Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Tribute to Liancourt Rocks: Dokdo Class Amphibious Ship - Lead Ship: LPH-6111 ROKS Dokdo

Heidemarie: Dokdo belongs to Republic of Korea, as well as this ship.

ROKS Dokdo (LPH-6111) is the lead ship of the Dokdo-Class Amphibious Landing Ship (Dokdo-geup Daehyeong Susong-ham; Hangul/Hanja: 독도급 대형수송함/獨島級大型輸送艦) of the Republic of Korea Navy, launched on 12 July 2005 at the shipyard of Hanjin Heavy Industries & Constructions Co. Ltd. in Bongnae-dong 5(o)-ga, Busan Yeongdo-gu. It is bestowed from Dokdo, an island which is located 70km (43.5 miles) from Ulleung Island (Ulleung County), Northern Gyeongsang Province. The Japanese called that island as 'Takeshima' but they still dispute about the soverignity of that island even though Republic of Korea Coast Guard took control the island in 1954. Technically, Dokdo belongs to Republic of Korea.

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 ROKN needed a versatile landing ship with amphibious capabilities in its program to build a blue-water navy. In the end Hanjin's Dokdo design was chosen for this need. LSF-II 631-also built by Hanjin was chosen as the LCAC to operate from the ship.

The LPX is a versatile amphibious warfare ship, and includes a well deck to accommodate Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs) and two Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), the first of which (LSF 631) was acquired in April 2007. The ship is 199 metres long, 31 metres wide, with a 14,000 ton (empty), or 18,000 ton (full) displacement and was also built incorporating stealth technologies. Its been said to be one of the most advanced vessels in the Asian Pacific.

As a high-speed amphibious ship, LPX was based on the concept of "over-the-horizon assault." As the name indicates, the "over-the-horizon assault" comprises a military operation in which an amphibious landing operation is conducted with high-speed air-cushioned vehicles and helicopters from beyond the horizon, where they can't be easily detected or attacked by the enemy. The conventional LST (landing ship tank) has to approach the coastline for landing, at the risk of being fired upon by the enemy.

The LPX can carry 720 marines (+300 crew members), 10 tanks, 10 trucks, 7 AAVs, three field artillery pieces, and two LCAC hovercraft capable of landing on enemy shores doing 40 knots (74 km/h)—a mix that enables it to launch troop landings from both sea and air. She can also carry 10 helicopters when there are no ground vehicles on her hangar deck.

The flight surface is also sprayed with urethane, which can support VTOL jets, like Harriers. South Korea is considering the purchase of F-35B fighters to operate from its Dokdo class ships. Nowadays, the LPX operates mainly UH-1H and UH-60P. But both of these are designed for land‐based operations and lacked of consideration for ship-borne operations such as protection against damage from salty breezes, so it is difficult to operate on-board continuously. The KUH-Amphibious, the sea-based amphibious variant of the KAI Surion, is now under development, production is planned to commence in late 2015, with some 40 helicopters planned.

Self-defense armament includes the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile system. The Goalkeeper Close-in weapon system (CIWS) was purchased in January 2003 from Thales, at per-set price of 13 billion won (roughly $15,000,000). Dokdo is similar in size to the light aircraft carriers derived from Sea Control Ship, such as Spanish Navy's former aircraft carrier SPS Príncipe de Asturias (Prince of Asturias in Spanish) and the Royal Thai Navy's HTMS Chakri Naruebet (Thai: จักรีนฤเบศร; in honor of the Chakri Dynasty).

General characteristics
Landing Platform Helicopter
14,300 tons (empty) / 18,800 tons (full)
199 m (653 ft)
31 m (102 ft)
7 m (23 ft)
SEMT Pielstick 16 PC2.5 STC Diesel engine
23 knots (43 km/h) maximum
18 knots (33 km/h) cruising
Boats & landing
craft carried:
Up to 200 vehicles
includes 6 tanks, 7 AAVs
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
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