This undated photo, provided by the Navy, shows South Korea's new 14,500-ton amphibious assault ship, Marado. (Navy)
South Korea's new 14,500-ton amphibious assault ship will be deployed in October with improved combat capabilities developed with the country's own technologies, the military said Monday.
Navy Chief of Staff Adm. Boo Suk-jong presided over a commissioning ceremony for the landing platform helicopter (LPH) ship Marado at the southern port of Jinhae ahead of the planned deployment, according to the military.
Named after the country's southernmost island, the Marado is South Korea's second large-scale transport ship following the Dokdo, which was deployed in 2007.
The 199-meter ship can sail at a maximum speed of 23 knots (42.5 kph) with 330 crew members aboard.
Officials said the ship is equipped with devices developed with the latest technologies, including a new radar system to better detect enemies and control aircraft, as well as an indigenous ship-based guided missile, Haegung.
The flying deck was also upgraded to allow the take-off and landing of the US Osprey class aircraft, they said.
"Key equipment brought in from abroad when building the Dokdo ship were replaced with homegrown ones that show improved performances. The shift is expected to cut the cost and time needed for the ship's maintenance," an official said.
Besides combat missions, the vessel will also be used to support disaster rescue and international peacekeeping operations, the Navy said. (Yonhap)