South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries unveils competing light aircraft carrier design


The CVX design from HHI. Photo c/o 유용원TV.

South Korean naval shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) released a new light aircraft carrier design which would be competing for the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) Light Aircraft Carrier Program (CVX) aimed at supplying the ROKN with a new aircraft carrier in the 2030s.

The new design will have a length of 270 meters, and a width of 60 meters. It will have a flight deck with a length of 260 meters.

HHI's new design was a departure from its previous submission to the ROKN, and now features a ski-jump ramp but with a longer and wider flight deck design to still allow accommodation of 16 to 20 STOVL fighters plus helicopters.

Talking to French defense news outlet Naval News, HHI representatives explained that the ski-jump capability allows the fighters to take-off easily with full-load, allowing for higher sortie rates. HHI reprentatives also confirmed that the aircraft carrier design's flight deck could also be converted to allow short take-off but arrested recovery (STOBAR).

This can be done by modifying the flight deck with an angled flight deck and arresting wire capability.

The ski-jump capability can be removed from the design should the ROKN decide to not include the capability in their final design decision.

It has an empty displacement of 30,000 tons, with HHI confirming that displacement was kept low by redesigning the ship's hull with a thinner hull design than before.

Like DSME's CVX design, 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.

The islands also feature X-shaped design to provide a significant degree of stealth with reduced radar cross section, while allowing the installation of AESA radar at a lower portion of the island.

The X-shape design also allows for better visibility of the flight deck, which is advantageous for flight control operators.

The ship also features facilities for unmanned aircraft operations, with a small deck at the ship's stern designed to allow vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to operate from.

A mini well-deck is also present on the ship, which can be used for unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) and unmanned surface vehicle (USV) operations.

Beside the UAV deck are a 16-cell Korean Vertical Launching System (KLVS) cells for air defense requirements.

The HHI light aircraft carrier design is competing with another design from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), which Asia Pacific Defense Journal reported on separately.

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

South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries unveils competing light aircraft carrier design South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries unveils competing light aircraft carrier design Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on June 13, 2021 Rating: 5

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