Sunday, September 16, 2018

Republic of Korea Marine Corps Wants More Aircraft Carrying Ships

The Marine Corps is considering introducing a large transport ship capable of carrying warplanes, and mobilizing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to enhance its amphibious operations and surveillance capabilities, its chief said Wednesday.

During his keynote speech at a security seminar, Lt. Gen. Jun Jin-goo also expressed his desire to capitalize on robotics and other cutting-edge technologies to enhance the marines' maritime power projection capabilities.

"We are considering building the LPX (large platform experimental)-type ship capable of carrying aircraft in close cooperation with the Navy," Jun said.

He did not specify what aircraft will be carried by the envisioned ship. But observers say that the commander might have in mind the F-35B, a short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the U.S.-made radar-evading fighter.

The Marine Corps appears to want to secure its own LPX ship apart from the 14,000-ton Dokdo amphibious landing ship and the Marado warship, which are currently in operation and under construction, respectively.

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