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Tue Jan 14, 2020, 11:23 AM

South Korea Wants Its Helicopter Carriers to Carry the F-35

South Korea Wants Its Helicopter Carriers to Carry the F-35
A big deal.

by David Axe The National Interest Jan. 13

South Korea is getting an aircraft carrier. The vessel could help Seoul’s navy to compete with its main rivals, the Chinese and Japanese fleets.

The South Korean joint chiefs of staff decided on July 12, 2019 to acquire an assault ship capable of operating fixed-wing aircraft, Defense News reported. The vessel presumably would embark vertical-landing F-35B stealth fighters.

Seoul for years has mulled a purchase of F-35Bs to complement the country’s land-based F-35As.

“The plan of building the LPH-II ship has been included in a long-term force buildup plan,” a spokesman for the joint chiefs told Defense News, using an acronym for “landing platform helicopter.”

More: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/south-korea-wants-its-helicopter-carriers-carry-f-35-113451

Interesting overview of South Korean naval plans.

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Reply South Korea Wants Its Helicopter Carriers to Carry the F-35 (Original post)
soryang Tuesday OP
B Stieg Tuesday #1
soryang Tuesday #2

Response to soryang (Original post)

Tue Jan 14, 2020, 12:27 PM

1. If VTOL on these ships works out...

could this lead us to build smaller, cheaper, faster, stealthier aircraft carriers?

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Response to B Stieg (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 14, 2020, 01:21 PM

2. The article implies more than one carrier would potentially have F-35bs

I had done some study on this subject a year and a half ago, with respect to South Korean LPHs. I don't think the existing Dokdoham class amphibious assault ships will be retrofitted for VSTOL use. The new 30,000 ton class is one ship. There are such limitations in range and payload on VSTOL aircraft, there is a question of their cost effectiveness.



In the crowded tactical environment in the immediate Northeast Asian region, i think one can question the desirability of such ships (VSTOL equipped carriers) at least for South Korea. I think they are useful in limited situations where national interests abroad need to be protected, and one needs to carry out an independent foreign policy or mission, not dependent on the commitment or policies of major state like the US. The situation in the Gulf of Oman right now is a good example where interests diverge. LPHs have a definite tactical role in the Korean peninsula region for amphibious assault.

The South Koreans are investing in a tanker aircraft fleet to extend the power projection capability of land based aircraft.

I saw a recently declassified document from 1972 that showed the US military mission in the Far East could play a tacit but important role in acting as a buffer or restraint on Japanese military superiority vis a vis South Korea. At the same time, the US is encouraging the arms race that is going on. South Korea may try to offset US pressure in the SMA military cost sharing negotiations, clearly a Trump directed policy that is not popular with our allies, by making further expensive US military acquisitions.

I have seen critical comments on the F-35c carrier based aircraft that tended to restrict tactical capabilities of the US large carriers in terms of effective combat radius and payload.

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