During December 2007, South Korea's largest warship, the amphibious assault ship Dokdo, sailed off the coast of Langkawi, Malaysia, while taking part in LIMA Maritime '07, one of Asia's most expansive naval exhibitions. The Dokdo was launched by Hanjin Heavy Industries in Mansan in May 2005 and entered service in the summer of 2007. Displacing about 19,000 tons (full-load), the ship is armed with two RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) systems and two 30-mm Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS) for self-defense. Dokdo is capable of carrying an air group of 10 medium-sized helicopters or more than 700 troops and their equipment, plus 10 main battle tanks. The ship is also fitted with a stern docking well able to launch and house LCAC-type hovercraft. A sister ship, to be named Marado, is expected in service by 2010, and a third unit will likely join the fleet by 2015.
By Eric Wertheim