Military Review

South Korean aircraft carriers: warships or joining the arms race?

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In late October, foreign media reported on the plans of the South Korean military department. With reference to representatives of the Ministry of Defense of South Korea, it was stated that up to 2036, the naval forces of this state would receive two own aircraft carriers. In addition, the South Korean military intend to strengthen its fleet in the medium term by building several ships of various classes. As a pretext for this modernization of the Navy, the threat from the DPRK and other neighboring states was called.


Already by 2019, the shipbuilders of South Korea can complete the construction of the second universal amphibious assault ship of the Dokdo type in accordance with the revised project. It is proposed to equip the ship with a springboard, which will allow it to be used as a light aircraft carrier with short or vertical take-off aircraft. Besides, it is possible to start building another landing ship of a similar class with characteristics at the level of foreign ships of similar purpose.


ROKS Dokdo


However, the most interesting step in the modernization of the naval forces are the intentions to develop and build one or two aircraft carriers. Currently, only a few countries have ships of this class and the expansion of this list attracts the attention of specialists and amateurs of military affairs. Some details of preparations for the creation of the project and the construction of the ship are already known, which allows us to draw some preliminary conclusions.

At the moment, all the work on the project of a promising aircraft carrier concerns the preliminary study of the appearance and the study of industry opportunities. In October last year, the National Assembly (Parliament) of South Korea approved amendments to the military budget for 2013, which, inter alia, provided for the costs of studying the prospects and feasibility of the development and subsequent construction of ships with aviation group. It should be noted that such amendments were not the initiative of the military, but appeared at the insistence of the parliamentary Committee on Defense. The deputies of the Committee maintain contacts with the military and therefore probably went to meet them.

South Korean aircraft carriers: warships or joining the arms race?


For work planned for 2013, the National Assembly allocated 100 million won (about 93 thousand US dollars). This money went to support the work of the special commission, which examined the current state and prospects of the country's Navy and its potential adversaries. To date, experts have come to some conclusions. So, recently, the South Korean military are increasingly talking about the need to build a light class aircraft carrier. In addition, in the foreign press it is argued that now a special commission is studying the concept of the use of light aircraft carriers.

Creating promising aircraft carriers, most likely, will go in three stages. During the first stage, it is planned to complete the construction and commissioning of the Navy’s second universal amphibious assault ship of the Dokdo type, equipped with a springboard and equipment necessary for the basing of carrier-based aircraft. The second stage involves the continuation of work on amphibious ships capable of carrying aircraft for various purposes. The new UDC can get a developed set of equipment to support the operation of aircraft of various types. Finally, in the middle of the next decade, the construction of a promising aircraft carrier could begin.

All information about the possible technical appearance of new aircraft carriers is literally limited by a couple of assumptions. The promising South Korean aircraft carriers may look like the Italian ship Cavour. In this case, the displacement of new ships will reach 30 thousand tons, and in the hangars and on the deck will be able to accommodate up to 30 aircraft.


Aircraft Carrier Cavour


The big questions are the composition of the aviation group of the new ship. South Korea does not have its own developed aviation industry capable of developing and building deck-mounted aircraft. For this reason, there are already speculations about the possible purchase of aircraft abroad. In this case, probably, the South Korean aircraft carrier will carry American-made aircraft. Given the timing of construction and the start of service, we can assume that the South Korean pilots will have to use the American Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II fighter-bombers.


Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II


Separate consideration is the political subtext of South Korean plans for the construction of aircraft carriers. South Korea has strained relations with several of its neighbors in the region. Therefore, the reason for the construction of aircraft carriers in the form of a possible threat from the DPRK or China looks quite realistic and justified. North Korea, to the best of its abilities and capabilities, is trying to develop its armed forces and is considered the main geopolitical opponent of its southern neighbor. Moreover, it is precisely certain aggressive plans of Pyongyang that are announced as the main reason for the rearmament of the South Korean army.

While the South Korean military and politicians are discussing the very possibility of building aircraft carriers, China completed, tested and put into operation its first aircraft carrier, Liaoning, and also announced the planned construction of new ships of this class. Thus, promising South Korean aircraft carriers will have to compete with Chinese ships.

It is noteworthy that Seoul is leading several territorial disputes with neighboring states. In addition to the longstanding enmity with the DPRK, he argues with Japan over the Tokdo archipelago in the Sea of ​​Japan, and also tries to take Iodo Island away from China. The latter, however, is an underwater rock, which makes territorial claims at least strange. Finally, several countries immediately argue with each other about exclusive economic zones.

The construction of aircraft carriers so far can be attributed to the distant future. In the meantime, the South Korean military and shipbuilders intend to implement other projects related to the renewal and modernization of naval forces. Before 2023, it is planned to order the construction of three new destroyers equipped with the American-made Aegis combat information and control system. Next, the Korean industry should start building six destroyers of the new KDDX project with a displacement of about 5900 tons and modern guided missile weapons. Before 2026, the South Korean Navy should receive at least two dozen FFX frigates.



In the near future, South Korea intends to build several diesel-electric submarines of the “214 Type” and KSS-III projects. Introduction to the Navy of the second type of boats with a displacement of about 3 thousand tons will allow you to attack targets using cruise missiles with a range of up to 1500 km.

It is also supposed to upgrade naval aviation. As part of this program, South Korea is going to purchase a certain number of aircraft and helicopters for various purposes. With the help of this technique, the Navy will be able to more effectively patrol waters and search for enemy submarines.

It must be admitted that the plans of South Korea for the construction of new aircraft carriers are the most interesting item in the long-term program for the development of the Navy. However, the South Korean military intend to actively develop other areas. The reason for such activity in the modernization of the armed forces in general and the Navy in particular can be considered the general situation in the region. Several countries are actively developing their armies and fleets at the same time, which is why South Korea is also forced to pay great attention to its armed forces. In the long run, all current processes of this kind can take many different forms, including turning into a real arms race. In this case, the leaders in this race will be China and, possibly, Japan. South Korea and other East Asian countries will have to catch up with them, creating new weapons and equipping them with army and navy.


On the materials of the sites:
http://defensenews.com/
http://lenta.ru/
http://rg.ru/
http://aex.ru/
http://armstrade.org/
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  1. Tarpon
    Tarpon 19 November 2013 09: 30
    +2
    With reference to representatives of the Ministry of Defense of South Korea, it was argued that until 2036 the naval forces of this state will receive two own aircraft carriers.

    But they will.
    How would we even build a couple of aircraft carriers.
    Remove all "Serdyukovs" and "Ragozins" and build!
  2. Under
    Under 19 November 2013 09: 31
    +5
    We smile and wave, that is, watch and learn. Korea, as you know, have a common land border, in case of war the fate of both states will be decided on earth. However, they do not forget the fleet, introduce new ships, plan to lay aircraft carriers. The most interesting thing is that they find money for it, do not consider how much it would be possible to raise the salaries of state employees and increase their pension, but they are building a fleet! A country that is building a fleet a little smaller in size than many constituent entities of the Russian Federation! Yes, your mother, what geopolitical ambitions (hi Rogozin) is a matter of survival!
    1. Walker1975
      Walker1975 19 November 2013 15: 01
      +2
      Notice, they do not say why do we need aircraft carriers? - We will manage ground-based aviation. Or: we restrict ourselves to submarines for protection against the PRC fleet.
      1. SkiF_RnD
        SkiF_RnD 19 November 2013 22: 44
        +5
        The fact of the matter is that they have no territory comparable to ours. We are in different conditions initially. Start a war, the entire territory of South Korea is under fire from short-range ballistic missiles, not to mention more long-range weapons. One salvo and the runway will be disabled. Carrier formations, being put out to sea on the eve of war, will become more difficult targets. For Russia, the alignment is fundamentally different. And the nature of a possible war is different. If North Korea does not have an advantage at sea (after all, the "southern" ones have Japan nearby, and the United States will help), then the United States still does.
        So your sarcasm is completely inappropriate here, with respect.
  3. moremansf
    moremansf 19 November 2013 09: 53
    +5
    The state has only two allies - its army and navy !!!! That's the whole conclusion ... Korea has a maritime border with nothing at all, and the fleet can only be envied ... it means they steal less and have laws for everyone, there are no jurisdictions like Serdyukov and others like him ...
    1. Nayhas
      Nayhas 19 November 2013 11: 50
      +5
      Quote: moremansf
      Korea has a sea border with nothing at all

      If you compare with the land, then, as it were, the other way around.
      Quote: moremansf
      and the fleet can only be envied

      They have shipbuilding on top, supertankers bake like gingerbread ...
      1. Setrac
        Setrac 19 November 2013 12: 48
        0
        Quote: Nayhas
        They have shipbuilding on top, supertankers bake like gingerbread ...

        A warship is not only a barge.
        Quote: Anded
        We smile and wave, that is, watch and learn.

        What to learn? His there will be only the trough itself. The manufacturer of components will sell the codes to a potential adversary, like Ukraine, Georgia.
  4. alex56
    alex56 19 November 2013 10: 08
    +3
    And again we return to the idea of ​​"light" aircraft carriers.
    If the aircraft carrier is "normal" for Russia (Can this option be considered?
    1. Setrac
      Setrac 19 November 2013 12: 51
      0
      Quote: alex56
      And again we return to the idea of ​​"light" aircraft carriers.
      If the aircraft carrier is "normal" for Russia (Can this option be considered?

      Well, this is natural, the main striking force of the fleet is missiles, and the planes returned to their original mission - reconnaissance, and target designation to the maximum distances.
      1. PSih2097
        PSih2097 19 November 2013 22: 55
        0
        To be honest, the Doc-Do looks and its performance characteristics are much better than Mistral
  5. avt
    avt 19 November 2013 10: 12
    +7
    That's Korean stunners! laughing And they do not read Oleg Kaptsov and Rogozin do not have a decree, well, they don’t understand that they don’t need such ships. Or do they have more geopolitical ambitions than Russia and Rogozin put together ?? !! And in fact they will build it, if staffers do not interfere!
    1. Santa Fe
      Santa Fe 19 November 2013 19: 40
      +2
      Quote: avt
      And they do not read Oleg Kaptsov and Rogozin do not have a decree, well, they don’t understand that they don’t need such ships. Or do they have more geopolitical ambitions than Russia and Rogozin put together ?? !! And in fact they will build it, if staffers do not interfere!

      Thank you for not forgetting

      Korean troughs of 30 thousand tons
      typical empty bravado fueled by an arms race in the Asia-Pacific region. There are no prospects for combat use for these troughs. But it is not important. The main thing is prestige.
      These ships are not built for war. For real wars with a real adversary, Korea has other weapons.
      1. SkiF_RnD
        SkiF_RnD 19 November 2013 22: 49
        +1
        Why not? It’s quite there. As part of the coalition, together with the United States and Japan (as it goes), the main thing is that in the event of a conflict they will have to be located much east of the territorial waters of their country, otherwise they will be quickly sent. But talking about the complete futility of them is still a serious exaggeration.
        hi
  6. Rinat 1
    Rinat 1 19 November 2013 10: 48
    +1
    Well done Koreans. They understand that without a fleet and an army no one will reckon with them
    1. Walker1975
      Walker1975 19 November 2013 15: 06
      +2
      Well done! Also, infections, create high-tech products, electronics, engage in energy and value their scientists. And, do not believe it, their industry uses the work of their scientists in practice. Yes, even their cars will be better than the domestic auto industry and shipbuilding works ... and they export a lot of things, and not just oil and gas.
  7. chunga-changa
    chunga-changa 19 November 2013 11: 09
    +1
    ... study of the prospects and feasibility of the development and subsequent construction of ships with an aviation group ... of a special commission that examined the current state and prospects of the country's Navy and its likely opponents. ... now a special commission is studying the concept of using light aircraft carriers.

    How interesting. It is clear to us that there is no need to research and study anything. See the commission. You just need to build more beautiful, hefty, that would captivate the aircraft carriers. Because everyone has, and of course we also want something to be proud of and discuss on the forums.
  8. Walking
    Walking 19 November 2013 11: 15
    +1
    There is an opportunity to build an aircraft carrier in Korea; shipbuilding is well developed there.
  9. Nayhas
    Nayhas 19 November 2013 11: 53
    +1
    In the picture, the mixture of RAMa and Phalanx on the stern and bow looks cool. It's just not clear, the hell add-on ahead?
  10. Magellan
    Magellan 19 November 2013 12: 11
    +1
    South Korean pilots will have to use the American Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II fighter bomber.

    Probably meant F-35B

    it is impossible to use classical aviation on a ship of this class. Only VTOL aircraft with shortened take-off and vertical landing
  11. Alexandr0id
    Alexandr0id 19 November 2013 16: 22
    +1
    Considering that South Korea is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, and also one of the three largest civil shipbuilders in the world, along with Japan and China, their plans to create a powerful navy look quite feasible.
    1. vahatak
      vahatak 20 November 2013 11: 57
      0
      That's right, only Korea is not only among the top three civilian shipbuilders, but tops the list. About 40 percent of the world's shipbuilding. China and Japan are far behind.
  12. funt12
    funt12 19 November 2013 16: 34
    0
    Well, why do they need them? DPRK if that will use its missiles
  13. Andrew 447
    Andrew 447 19 November 2013 16: 39
    0
    Strange guys these Koreans, cut the budget for the purchase of aircraft, and they really need them. But the carriers have already swung, it’s not logical somehow.
    1. Santa Fe
      Santa Fe 19 November 2013 19: 33
      0
      Quote: Andrey 447
      But the carriers have already swung, it’s not logical somehow.

      Do you think the South American dreadnought race of the beginning of the XX century was logical?))

      http://topwar.ru/30513-morskie-voyny-ataka-klounov.html
    2. svp67
      svp67 19 November 2013 19: 36
      +1
      Quote: Andrey 447
      Strange guys these Koreans, cut the budget for the purchase of aircraft, and they really need them. But the carriers have already swung, it’s not logical somehow.

      It is logical. The DPRK fleet is already sinking itself, from old age. So, if an air strike is delivered from the sea, then there will be nothing to oppose the "northerners" ...
      1. core
        core 20 November 2013 09: 12
        0
        air strike from the sea is 15 aircraft? I don’t know about old age, but I saw how the old SK submarine drowned the newest ship in the UK.
        1. Windbreak
          Windbreak 20 November 2013 18: 06
          0
          Quote: core
          the newest ship in the UK.
          What's new there? The first boat of this type was built in 1984 and does not constitute anything traveling.
  14. core
    core 19 November 2013 16: 53
    -2
    some kind of nonsense. 93 thousand bucks to study the problem. Do not tell the author what you can research for the money, buy one computer with legal software ...! for war between Koreans AB? , tell me how he will fight, and what damage will be caused by 10-15 aircraft of this pelvis?

    WHAT IS BAYAN.
  15. URAL72
    URAL72 19 November 2013 18: 08
    +2
    Of all its neighbors, Korea has normal relations only with Russia and Taiwan. They also count on Japan, but at the official level, "historical memory" leads to strained diplomatic relations. Russia supplied to Korea T-80 (on account of the debt), Ansats, Ka-32, developed entire stages (and not only) for the Korean space rocket, a locator and other systems for the Korean air defense system, there are other points of contact on the military-technical cooperation line. With the help of Korea (money, technology, equipment), it is planned to develop shipbuilding in the Far East. Russia, as a natural counterbalance to China on land, can get even more from Korea than from the wise monkey China, but we should not forget that we cannot replace the States for them, due to our economic capabilities, although on land, we are the only ones who can ( even now) to confront China. Conclusion - we must fight for Korea no less than for Syria, but in no case should we rely on it. This is a loyal ally of the United States, which, in the event of a conflict between amers and a weakened Russia, will immediately pounce on us as soon as the advantage appears on their side. I mean a hypothetical non-nuclear conflict in the Far East, while in power a la Humpbacked-Yeltsin-Medvedev. But while America is weakening and China is getting stronger, the military build-up of South Korea can be viewed in a positive way, but the powder must be kept dry.
  16. saag
    saag 19 November 2013 19: 32
    +2
    Carriers are all nonsense, that’s why South Korea and even the same Taiwan can bake any electronics they need, but Russia doesn’t?
    1. PSih2097
      PSih2097 19 November 2013 22: 57
      0
      Quote: saag
      Carriers are all nonsense, that’s why South Korea and even the same Taiwan can bake any electronics they need, but Russia doesn’t?

      because in power ПЖиВ ...
      In the photo of Korean AV, the presence of a Hawk-type AWACS aircraft killed, how would it take off without a catapult?
      1. ICT
        ICT 19 November 2013 23: 07
        0
        Well, just like for example, SU-25 took off from Kuznetsov (there is a springboard, powder boosters will add everything)
  17. Dronza
    Dronza 19 November 2013 19: 47
    0
    A little confused by the presence of the "island" on the bow, and so - a normal boat. I envy the Koreans a little ... Eh, when are we going to build ships more than a corvette ...
  18. 1c-inform-city
    1c-inform-city 19 November 2013 23: 37
    0
    News from the category of hey hook. They will not build anything. They even could not bring their bmp to mind. They build tankers, but using foreign technologies and for the money of others, and mostly not for themselves. I can object that they have good tanks and sau, I will answer all this in the same way as the Chinese from foreign designs (like their auto industry). And no one has yet tested them for phishing, everyone uses the declared characteristics.
  19. Legioner
    Legioner 22 November 2013 02: 17
    0
    At the moment, we cannot afford and do not need to build and maintain new aircraft carriers, we just need to modernize the Kuznetsov and transfer it to serve in the Pacific Ocean in a place with the future Mistrals (which are also not clear why and in such quantities are needed).
    We simply cannot fully equip and cover our land, airy spaces.
    1. moremansf
      moremansf 23 November 2013 13: 11
      +2
      Quote: Legioner
      At the moment, we cannot afford and do not need to build and maintain new aircraft carriers, we just need to modernize Kuznetsov and transfer it to "serve" in the Pacific Ocean

      Unfortunately, the Pacific Fleet lacks all the infrastructure for maintaining ships of this class, and not only at the Pacific Fleet ... the experience of operating the Kuznetsov showed that this is a special type of ship and simply cannot stand at the berth, it is necessary to have an appropriate repair base for this. why he was transferred from Vidyaevo to Murmansk to SRZ-35. Due to the isolation from the necessary infrastructure, the fleet almost lost it, with heroic efforts it was possible to return it to the base, after a long stagnation in Vidyaevo, despite the fact that they began to build berths for aircraft-carrying ships there. Similarly, the Pacific Fleet, the settlement of Tikhookeansky - Shkotovo, is also not adapted for this ... The base in Cam Ranh (Vietnam) was intended for such ships, the American air forces were stationed there during the DB period, but our restructuring led you know what ... so, first of all, it is necessary to create an infrastructure for the AV. In the photo: TAVKR "Kuznetsov" in Vidyaevo.
  20. xomaNN
    xomaNN 24 November 2013 21: 23
    0
    It will be interesting to compare the ratio of the DPRK and South fleets. Korea, even taking into account 1 aircraft carrier winked And you see, and for the Russian Navy will build, like the French "Mistral"?
  21. doctor.75
    doctor.75 24 November 2013 21: 31
    0
    Quote: Anded
    We smile and wave, that is, watch and learn. Korea, as you know, have a common land border, in case of war the fate of both states will be decided on earth. However, they do not forget the fleet, introduce new ships, plan to lay aircraft carriers. The most interesting thing is that they find money for it, do not consider how much it would be possible to raise the salaries of state employees and increase their pension, but they are building a fleet! A country that is building a fleet a little smaller in size than many constituent entities of the Russian Federation! Yes, your mother, what geopolitical ambitions (hi Rogozin) is a matter of survival!

    Exactly...