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South Korea new local-made light aircraft carrier coud be ready in 2033.

| 2020

According to information published by the newspaper website "The Korea Herald" on October 27, 2020, South Korea MoD (Ministry of Defense) has organized meetings to discuss the technologies that will be used to build and deploy the first local-made light aircraft carrier by 2033. 
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of future South Korean light aircraft carrier. (Picture source South Korea MoD)

South Korean naval forces would like to develop a new 40,000 tons light aircraft carrier to respond to the new threats and which can be quickly deployed. During the meeting, South Korean military officials and researchers were to review plans for the development of technologies for the $1.74 billion project, according to the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

According to the South Korean defense industry, the country studies the possibility two develop two types of aircraft carrier, one medium size 70,000 tons carrier, that will have a length of 298 m and a width of 75 m, able to carry 40 aircraft including fixed-wing and rotating-wing aircraft. She will have a crew of 1,340 sailors. 

The second aircraft carrier will be lighter, only 40,000 tons, with a length of 238 m, a width of 62m. She will be able to carry 20 aircraft including 12 fixed-wing and 8 rotating-wing aircraft with a crew of 720 people. This type of ship could be very similar to the Amphibious Assault Ship in service with the U.S. Navy. 

In August 2020, the South Korea government has revealed new details about the LPX-II program that could be the project of the light aircraft carrier. As the Amphibious Assault Ship of the U.S. Navy, this type of ship could be used as the flagship of an expeditionary strike group or amphibious ready group, carrying part of expeditionary forces into battle and putting them ashore with helicopters and V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, supported by F-35B Lightning II aircraft and helicopter gunships.

South Korea has planned to order 20 F-35B stealth jump jets, a strong signal that the South Korean navy is leaning forward with the development of a light aircraft carrier. Seoul was considering the purchase of a batch of Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft in early 2015. Representatives from Boeing were due to visit South Korea later in the year to discuss the possibility of providing Seoul with the Ospreys.

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