South Korean construction sites reach a new milestone
Beginning of the work
On February 23, the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced the start of work on its future light aircraft carrier. This program, whose development and construction cost is expected to exceed 1.8 billion euros, aims to enter into service by 2033. Annual maintenance is estimated at 180 million euros. This program, previously known as LPX-II, is now called CV-X. Built by Hyundai Heavy Industries, this light aircraft carrier will be the largest in the ROKN (Republic of Korean Navy) fleet ahead of the Dokdo class amphibious assault ships (199m, 20,000T).
The dimensions of the aircraft carrier and its tonnage are not indicated, but it appears to be the same length as the US Navy's America Class amphibious assault ships, about 260 meters for a displacement of 45,000 tons. This vessel is designed to carry about 20 aircraft. The model shows the ship carrying a dozen F-35B fighters, with additional space for half a dozen helicopters. The construction of this ship will integrate the ROKN into the F-35B users' club, which currently includes the US Marine Corps, the Royal Navy, the Marina Militare, and soon the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.
An evolving design
The first drafts that reached the press would not constitute a final decision. One of the most distinctive features of the vessel is the presence of two islets (the first for navigation, the second for air operations). This is a configuration already selected by the Royal Navy for its two Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. It also has two elevators on the right side.
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