Six S. Korean warships to retire after three-decade service

 The Navy said Wednesday its 1,500-ton Chungnam frigate, known as a benchmark ship, will retire after playing a key role in the defense of South Korean waters for three decades.

The 1,500-ton Chungnam frigate in a photo provided by the Navy (Yonhap)

The 1,500-ton Chungnam frigate in a photo provided by the Navy (Yonhap)

The Navy plans to hold a retirement ceremony for the ship, one of the first-generation warships here, and five other naval vessels -- three patrol ones and three high-speed boats -- at the Jinhae port later in the day.

The country's indigenous Chungnam, 102 meters long and 12 meters wide, was commissioned in 1985.

It's armed with two 76-mm and four 30-mm cannons, along with a Harpoon anti-ship guided missile and a Mistral ship-to-air missile. It can sail at a maximum speed of 63 kph.

"The Chungnam played a pivotal role in the defense of the waters of responsibility, capable of carrying out simultaneous operations against ships, aircraft and submarines," the Navy said.

It was awarded the title of the Navy's benchmark ship, having visited 61 ports in 57 nations. In 1992, it became the Navy's first vessel to travel around the world after passing through the Suez Canal in the previous year.

"As the last captain of the Chungnam, which shined brightly for our Navy for the last 30 years as its benchmark ship, I feel proud of having completed the mission through its retirement," Cmdr. Koo Yeon-tae said. By the Yonhap.

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