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Navy unveils first Korean-made salvage and rescue ship

Korea’s first indigenously built rescue and salvage ship is unveiled at a shipyard in the southeastern port city of Geoje on Tuesday. (Yonhap News)
Korea’s first indigenously built rescue and salvage ship is unveiled at a shipyard in the southeastern port city of Geoje on Tuesday. (Yonhap News)
The Navy on Tuesday unveiled South Korea’s first indigenously built rescue and salvage ship (RAS), after two years of development for rescue operations at sea.

The 3,500-ton ATS-II ship was built to rescue stricken ships and tow away ships damaged because of enemy action or engine failure and to provide aid in the cleanup of oil spills and ocean accidents, the Navy said.

The state-run Defense Acquisition and Procurement Agency and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. have jointly developed the ship since October 2010, months after a South Korean warship sank after being hit by a North Korean torpedo attack, killing 46 sailors on board.

The ship is 107.5 meters long and 16.8 meters wide and can sail up to 21 kts. It can also draw up to 570-ton high-speed guided missiles and tow up to 15,000-ton ships, it noted.

The ship is also equipped with an underwater remotely operated vehicle and side scan sonar, as well as a flight deck and supporting equipment for manned diving operations.

Named after the southern coastal town of Tongyeong, where South Korea first launched landing operations during the 1950-53 Korean War, the rescue ship was unveiled in a launching ceremony at a shipyard in the southeastern port city of Geoje, attended by senior military and government officials, the Navy said.

After test sailing, the rescue ship will be delivered to the Navy in the latter half of next year, officials said. (Yonhap News)
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