South Korea’s light aircraft carrier program officially begins

3D Illustration of the light aircraft carrier

The South Korean Armed Forces decided to begin the project to acquire a light aircraft carrier to boost its defense capabilities. Details for LPX-II light aircraft carrier were finalized and necessary budget was officially reflected on the 2020-2024 Mid-Term Defense Plan on 30th December.

Of the 52.8 trillion won defense budget for next year, South Korea allocated 100 million won for research on the light aircraft carrier project.

LPX-II will prioritize aircraft operation over the amphibious operation and will have not have a well deck. It will also not feature ski-jump and will have two islands. Primary aircraft will be F-35B Lightning II and its sensor and weapon suite will be all indigenous. (BMD-capable MFR being developed for KDDX will reportedly equip LPX-II).

In terms of foreign partners, US & UK government and firms are said to be involved. The U.S. will transfer technology for a reinforced deck as part of F-35B purchase while the UK has been providing technical and doctrinal advice.

Source: YONHAP News

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