In early 2021, South Korea officially approved the construction of a light aircraft carrier – the ambitious LPX-II project.
Korea currently maintains 3 classes of destroyers, namely Sejong the Great, Chungmugong Yi Sun-sin and Gwanggaeto the Great. These are all the most powerful surface warships in the Navy of this country, and will definitely join the carrier strike group.
In particular, the Sejong the Great with 3 units, equipped with a special advanced Aegis system developed by the US. Typically, with up to 80 cells VLS for SM-2 anti-aircraft missiles, capable of intercepting intercontinental ballistic missiles. There are also 48 cells K-VLS for land attack cruise missiles, as well as anti-submarine missiles.
Korea operates about 20 Diesel – Electric submarines of all kinds, which can coordinate well with the carrier fleet to cope with underwater threats. South Korean Navy has more than 10 large frigates, can fully coordinate with the fleet, responsible for anti-ship and anti-submarine missions.
As such, in general, the South Korean Navy has a strong fleet of escort ships. That is not to mention small and medium-sized missile warships, which are capable of high coastal combat. Thereby, in the future, when owning an aircraft carrier, they can form a powerful carrier strike group.
Although South Korea does not have any overseas military bases, along with that its direct rival, the North, does not have a very powerful navy.
The aircraft carrier building represents a new vision for South Korea. Thereby they will extend their influence into the ocean, and become a true Blue-water navy, no longer around in the region with China and North Korea.
The ship is comparable in specifications to the South Korean Navy Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship, with a displacement of more than 10,000 tons. It is expected that this new carrier can deploy a squadron of F-35B fighters with a number of about 12 aircraft. The addition of new weapons will allow Korea to have an additional presence, able to deploy combat in remote areas.