LIMA 2023: Hyundai Heavy Industries keen to build on success in Southeast Asia

The HDC-2000 is aimed directly at Malaysia’s requirement for the Littoral Mission Ship Batch 2. (Gordon Arthur)

Building upon success elsewhere in Southeast Asia, at LIMA 2023 the South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) was exhibiting ship designs suitable for Malaysia. Among them were the HDL-10000 multirole support ship, HDC-2000 Littoral Mission Ship and a Multipurpose Mission Ship.

Jin-Woong Choi, senior sales manager, International Defense Program at HHI, explained that the HDC-2000 is based on the 107 metre long HDF-2600 frigate, two of which were built for the Philippine Navy, and commissioned in 2020 and 2021. Data displayed with a scale model listed a length of 92.4m and displacement of 2,000 tonnes for the HDC-2000.

Able to achieve a speed of 26 knots, the type is aimed directly at the Royal Malaysian Navy’s (RMN) requirement for Littoral Mission Ship Batch 2. The RMN purchased four vessels from China under Batch 1, but when a tender for Batch 2 is released, probably before year’s end, the RMN will be seeking larger and more capable vessels.

A scale model of the HDC-2000 showed it armed with a naval gun, a close-in weapon station and four anti-ship missiles. A stern flight deck exists for a helicopter, but no hangar.

Moving on, the HDL-10000 is a new vessel type for HHI, smaller than Dokdo-class amphibious vessels operated by the Republic of Korea Navy, but larger than the landing ship tanks used by the same navy.

Again, the HDL-10000 is targeting a Malaysian requirement for three such multirole support ships. The South Korean proposal has two helicopter landing spots on a stern flight deck, a hangar and a well deck that can accommodate up to two landing craft.

As for the Multipurpose Mission Ship, computer-generated imagery showed it in the markings of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), which acts as the nation’s coast guard.

The vessel carries up to six rigid-hulled inflatable boats – two launched from stern ramps, and two launched from each side of the hull amidships. A flight deck for a helicopter is present, but no hangar, and the design is quite stealthy.

Choi described the Philippines as a “VIP customer” for his company. After constructing two frigates for the Philippine Navy, HHI recently started construction of two corvettes, and it will commence building six Philippine offshore patrol vessels before the end of the year.

HHI is also discussing with Thailand its requirement for a second frigate, after Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering commissioned a first one in 2019.

by Gordon Arthur, Langkawi