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HD Hyundai gets green light to bid for US warship maintenance projects

Korean shipbuilder looks to build trust with US Navy to expand business

July 11, 2024 - 14:27 By Kan Hyeong-woo
The Jeongjo the Great class Aegis destroyer built by HD Hyundai Heavy Industries does a test sail.(HD Hyundai)

HD Hyundai Heavy Industries said Thursday that it has secured the right to bid for the United States Navy's warship maintenance, repair and operations, or MRO, projects to become the first South Korean shipbuilder to do so.

According to the shipbuilder, HD HHI signed the master ship repair agreement with the US Naval Supply Systems Command. Under the agreement, HD HHI has been given the qualification to submit bids for MRO projects of the US Navy's warships as well as support ships of the US Military Sealift Command.

As the US government signs the master ship repair agreement with private shipyards for the US warships' MRO projects, all private shipbuilders must secure the agreement before bidding for any MRO projects of the US Navy.

HD HHI said it applied for the agreement in May last year and underwent three on-site inspections by US officials since then.

With the latest breakthrough in the US, HD HHI expects to find more opportunities in the American warship market estimated to be worth about 20 trillion won ($14.5 billion) per year.

The Korean shipbuilder added that it will work to build trust with the US military by successfully conducting MRO projects with the Navy to expand its area of business to the US government's other shipbuilding projects.

"Based on our unique technology to build a total of 18 warships that have been exported overseas and MRO-related know-how accumulated in the Philippines, we will further expand the horizon of Korean warship exports by making a soft landing in the US warship ship MRO market," said Joo Won-ho, head of the Special Ship Business unit at HD HHI.