic of Korea Navy. It was the first phase of ROKN's KDX program, in moving the ROK Navy from a coastal defence force to a blue-water navy.

Gwanggaeto the Great-class destroyer
Class Ship
Type Destroyer
Manufacturer Daewoo
Production Period 1996 - 2000
Origin South Korea
Country Name Origin Year
South Korea 1998
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
South Korea 1996 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Daewoo 1996 2000 3 View


The KDX-I was designed to replace the old destroyers in the ROKN that were transferred from the US Navy in the 1950s and 1960s. It was thought to be a major turning point for the ROKN in that the launching of the first KDX-I meant that ROKN finally had a capability to project power far from its shores. After the launching of the ship, there was a massive boom in South Korean international participation against piracy and military operations other than war.

Weapon Systems

The primary weapon deployed by Gwanggaeto the Great-class vessels is the Super Lynx helicopter, which acts in concert with shipboard sensors to seek out and destroy submarines at long distances from the ships. The Gwanggaeto the Great class also carries a close-in anti-submarine weapon in the form of the Mark 46 torpedoes, launched from triple torpedo tubes in launcher compartments either side of the forward end of the helicopter hangar. A secondary anti-shipping role is supported by the RGM-84 Harpoon surface-to-surface missile, mounted in two quadruple launch tubes at the main deck level between the funnel and the helicopter hangar. For anti-aircraft self-defense, the Gwanggaeto the Great class carries 16 RIM-7P Sea Sparrow. The Gwanggaeto the Great class also carries two 30mm Goalkeeper to provide a shipboard point-defense against incoming anti-ship missiles and aircraft. The main gun on the forecastle is an OTO Melara 127 gun.


The Gwanggaeto the Great class is powered by two General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines and two SsangYong 20V 956 TB 82 diesel engines. The Gwanggaeto the Great class can reach a maximum speed of 30 knots.


All Gwanggaeto the Great-class destroyers were built by the Daewoo Heavy Industries Co., Inc. at Geoje, South Korea. In 1989, Daewoo Heavy Industries began working on the 4,000-ton destroyer which is now the secondary destroyer of the Korean navy, and the achievement was made through DSME's 100% design engineering for the first time in Korea.

Ships in Class:

Name   Number   Builder   Launched   Commissioned   Status 
Gwanggaeto the Great DDH-971 Daewoo Heavy Industries 28th Oct, 1996 24th July, 1998 Active
Eulji Mundeok DDH-972 Daewoo Heavy Industries 16th Oct, 1997 30th Aug, 1999 Active
Yang Manchun DDH-973 Daewoo Heavy Industries 30th Sept, 1998 29th June, 2000 Active

Class overview
Builders: Daewoo Heavy Industries Co.
Operators: Republic of Korea Navy
Succeeded by: Chungmugong Yi Sun-sin class
In commission: 1998
Completed: 3

General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 3,885–3,900 tonnes (3,824–3,838 long tons) full load
Length: 135.5 m (444 ft 7 in)
Beam: 14.2 m (46 ft 7 in)
Draft: 4.2 m (13 ft 9 in)
Propulsion: 2 × General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines

2 × SsangYong Motor Company 20V 956 TB 82 diesel engines

2 shafts
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Range: 4,500 nmi (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 18 kn (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Complement: 286
Sensors and processing systems:

AN/SPS-49(V) 2D air search radar

Signaal MW 08 surface search radar

Daewoo SPS-95k navigation radar

2 × Signaal STIR 180 Fire control radars

ATLAS DSQS-21BZ Hull mounted sonar
Electronic warfare and decoys: SLQ-25 Nixie towed torpedo decoy

ARGOSystems AR 700 and APECS 2 ECM

4 × CSEE DAGAIE MK.2 Chaff Launchers
Armament: 1 × OTO Melara 127 mm (5 inch)/54 gun

2 × Signaal 30 mm Goalkeeper CIWS

2 × quadruple Harpoon missile canisters

1 × Mk.48 mod2 VLS with 16 RIM-7P Sea Sparrow missiles

2 × triple 324 mm (12.8 in) torpedo tubes (Mark 46 torpedoes)
Aircraft carried: 2 × Super Lynx helicopters

End notes