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At South Korea’s Jinhae Naval Base, the Colombian Navy recently took delivery of the ARC ALMIRANTE TONO, a corvette being donated by Korea and which should arrive in Cartagena de Indias in mid-November.

Formerly IKSAN on commissioning in 1989 and renamed IRI in 1999, the POHANG-class corvette retired from the Korean Navy in 2013. This is the second vessel donated by Korea to Colombia, following the 2013 delivery of a DONAHAE-class corvette in 2013 that is now the ARC NARIÑO.

The original intent was for the new corvette to be christened BOYACÁ, but the decision was taken to honour Rafael Tono Llopiz, one of the heroes of Colombia’s independence. She will be the third Colombian Navy vessel to carry the name: the first was one of the three frigates that participated in the Korean War, while the second was a destroyer donated by the United States and subsequently decommissioned.

The ALMIRANTE TONO is expected to take some 48 days to cover the 10,500nm journey from Jinhae to Cartagena, where it will join Colombia’s Caribbean naval force and be employed on maritime control, patrol and surveillance operations, protecting and conserving natural resources.

Florencia Lucero Heguy and Santiago Rivas in Buenos Aires for MON

The ALMIRANTE TONO is the second corvette donated by South Korea to the Colombian Navy. (Photo: Colombian Navy)

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