July 29, 2022 13:18
The Jeongjo the Great, the Navy's first 8,200-ton Aegis destroyer, was launched on Thursday by President Yoon Suk-yeol.
"We've built the world's top Aegis destroyer based on state-of-the-art technologies with our own hands," he said at the Hyunday Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan. "The Jeongjo the Great is a national strategic asset that will further improve the Navy's combat capability."
The Jeongjo, an improved version of the Sejong the Great-class Aegis destroyers, is capable of detecting, tracking and intercepting ballistic missiles, a first for a homegrown warship. This means the military can now intercept ballistic missiles from North Korea from the waters as well as from land.
"Some 99.7 percent of our country's trade volume is transported by sea... We can become an economic powerhouse only when we become a maritime power that can safeguard our interests at sea," Yoon said.
The Jeongjo is the Navy's fourth Aegis ship and is bigger than the 7,600-ton Sejong the Great, Yulgok Yi Yi, and Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong. It also has an upgraded arsenal of weapons and enhanced stealth functions.
First lady Kim Keon-hee, wielding a small gilded axe, ceremonially cut the line tethering the ship to the dock.
"Just like cutting the umbilical cord, cutting the line to launch a ship is a ceremonial act that signals its birth," the presidential office said. "It is part of a long Navy tradition."
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