On April 11, 2023, Korean local media stated that the RoKN ordered three Arsenal Ships locally known as the Joint Firepower Vessel (JFV). The ships are expected to be commissioned in the late 2020s.
Ships have a displacement of between 5,000 – 8,000 tons. The JFV is armed with up to 80 ballistic missiles, CIWS, torpedoes and other defensive armaments. These ships are designed for ground-surface attack missions. The vessel will overcome the ROK military's shortage of land-based ballistic missiles. The RoKN Future Arsenal ship is similar to a US Navy concept designed in the 1990s, namely the FMP (Floating Missile Platform). The arsenal ships are considered complementary platforms that enhance contemporary navies' lethality. They support aircraft carriers and amphibious power projection operations.
(DARPA's concept Design)
ROK reportedly has only 60 Transport Erector Launcher (TEL) conventional land attack cruise and ballistic missile Hyunmoo 2A/3 series vehicles.
These specialized launch vehicles are considered vulnerable to initial attack or counter-attack from North Korea as they are expensive to maintain and require long reload periods.
On the other hand, Arsenal Ships are designed explicitly for North Korean contingencies s. They are vulnerable to modern anti-ship threats posed by adversaries such as China.
They will operate far from the range of the North Korean Navy's anti-ship cruise missiles and submarines.
The Arsenal Ships do not own self-protection systems. Their security is provided by escorting other warships.