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And agreement made last year between Colombian President Iván Duque and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-Yon aims to reinforce bilateral relations between the two nations’ navies. As a mark of the strengthening of the relationship, Korea has offered its partner the ROKS IKSAN – a POHANG-class corvette decommissioned at the end of 2018.

The process of transferring the corvette, due for completion in the second half of 2020, is already underway. A delegation of Colombian officers is currently at the Jinhae Naval Base in Korea, inspecting all work being carried out on the vessel.

Built by Hyundai Heavy Industries, the corvette is 88.3m in length, 10m in the beam and has a draft of 2.9m, full load displacement of 1,216t and a maximum speed of 32kts, coupled to a range of 4,000mi at 15 kts. The complement of 118 can keep the vessels at sea over a mission period of 20 days. Armament consists of four HARPOON missiles, two OTO-Melara 76mm COMPACT guns, two triple launchers for 324mm torpedoes and two twin Breda/Bofors 4/70mm autocannon.

The transfer will mark the second corvette donated to Colombia by South Korea, following the transfer of ROKS ANYANG in 2014. The new vessel will further strengthen territorial defence capabilities of Colombia’s Pacific fleet.

Santiago Rivas and Florencia Lucero Heguy for MON

The former ROKS IKSAN will be transferred to the Colombian Navy in the second half of this year. (Photo via authors)

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