South Korea initiates steps to achieve locally built light aircraft carrier, says GlobalData

Following the news that the Republic of Korea had initiated a meeting to focus on the development of core technologies required for a light aircraft carrier;

Mathew George, Ph.D., Aerospace & Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“South Korea’s announcement seeks to highlight the urgency and importance of developing its own aircraft carrier. The country has already focused on utilizing its shipbuilding and defense industry in the design and development of  the next Korean destroyer program,  KDDX, and seeks to further improve its capabilities by creating the ecosystem for the research and development (R&D) required to develop the Light Aircraft Carrier.

“GlobalData’s report, ‘South Korean Defense Market – Attractiveness, Competitive Landscape and Forecast to 2025’, talks on South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense giving clearance to the project under the LPX-II program to be bigger and more advanced than the present Dokdo-class amphibious assault vessels in service. However, this brings the country closer to expand its F-35 fleet by going in for F-35B aircraft which are presently the only Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft in production.

“South Korea is looking at this program from a multiple set of interests. It seeks to counter potential adversaries in the region and to develop further options when it comes to strategic and tactical operations. But, one of the highlights of this program is the cooperative development of core technologies between industry, academia and research institutes that the government is pushing; a partnership that is supposed to help develop the core technologies by 2024. A medium-term goal that will have a ‘effect in technical and economic terms’ and ‘strengthen the capabilities of these organizations and maximize the performance of the shipbuilding industry’. The step should also help South Korea to consolidate its export market for defense technologies and cement its position as a shipbuilding power-house.”

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