The Republic of Korea’s (ROK) CVX light aircraft carrier won’t enter service for another decade, but as part of the ROK Navy’s 76th-anniversary celebrations, it released a new animated video that highlights the capabilities of the future warship. Efforts to finalize the design of the carrier are still ongoing, but significant effort went into the video that made its debut earlier this month.
It took more than five months to create the nearly six-minute-long animated video, which was produced to help the nation’s citizens understand the capabilities of the carrier but also to create a national consensus on the necessity of such a combat vessel, NavalNews.com reported. The video, which is now available on YouTube and available above for viewing, features a CVX carrier strike group that is comprised of the current Sejong the Great-class Aegis destroyers (KDX III), new combat support ships, Dosan Ahn Changho-class submarines (KSS III), next-generation destroyers (KDDX) and STOVL fighter jets and E-737 of the ROK Air Force.
The ROK Navy’s goal is to have the future 30,000 ton light aircraft carrier in operation by 2033. It would primarily serve as a deterrent against North Korea, but would also protect the sea lines of communication (SLOC) around South Korea. The ROK Ministry of National Defense included 7.2 billion KRW in the defense budget.
At issue is whether the carrier is the best strategy, given that a carrier could be vulnerable to an enemy’s hypersonic anti-ship missile. However, supporters of the carrier have countered that it would be a mobile platform that could be used to protect South Korea and even provide a staging ground should an invasion of the north be necessary in a future conflict.
CVX: Design Stage
The CVX is currently in its initial design phase. There are two competing options from the Republic of Korea’s two leading shipbuilders: Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Industries (DSME). Each is now competing for the contract – to date HHI has partnered with UK shipbuilder Babcock; while DSME has partnered with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri.
HHI unveiled a mockup of its proposed CVX design during MADEX 2021 in Busan, in June 2021. That carrier design was characterized by its ski jump deck and the expanded size of the flight deck. The proposed design would see a carrier that is 270 m long and 60 m wide. The design featured a twin-island arrangement, along with a well-deck for the deployment of amphibious vehicles. The DSME design, which was also unveiled at the MADEX 2021 show, featured a twin-island arrangement but no ski jump ramp. The proposed carrier would be 263 m long, 46.6 m wide.
Each of the designs could carry 16 Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighters on the flight deck, while the HHI version could carry an additional 8 in the hanger, while the DSME version could carry a full dozen aircraft in its hanger.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.