On 5 January 2022, the 2nd corvette of the Pohang class was delivered to Peru, the ROKS Suncheon (PCC-767).

In recent years, Korea has continuously donated Pohang-class light corvettes to many allied and partner countries, from Asia, Africa to the Americas. Military analysts consider this an extremely skillful foreign policy of the Koreans when it can both improve cooperation and solidarity with other countries as well as solve the problem of old ships that have been decommissioned.

On 5 January 2022, the 2nd corvette of the Pohang class was delivered to Peru, the ROKS Suncheon (PCC-767). The corvette will serve in the Peruvian Navy as BAP Guise (CC-28). Earlier in 2018, another ship was delivered to Peru, the ROKS Gyeongju, which was renamed BAP Ferré.

BAP Guise (CC-28)
BAP Guise (CC-28)

Before it was handed over to the Peruvian Navy, ROKS Suncheon underwent extensive upgrading of the hull, including mechanical, and electric repairs. South Korea has also donated Pohang-class corvettes to Egypt, Vietnam and the Philippines as it replaces the vessel class with newer and more capable frigates.

ROKS Suncheon had been in service with the South Korean Navy since 1988, performed patrolling duties near the Northern Limit Line in the West Sea as a part of the ROK Navy’s 2nd Fleet as of 1989 and was distinguished during the Battle of Daecheong in 2009, against North Korea. The vessel was decommissioned on December 24, 2019.

The Pohang class has a full load displacement of about 1,300 tons, a length of 88m, a beam of 10m, and a draft of 0.88m. It is a class of small corvettes with relative combat capabilities. The ship is equipped with a Combined diesel or gas propulsion system, including 1 LM2500 gas turbines generating 27,820 shp, and 2  MTU 12V956 TB82 diesel engines producing combined total of 6,260 shp, allowing the ship to reach a maximum speed of 32 knots. The range is up to 4,000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 15 knots.

In terms of armament, Pohang is equipped with a pair of famous 76mm Otto Melara guns placed at the front and rear, two 40mm Otobreda anti-aircraft cannons, 2×3 324mm specialized anti-submarine light torpedo tubes and some 12.7mm machine gun. In addition, the Batch IV version is also equipped with 2×2 Harpoon subsonic anti-ship missile launchers.

It can be seen that the Pohang-class corvettes are typical warships of the 1980s, still capable of low-intensity naval warfare, patrolling and protecting national borders and maritime zones, protecting resource exploitation and fishing activities, and combating terrorism.

Today, compared to the arms export players, the emerging Korean defense industry does not have too much market share. Therefore, they pay special attention to promoting diplomatic solicitation activities, along with many extremely attractive incentives to attract the attention of customers. Thailand and the Philippines have recently ordered up to 3 Korean frigates at quite affordable prices.

The path of Pohang warship diplomacy is really an extremely smart move by Korea. And one more thing is certain that in the future these old warships will continue to be donated.

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