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South Korea launches third Aegis destroyer

The 7,600-ton KDX-III destroyer will be put into service in March next year.

Seoul: South Korea launched its third destroyer equipped with the high-tech Aegis radar and weapons control system as tension remains high on the Korean peninsula, its Navy said.

The 7,600-ton KDX-III destroyer, the Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong, will be put into service in March next year following a year of test operations, the navy said on Thursday.

The 166-metre (548-feet)-long KDX III destroyer can carry about 120 missiles and torpedoes in its vertical launch system, Yonhap news agency said.

With 300 crew members, it can also carry two mid-sized helicopters and sail at a top speed of 30 knots within a range of 1,000 kilometres (630 miles), it said.

South Korea launched its first and second Aegis destroyers in 2008 and 2010, respectively, as part of a Navy build-up project.

It also seeks to buy an unspecified number of unmanned Global Hawk surveillance planes from the United States, a Defence Acquisition Programme Administration spokesman said.

Military tensions have risen sharply since the March 2010 sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on the North, and the North`s deadly shelling of a border island last November.

Bureau Report

From Zee News

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