North Korean Navy – Light Frigates

Frigates (most of these are light frigates, or large corvettes)

Nampo/Tuman Class LOA 249′ / 75.9 m TDISP ca. 1,500 tons (2 or 3 fitting out or active, service since around 2014). There seem to be two different designs grouped under discussions of this class: one design has more beam, while helicopter flight decks were fitted during construction but then removed. The details of the superstructure and funnel layout also varies.

Nampo class Light frigate 2020 Rioho-ri North Korea

Nampo class Light frigates 2018 Nampo North KoreaNampo class Light frigates 2015 Nampo North KoreaNampo class Light frigate 2020-12Nampo class Light frigate 2016 Rason North KoreaNampo class Light frigate 2012 Rason North Korea

Soho Class LOA 242′ / 73.8 m TDISP 1,640 tons (6 planned, only 1 completed, service ca. 1982-2009) unusual experimental catamaran design with large helicopter flight deck. Reportedly suffered from serious stability issues which restricted movements and ensured no more units were built to this design. The below drawings were prepared by warsearcher staff and are a synthesis of the very speculative plans and online drawings, the general information found in Jane’s fighting ships 1998-2007 editions, and measurements taken from the below satellite image, one or two images reputed to be of sections of the vessel, and the only other known satellite capture, a digital globe capture not available on Google Earth. Read about our reconstruction efforts at our post “Visions of the North Korean Mystery Frigate Soho.”

Reconstructed view from satellite imagery and other sources. For all use please credit with a link to this page.

Soho class frigate Samho North Korea 2004largeSoho class frigate Samho North Korea 2004

Najin Class LOA 328′ / 100 m TDISP 1,600 tons (4, 2 active, service since 1973) Reportedly an unstable design with two ships decommissioned early. They appear to have been based on a Soviet Kola class frigate design. The old STYX anti-ship missiles have recently been replaced by Kh-35 or similar missiles.

Najin class corvette or light frigate no. 531 underway, ca. 1993. NARA: USN 330-CFD-DN-SC-94-01224
DE construction NAMPO NK CIA report 1970
This image was taken from a January 1971 declassified CIA report on construction of a new Destroyer Escort at Nampo, North Korea, during 1970, which became one of the Najin class light frigates. Source: PROBABLE DESTROYER ESCORT UNDER CONSTRUCTION NAMPO SHIPYARD, NORTH KOREA.

Najin class FFG 2020-09 Rason NK

Najin class FFG 2020 Rason NK

Najin class FFG 2011 Nampo North Korea

Krivak III class LOA 404′ / 123.1 m TDISP ca. 3,500 tons (intended displacement) uncompleted hull likely from Zaliv shipyards, Kerch, originally left uncompleted in Mykolaiv, Ukraine. Was to have been named “Hetman Vyshnevetskyi. Transferred from Russia to North Korea, with likely intention of scrapping.krivak frigate Nampo NK 2004

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