South Korea is set to launch a new project to build a ship on which short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing (STOVL) aircraft such as the F-35B stealth jets it is seeking to buy, can be operated.
The decision to build the carrier-type vessel, expected to be operational by late 2020s, was taken on July 12.
“The plan of building the Landing Platform Helicopter-II (LPH-II) ship has been included in a long-term force build-up plan,” spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff was quoted as saying by Defense News on Tuesday.
“Once a preliminary research is completed within a couple of years, the shipbuilding plan is expected to be included in the midterm acquisition list,” the spokesman added.
Other than building the LPH-II ship, Seoul is also working to convert two Izumo-class helicopter destroyers to light aircraft carriers for STOVL jets by 2023.
Interestingly, South Korea has been studying the purchase of F-35B fighters. The results of the pilot study, being conducted by a state-funded research institute are expected in September this year.
“The study weighs in on two options to replace the order of F-35As with F-35Bs, and buy 20 more F-35s additionally,” a defense procurement source said.
Seoul has already bought 40 F-35As for $6.75 Billion in 2014. Inking another deal for 20 units of F-35B STOVL fighters will take the new total to 60.
The light aircraft carrier-class ship is expected to have a displacement of 30,000 tonnes, or more than double the capacity of its predecessors- Dokdo and Marado. It is likely to have a ski jump-style launch ramp.
“The new ship is expected to accommodate 16 STOVL aircraft, 3000 marines and 20 armoured vehicles,” the source said.
“Pursuing the idea of building a light aircraft carrier-class ship is a symbolic and meaningful step to upgrade the country’s naval capability against potential threats posed by Japan and China,” Kim Dae-young, an analyst at the Seoul-based Korea Research Institute for National Strategy, said.
Earlier today, two Chinese and three Russian military aircraft reportedly “violated” South Korean airspace, following which, two fighters belonging to the country were scrambled to intercept and fire warning shots at the aircraft.
South Korean fighters have fired warning shots, after two Russian TU-95MS bombers and one of its Beriev A-50 AEW&C aircraft, and two Chinese planes “violated the countrys airspace by flying over its east coast on Tuesday. Around 6
The South Korean army demonstrated the use of tactical drones utilizing latest technology on Thursday during a session held at Icheon, south of Seoul. The Army presented some 20 drones, which carried out a series of mock combat procedures from reconnaissance to strikes, decontamination and transportation, reports Yonhap news agency
Hyundai Heavy Industries has won a concept design order for the South Korean Navy's amphibious assault ship that can base short-take-off-vertical-landing (STOVL) aircraft such as the F-35B. Hyundai Heavy has announced it signed an agreement with the Navy regarding the LPX-II project, the next-generation new versatile large-deck landing ship for STOVL fighter jets
Four more F-35A fighter jets are scheduled to arrive in South Korea later this week at a time when the thaw in relations with the North appears hardening again. The F-35 jets are set to arrive at the 17th Fighter Wing in Cheongju, 140 kilometers south of Seoul, on Thursday, Yonhap News said quoting military sources adding that with the new arrivals the number of the stealth fighters in the country's Air Force will increase to eight
North Korea has reportedly fired two short-range missiles from its eastern coastal city of Wonsan early on Thursday. “The missiles flew about 430km (267 miles) from the point of launch and reached an altitude of 50km (30 miles) before falling into the East sea,” an official at South Korea's defence ministry was quoted as saying by Reuters
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