South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering shows light aircraft carrier design


The CVX design from DSME. Photo c/o Jane's.

South Korean shipbuilders Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) displayed their improved light aircraft carrier concept design for the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) Light Aircraft Carrier Program (CVX) as part of the International Maritime Defense Industry Exhibition (MADEX) 2021 in Busan, South Korea.

Speaking to French defense media outlet Naval News, DSME's CVX design reflects practicality based on the ROKN's maritime strategic needs and requirements.

DSME's CVX design will have an overall length of 263 meters, a width of 46.6 meters, a displacement of 45,000 tons, and a crew complement of 1,400 sailors. It also will allow a maximum speed of 27 knots. 

It design features a flat deck without ski-jump ramp to maximize space, allowing the accommodation of 12 helicopters and 16 short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) fighter aircraft in the deck and hangar. 

A ski-jump was not included in the design as DSME believes it congests the flight deck, and that the ROKN has not considered it in their requirements.

It also features helicopter spots on the flight deck for simultaneous operations of up to 9 helicopters.

It also features a two-island superstrucutre design similar to the Royal Navy's Queen Elizabeth-class, with the first island to be used for overall operations, while the second island will be for flight control duties.

Both islands have redundancy to allow taking-over bridge operations should one of the islands are compromised.

While the ROKN has not determined the final aircraft deployment plan for the new light aircraft carriers, DSME's design has allowed for deployment of existing helicopters of the ROKN including the AgustaWestland AW-159 Wildcat, Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk, KAI MUH-1 Marineone, and others, plus the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) Joint Strike Fighter.

It will be fitted with 2 close-in weapon systems (CIWS), plus an anti-aircraft Korean Vertical Launching System (KLVS) for defensive purposes against aircraft, helicopters, UAVs and anti-ship missiles.

The design also allows for anti-drone defense system, which is said to be missing on its competitor's CVX design from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).

DSME is expected to be working with British company Babcock, and Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, with the later signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with DSME to support the Conceptual Design of DSME's CVX design as part of MADEX 2021.

The DSME light aircraft carrier design is competing with another design from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), which Asia Pacific Defense Journal will be reporting separately. 

[1] Naval News
[2] Defense News
[3] Jane's

South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering shows light aircraft carrier design South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering  shows light aircraft carrier design Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on June 13, 2021 Rating: 5

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