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Two South Korean Shipbuilders Team Up to Develop Light Aircraft Carrier

Two well-known South Korean shipbuilding companies are teaming up in a bid to design and construct a light aircraft carrier that the country’s naval forces will use to carry vertical landing combat jets.

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction signed an agreement on Thursday to conceptualize a 30,000-ton aircraft carrier that can accommodate more than 400 crew members, with the aim of securing the order for the navy’s future ship.

Around 2.33 trillion won ($2.09 billion) is reportedly allotted for the basic design and construction of the future South Korean craft. The amount does not cover extra expenses needed for acquiring weapons, aircraft, and other equipment.

According to DSME special ship marketing division head Jung Woo-sung, the company will utilize its state-of-the-art technology to successfully carry out the project. It will also be leaning on the experience of Hanjin in developing the aircraft carrier.

Other Naval Developments

Earlier this week, the South Korean navy unveiled the country’s first domestically built submarine named after independence activist Dosan Ahn Chang-ho. The service said it will use the new craft to fire ballistic missiles into North Korea in the event of a conflict.

The country has also announced that it will begin development of batch IV of the Ulsan-class multi-purpose guided missile frigate. The ship can travel at a speed of 34 knots (63 kilometers per hour), with a maximum range of 8,000 nautical miles (14,816 kilometers).

The Ulsan-class frigate carries eight Harpoon anti-ship missiles, six 324-mm Blue Shark torpedos, and two 76-mm caliber naval guns.

On June 28, the Asian nation also commissioned its second Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship that is capable of carrying 720 marines, seven to 12 helicopters, and other military equipment. It is equipped with four KVLS cells that can launch a total of 16 surface-to-air missiles.

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