South Korean Navy

fylr71

New Member
Pretty soon the South Korean Navy will have a true blue water capability. They just commissioned an LPH and are building an aircraft carrier. The KDX II destroyers now entering service have very good capabilities and a stealthy design the follow on KDX III class (first commission 2008) will be equipped with the Aegis weapon system and appear to have improved stealth capabilities. Combining these ships with the already successful KDX I will give them a highly advanced destroyer fleet. Also a new class of frigates is on the way called FFX they are planned to replace the ulsan class and to have an advanced design with good multirole capabilites. Their submarine force is also being built up. The KSS I will be joined in 2007 by the first of three 1800 ton KSS II class submarines. The KSS II will then be followed starting in 2012 by three 3,000 ton KSS III submarines which when they enter service will be some of the most advanced non nuclear submarines in the world
 

sunjerem

New Member
Great!

The South Korean navy will definitely be a big help for the US in this region of the world!

The North Korean navy, if it even exists, is definitely beginning to look bad now!

If China attacks Taiwan, the South Korean navy will be a strong ally for the ROCN.

Yeah! Go KDX III!!!

Mod edit:path: How does this "LOLZ! Ph33r T3h C0r3ans!" statement contribute to the thread? Please avoid posting if you have nothing substantial to add.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

sunjerem

New Member
sunjerem said:
Great!

The South Korean navy will definitely be a big help for the US in this region of the world!

The North Korean navy, if it even exists, is definitely beginning to look bad now!

If China attacks Taiwan, the South Korean navy will be a strong ally for the ROCN.

Yeah! Go KDX III!!!

Mod edit:path: How does this "LOLZ! Ph33r T3h C0r3ans!" statement contribute to the thread? Please avoid posting if you have nothing substantial to add.
Sorry, sometimes it's just hard for me to control my excitement!

I'll try control myself more in the future.
 

rickusn

Defense Professional
Verified Defense Pro
"and are building an aircraft carrier."

Info please.

Or are you confusing it with the second LPX that is building?
 

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
rickusn said:
"and are building an aircraft carrier."

Info please.

Or are you confusing it with the second LPX that is building?
Ditto. the only reference I can find to additional hulls relates to up to 4 LP-X rather than a new design LPD/LPA or a purpsoe built aircarft carrier. Ref

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/rok/lp-x-specs.htm

At 18000 odd tonnes full load it would appear to be a pretty tight fit, for a length fo 200m and a beam of 32m for the proposed laod shown in global security:

"The LP-X can carry a battalion of marines (about 700 men), 10 armored vehicles, up to 200 vehicles, 15 helicopters, and two LCAC hovercrafts capable of landing on enemy shores doing 40 knots"

Compared to the 240m LOL 33 beam 27000 tonmnes for the Navatia BPE iwth a similar laod. Global security goes on to say

"If it were equipped with a ski jump board module, 15-17 meters in length, it could operate short-range and vertical landing/take-off aircraft such as the Harrier or F-35B. Ships of this type are sometimes called a semi-aircraft carrier. However, Korean military authorities have made it clear that they have no plan to convert the LPX into such a semi-aircraft carrier. However, its flight deck is coated with special Urethane to resist heat generated from aircraft."

Image provided below from http://image06.webshots.com/6/4/96/76/79749676baXJDi_ph.jpg



While the global security pages would seem to suggest it is not being consider in the aircarft carrier role othe pages show it with a ski jump, look at:

http://www.jjma.com/Documents/Services/ShipDesign/intnat/lpx.jpg
 

fylr71

New Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
rickusn said:
"and are building an aircraft carrier."

Info please.

Or are you confusing it with the second LPX that is building?
On globalsecurity.org I found the following "According to some reports, an aircraft carrier is planned for sometime after 2010, as part of the Strategic Mobile Fleet. In 20 March 2001 ROK President Kim Dae-jung said that South Korea would create a new "strategic mobile fleet" consisting of destroyers, submarines and anti-submarine aircraft. In a speech before graduating midshipmen at the Korea Naval Academy in the southeastern port city of Chinhae, President Kim said, ``We will soon have a strategic mobile fleet that protects state interests in the five big oceans and play a role of keeping peace in the world.''

Korea's Strategic Mobile Fleet could be sent to secure a sea lane in East Asia in the event of a maritime dispute. Currently, the Korean Navy is divided into three sectors -- one each assigned to East, West and South Seas surrounding the southern half of the Korean peninsula. The Strategic Mobile Fleet will take a form of an integrated fleet that can be rapidly deployed into the area of trouble. In this respect, the Stratgic Mobile Fleet is a transition from the current coastal navy to the blue water navy. Under prevailing naval doctrines, the presence of an aircraft carrier is pivotal to a blue water navy."



granted it is limited about the aircraft carrier. But given the desire of South Korea to achieve a blue water navy, it is not surprising that an aircraft carrier is at least being planned
 

tphuang

Super Moderator
fylr71 said:
Pretty soon the South Korean Navy will have a true blue water capability. They just commissioned an LPH and are building an aircraft carrier. The KDX II destroyers now entering service have very good capabilities and a stealthy design the follow on KDX III class (first commission 2008) will be equipped with the Aegis weapon system and appear to have improved stealth capabilities. Combining these ships with the already successful KDX I will give them a highly advanced destroyer fleet. Also a new class of frigates is on the way called FFX they are planned to replace the ulsan class and to have an advanced design with good multirole capabilites. Their submarine force is also being built up. The KSS I will be joined in 2007 by the first of three 1800 ton KSS II class submarines. The KSS II will then be followed starting in 2012 by three 3,000 ton KSS III submarines which when they enter service will be some of the most advanced non nuclear submarines in the world
South Korean navy is definitely looking very impressive. Also, when you consider the strength of the South Korean shipbuilding industry, the new strength should not be surprising. It's kind of interesting, we are seeing basically a naval race between Japan, China and South Korea.
 

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
fylr71 said:
On globalsecurity.org I found the following "According to some reports, an aircraft carrier is planned for sometime after 2010, as part of the Strategic Mobile Fleet. In 20 March 2001 ROK President Kim Dae-jung said that South Korea would create a new "strategic mobile fleet" consisting of destroyers, submarines and anti-submarine aircraft. In a speech before graduating midshipmen at the Korea Naval Academy in the southeastern port city of Chinhae, President Kim said, ``We will soon have a strategic mobile fleet that protects state interests in the five big oceans and play a role of keeping peace in the world.''

Korea's Strategic Mobile Fleet could be sent to secure a sea lane in East Asia in the event of a maritime dispute. Currently, the Korean Navy is divided into three sectors -- one each assigned to East, West and South Seas surrounding the southern half of the Korean peninsula. The Strategic Mobile Fleet will take a form of an integrated fleet that can be rapidly deployed into the area of trouble. In this respect, the Stratgic Mobile Fleet is a transition from the current coastal navy to the blue water navy. Under prevailing naval doctrines, the presence of an aircraft carrier is pivotal to a blue water navy."



granted it is limited about the aircraft carrier. But given the desire of South Korea to achieve a blue water navy, it is not surprising that an aircraft carrier is at least being planned
I still think any reference to aricraft carrier would relate to the LP-X rather than a dedicated design noting the drawings showing a ski jump. The desing and construction time for a new dedicated vessel would be considerable but the LP-X seems to offer the prospect of fixed wing organic air in the VSTOL form.
 

contedicavour

New Member
What I have trouble understanding is why South Korea needs such a strong blue-Ocean Navy. Its main security threat is North Korea, which has a lot of old submarines, so I find it logical that it invests so much in the U214 AIP SSKs in addition to its 9 T209s. North Korea also has tens of small FAC(M)s, so I also understand the logic of developing FF(X) to replace the ageing Ulsan. Even LPDs make sense in case of amphibious warfare up and down the Korean coast (as in the Korean War in the early 50s).
However, building an aircraft carrier when you are well under cover of land-based F16s and F15s, this seems to me a waste of money.
So let's hope that the reference to an aircraft carrier in reality was inaccurate. Otherwise all it would generate would be a further call to arms among its neighbors, potentially pushing China and Japan to accelerate their plans for carriers.

cheers
 

Whiskyjack

Honorary Moderator / Defense Professional / Analys
Verified Defense Pro
contedicavour said:
What I have trouble understanding is why South Korea needs such a strong blue-Ocean Navy. Its main security threat is North Korea, which has a lot of old submarines, so I find it logical that it invests so much in the U214 AIP SSKs in addition to its 9 T209s. North Korea also has tens of small FAC(M)s, so I also understand the logic of developing FF(X) to replace the ageing Ulsan. Even LPDs make sense in case of amphibious warfare up and down the Korean coast (as in the Korean War in the early 50s).
However, building an aircraft carrier when you are well under cover of land-based F16s and F15s, this seems to me a waste of money.
So let's hope that the reference to an aircraft carrier in reality was inaccurate. Otherwise all it would generate would be a further call to arms among its neighbors, potentially pushing China and Japan to accelerate their plans for carriers.

cheers
While Nth Korea is the main threat I would think South Korea is a maritime trading nation with an interest in maintaining open sea lanes around the world.
 

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Whiskyjack said:
While Nth Korea is the main threat I would think South Korea is a maritime trading nation with an interest in maintaining open sea lanes around the world.
Could not agree more. While Australia's domestic is not tied to its export industry in the same way S Korea is it does have a high volume resource trade and this is something many commentators ignore in the Australian situation when discussing defending fortress Australia.

You don't need a full blown war to efect trade just instability in an area or closure of SLOCs. Power projection can (depending on the political will and how sensibly action is taken) help resolve such issues.
 

fylr71

New Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12
contedicavour said:
What I have trouble understanding is why South Korea needs such a strong blue-Ocean Navy. Its main security threat is North Korea, which has a lot of old submarines, so I find it logical that it invests so much in the U214 AIP SSKs in addition to its 9 T209s. North Korea also has tens of small FAC(M)s, so I also understand the logic of developing FF(X) to replace the ageing Ulsan. Even LPDs make sense in case of amphibious warfare up and down the Korean coast (as in the Korean War in the early 50s).
However, building an aircraft carrier when you are well under cover of land-based F16s and F15s, this seems to me a waste of money.
So let's hope that the reference to an aircraft carrier in reality was inaccurate. Otherwise all it would generate would be a further call to arms among its neighbors, potentially pushing China and Japan to accelerate their plans for carriers.

cheers
You make a very good point: Looking at the biggest potentia threat to South Korea (North Korea) one would think that a large ocean going navy is completely unnessary for purposes of national defense. The reason however is national pride. In order to be considered among the most powerful nations in the world one must have a powerful navy. This has always been the case. In the late 1800's It was presumed that although Germany had the best army in Europe they couldn't win a war with the Britain who not only had the largest and best navy but was considered the most powerful nation in the world. South Korea wants to be able to project power beyond the Korean peninsula and in order to that today a nation needs aircraft carriers. Today when ever there is an international security incident in which armies must be deployed oversees the first question is will America, Britian, and France send troops. The second question is will Italy and Spain send troops(From a purely strategic stampoint, Japan even though they lack an aircraft carrier would be included in this second group. However it is still somewhat taboo for Japan given its past to deploy combat troops.) This is because these are the only nations that could send troops far oversees and have the ability to support these troops. South Korea wants to be a major international player and an aircraft carrier combined with their new amphibious capability, the KDX destroyers and good logistical support would be the perfect way to place them in the same group as the other major powers and increase their international standing and national pride and prestige.:cool:
 

contedicavour

New Member
A re-edition of the 1930s arms race between Germany and UK/France/Italy in the Northern Pacific Ocean is unfortunately plausible with S. Korea, Japan and China watching each other's moves very very closely. Very dangerous...

Vs the argument that S. Korea needs to protect its sea lanes since it depends a lot on exporting products all around the world, I agree with the analysis, though not necessarily with the programmes S. Korea puts in place. I'll make myself clearer : if you need to make sure your container ships are not being attacked by pirates in the Malacca Straits, or that your oilers are coming back in one piece from the Persian Gulf, then you need a mix of FFGs and DDGs for AAW, though aircraft carriers are a bit of an overkill...
Based on this argument, Japan needs at least 5 USN-sized carrier battle groups in order to have one permanently stationed in the Indian Ocean, one near Singapore and one facing North Korea. Dangerous arguments...
I would rather opt for Flyr71's analysis (national pride justifying a splurge in military investment).

cheers
 

Big-E

Banned Member
contedicavour said:
A re-edition of the 1930s arms race between Germany and UK/France/Italy in the Northern Pacific Ocean is unfortunately plausible with S. Korea, Japan and China watching each other's moves very very closely. Very dangerous...

Vs the argument that S. Korea needs to protect its sea lanes since it depends a lot on exporting products all around the world, I agree with the analysis, though not necessarily with the programmes S. Korea puts in place. I'll make myself clearer : if you need to make sure your container ships are not being attacked by pirates in the Malacca Straits, or that your oilers are coming back in one piece from the Persian Gulf, then you need a mix of FFGs and DDGs for AAW, though aircraft carriers are a bit of an overkill...
Based on this argument, Japan needs at least 5 USN-sized carrier battle groups in order to have one permanently stationed in the Indian Ocean, one near Singapore and one facing North Korea. Dangerous arguments...
I would rather opt for Flyr71's analysis (national pride justifying a splurge in military investment).

cheers
:hehe I agree with you... S. Korea building this fleet is dumb. N. Korea has the loudest hunks of junk turning the bubbles down there. She can pick her subs up 20 miles away even when rigged for silent running. Why does S. Korea need AEGIS? This is stupid as well when NK isn't going to launch over open ocean, it would come from land so you would want PAC3 batteries. What does SK need with such amphib assets? Is she planning on invading Okinawa?:lol3 The final straw in this cap is why on earth does she need a carrier? To go bomb pirates in the Malacca straights? Oh wait, I think I know. They are expecting for NK to invade and they can just have these ships waiting for them when they get done. SK does not need a navy, she needs to be more concerned about a NK land invasion which apparently she isn't.
 

Pathfinder-X

Tribal Warlord
Verified Defense Pro
Big-E said:
:hehe I agree with you... S. Korea building this fleet is dumb. N. Korea has the loudest hunks of junk turning the bubbles down there. She can pick her subs up 20 miles away even when rigged for silent running. Why does S. Korea need AEGIS? This is stupid as well when NK isn't going to launch over open ocean, it would come from land so you would want PAC3 batteries. What does SK need with such amphib assets? Is she planning on invading Okinawa?:lol3 The final straw in this cap is why on earth does she need a carrier? To go bomb pirates in the Malacca straights? Oh wait, I think I know. They are expecting for NK to invade and they can just have these ships waiting for them when they get done. SK does not need a navy, she needs to be more concerned about a NK land invasion which apparently she isn't.
I think I saw a few pics of N.Korean patrol boats with T-34 turrets on them.:D

Anyways I'm sure the sudden build-up is related to deteriorated relations with Japan and the ever-increasing naval capability of China. For sure they do not need such powerful assets when it comes to the North Korean navy.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
Big-E said:
:hehe I agree with you... S. Korea building this fleet is dumb. N. Korea has the loudest hunks of junk turning the bubbles down there. She can pick her subs up 20 miles away even when rigged for silent running. Why does S. Korea need AEGIS? This is stupid as well when NK isn't going to launch over open ocean, it would come from land so you would want PAC3 batteries. What does SK need with such amphib assets? Is she planning on invading Okinawa?:lol3 The final straw in this cap is why on earth does she need a carrier? To go bomb pirates in the Malacca straights? Oh wait, I think I know. They are expecting for NK to invade and they can just have these ships waiting for them when they get done. SK does not need a navy, she needs to be more concerned about a NK land invasion which apparently she isn't.
South Korea is no longer afraid of a North Korean invasion, since -
1) North Korea will starve without South Korean aid, & a northern invasion of the south would cut off that aid. Even if it succeeded, it would destroy the wealth which pays for the aid. Even that nutter Kim Jong Il knows that.
2) South Korea believes its ground & (especially) air forces can now beat the north.

So now, they think they can afford to spend on military luxuries, & do some sabre-rattling in Japans direction. They have a dispute over the ownership of the islet of Dokdo/Takeshima, currently held by S. Korea.
 
fylr71 said:
Pretty soon the South Korean Navy will have a true blue water capability. They just commissioned an LPH and are building an aircraft carrier.
Whoah there. The LPH project is indeed well on its way, as are the new destroyers. But I haven't heard that South Korea is actually currently building a carrier. There have been statements said it would be good to have one, but I think you're jumping the gun.

Equally how far developed is the FFX project? Last time I heard it was still at the planning stage.

The South Korean Navy is going to be looking a lot better than it did recently, but it's still going to take time to make it properly blue-water.

contedicavour also makes some good arguments about a potential arms race in the region, which is not great news. Even with these new ships, the South Korean Navy is still behind the JMSDF and probably won't ever be in a position to threaten its regional pre-eminence. Japan is still only spending about 1% of GDP on defence, so if pushed it will have a much more formidable capability.

South Korea should develop capabilities sufficient for its needs, not to indulge in nationalism. I seriously doubt it would come off the better after a naval confrontation with Japan. China is a different matter, but still they should be careful not to kick-start an arms race.
 

Bitterz

New Member
But I haven't heard that South Korea is actually currently building a carrier.
NO. ROKN seem to have no plan to build CV.

Equally how far developed is the FFX project? Last time I heard it was still at the planning stage.
FFX-I series of 6 ships (3,000+ ton class) will be enlisted from around 2010. FFX-II & III of 18 ships will be followed after that.

contedicavour also makes some good arguments about a potential arms race in the region, which is not great news.
Even ROKN's "ambitious" plan is completed, its force is still behind JMSDF or PLAN. Arms Race? Sorry, but it's Japan and China who began it.

Japan is still only spending about 1% of GDP on defence, so if pushed it will have a much more formidable capability. South Korea should develop capabilities sufficient for its needs, not to indulge in nationalism.
ROKN's plan is to develop sufficient force to protect its interest but even if 2020 plan is complete, its force is well behind JMSDF or PLAN. But, if she still feels unhappy about ROKN's much smaller navy, well? then she could build more. "Nationalism" is indeed convenient word, but in this case, Japan has more of it.

I seriously doubt it would come off the better after a naval confrontation with Japan. China is a different matter, but still they should be careful not to kick-start an arms race.
Throughout history, naval confrontation with Japan has been most serious victories, that's why Koreans named ships after admirals who sunk Japanese (sometimes entire) fleets. Thank you for your concern.

Actually, Korea is far behind arms race, but it is not top priority as unification of Korea is always first of agenda.
 
Even ROKN's "ambitious" plan is completed, its force is still behind JMSDF or PLAN. Arms Race? Sorry, but it's Japan and China who began it.
You can complain about China, but Japan's spending has been constant - 1% of GDP for a very long time. Also it's South Korea that is going to base cruise missiles on its new destroyers, not Japan.

"Nationalism" is indeed convenient word, but in this case, Japan has more of it.
I disagree.

Throughout history, naval confrontation with Japan has been most serious victories, that's why Koreans named ships after admirals who sunk Japanese (sometimes entire) fleets. Thank you for your concern.
Remind me, who conquered who in the late 19th century? :rolleyes:

Living in the past is dangerous. Japan undeniably has a better navy than South Korea, and it could easily outspend it if it wanted to. South Korea spends $21 billion with 2.5% of GDP - Japan spends $44 billion at 1% of GDP; if Japan spent 2.5% of GDP, you'd be looking at $110 billion.

As I said, South Korea should be careful lest it cause Japan to increase its spending and create an even larger capability gap.
 

daewon

New Member
What Bitter-z seems to be saying is not that SK is superior to Japan but rather that SK effort is not concerned with JMSDF. So whether ROKN can outgrow JMSDF is not relevant here.
As ROK has never provoked or shown hostile intent towards Japan and Japan vice versa during the last 50 years, whatever mutual dismay they may harbour against each other isn't likely to materialize.

Before I go further I will state clear my bias as a Korean national.

South Korean navy is focusing on 3 issues here.
-keeping SLOC open
-force projection
-protecting its interests overseas

If you view ROKN as a supporting element to USN in the Far East then its projects are indeed waste of resource. However ROK has been pursuing a defence capability not reliant of US help. In that sense its naval build up is far more understandable.
US cannot and would not protect all the interests ROK might have. For instance if a dispute were to develop regarding EEZ btwn ROK and PRC, US would not want to get involved. Without an adequate navy to patrol or enforce sovereignty in those waters by itself, ROK would have to give in to PRC pressure. With a strong naval presence that can be avoided.

As for dealing with DPRK, ROK wants a fully capable force projection power.
Ahphibious assets are mainly centered on this goal; regiment level landing capabilites and command of all 3 seas surrounding the Korean Peninsula. Currently ROK cannot launch a real landing operation without US help, meaning Korea cannot initiate any real offensive into the North without US approval in case of war. The "mobile fleets" will be specifically designed to respond to that demand.

S.Korea relies heavily on marine transportation for trade. Over 98% of all its commodity are traded thru shipping. Unstability in its SLOC is a serious threat. However I do agree here that this is not likely to require a massive naval force to deal with. In any case it will probably be a joint effort with other nations to keep the SLOC open , thus no need for ROK to deploy an armada.

There is officially no plan for a carrier. Although a navy without a carrier is bound to regional waters under aircover from land, ROK is not likely to need to operate beyond those waters in any immediate future. It would still be nice to have one as it will present ROK with much more military option if thing were to deteriorate. Doesn't seem to be worth the bother just now.

To conclude ROK is not overly enthusiastic in its naval plans. Submarines to provide asymetric force to counter overwhelming neighbours, amphibious capabilities to pressure the North, surface combatants capable of maintaning to some level a command of the seas. It is not looking forward to fighting and winning wars against the great powers. Just a sufficient force to protect itself and its interests.
 
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