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Old 09-24-2022, 05:57 AM
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Question CVX: Is South Korea Going To Build A Full-Blown Aircraft Carrier

CVX: Is South Korea Going To Build A Full-Blown Aircraft Carrier?
By: Peter Suciu - 1945 News 09-24-22 - 4-min. ago
Re: https://www.19fortyfive.com/2022/09/...craft-carrier/

It was just weeks ago that the South Korean government appeared to be “deep-sixing” its planned CVX aircraft carrier program, as it received no funding in the latest budget proposal. The tentative budget for the nation’s navy made no mention of the CVX, which was seen to effectively put an end to the program – at least for the foreseeable future.

The aircraft carrier had been seen as one of the most controversial weapons development programs in the history of the Republic of Korea. It had been a signature acquisition program of the nation’s previous administration under President Moon Jae-in, but the newly elected President Yoon Suk-yeol’s government has been far less enthusiastic, and earlier this year had postponed the bidding process for the warship.

In addition, in July, Seoul announced that it would seek to acquire an additional twenty Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II aircraft – the conventional takeoff and landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter – rather than the short takeoff and vertical landing-capable F-35B, which could have been deployed on a future flattop. The Republic of Korea Navy’s carrier was planned to field up to twenty of the F-35Bs.

Last year, some members of the South Korean government questioned what purpose a carrier would serve.

“Light aircraft carriers are unnecessary in our security environment,” said Shin Won-sik, a member of the National Assembly since 2012. “The light carrier gives us no substantive advantage in terms of military strategy and operations; the carrier will be nothing more than a ‘money-eating hippopotamus.'”

Change of Course:

By all accounts, a South Korean carrier seemed essentially “dead in the water,” but there is now word that the country is changing course again. Republic of Korea Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Kim Seung-kyum suggested that his nation’s military would consider acquiring an aircraft carrier that is larger than the current CVX design if a carrier-capable fighter is developed domestically.

“Major changes [to CVX] need to be made anyways, so these changes and [the acquisition of a medium-sized carrier] will be evaluated together. The KF-21 will not be able to take off or land vertically,” Kim said during a session of the National Defense Committee on Monday.

The chief of staff head also responded to questions about why the 2023 defense budget didn’t include the CVX.

“The [CVX program] has already been approved by the joint chiefs,” Kim added. “There are differing opinions about whether aircraft carried on board should be developed domestically. CVX was left out of the defense budget for next year because we want to prudently reevaluate major assets so that … they can be designed to adequately respond to threats.”

As Naval News reported, the new administration had received significant criticism from domestic media for leaving the CVX out of the 2023 defense budget, and some pundits have suggested that it was an attempt to erase the legacy of former President Moon Jae-in.

It now appears that instead of a light carrier, which critics contend would be a “sitting duck,” South Korea could move forward with the development of a medium-sized carrier – one that has a displacement of over 60,000 tons. If such a warship is actually built, it would be among the largest domestically-built carriers in the region. It would be significantly larger than China’s Type 001 Liaoning and India’s new flagship Vikrant – and around the same size as the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s Type 002 Shandong, but still smaller than the newly launched Type 003 Fujian.

However, the question still remains whether South Korea actually needs the CVX aircraft carrier, but it would certainly send a strong message to Beijing and Pyongyang that South Korea is a power to be taken seriously in the region and beyond.

Expert Biography: A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs.
Note: Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes.
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Personal note: Like an old movie once said "buiilding it they will come".
Yes thats true - moreso - if you recall - carrier's are primary targets as
we all know. You can't hide them from satelites. Capital ships like these
are the first thing they will want to remove.
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Shields of sorts may help - but once they see it - you can bet it will be targeted!
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