Korea's first naval rescue and salvage ship was launched on Tuesday almost two years after Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering embarked on building the ship in October 2010.
The 3,500-ton Tongyeong will go through a series of tests before being handed over to the Navy next year.
The Navy's older rescue ships, the Pyeongtaek and the Gwangyang, were second-hand bought from the U.S. Navy in 1996. They were originally built in the 1970s.
It takes them two days to reach Yeonpyeong and Baeknyeong islands in the West Sea from the naval base in Jinhae, South Gyeongsang Province, but the new ship will take only one day.