More F-35s will be bought by South Korea which is beefing up with an aircraft carrier as the stakes get higher in the Indo-pacific and South East China. The U.S. is escalating its efforts in creating an arms race to have a carrier or two in the backyard for Asian nations.
These jump jets will be stationed on a light carrier that is a sign that South Korea is making changes in the region very seriously, reported Forbes.
For some, the existence of a light carrier is not needed with the major threat in the south in the Korean peninsula. Not a sea and land warfare will be a venue if there are hostilities.
Or as analysts have seen, having a carrier full of F-35s with anti-ship missiles can convince China to rethink wanting to go into the Yellow Sea. South Korea will not tolerate any Chinese incursions that will affect the nation, cited CFR.
Having a carrier can change help if the North does decide to invade when it can stage attacks against North Korea in a pinch.
The armed forces are for sowing down the North and to blunt the tank forces of Pyongyang with the help from American armor and infantry of the 2nd U.S. Army infantry Division, and air support in South Korean and Japan.
Seoul strategically made its military in a way that it can focus on ground and close air support as big factors to push back North Korea. They are armed with tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, with support artillery that includes planes, assault helicopters, and precision-guided missiles to charge into battle.
One thing Seoul has never abandoned is how to send naval and marines into the fray. During the Korean war when it was the most difficult part of the campaign in the 1950s, two divisions of the U.S. Marine Corps were dropped at Inchon on the west coast of Korea to flank the Northern Armies as a second phase.
The U.S. and Seoul are willing to repeat the Amphibious landing at Inchon as a gambit move like the 1950s that paid off. Till now, the South Koreans have a tradition of keeping a detachment of marines for a strong military component. With the help of their American allies, the Korean marines can secure any theatre of conflict.
Land-based fighters could contribute to the amphibious campaign, of course-as could U.S. Navy fighters from the U.S. Pacific Fleet's supercarriers. But the amphibious group's organic fighters, who are operating close to the beaches directly in support of the landing force, will likely provide the most effective air support.
Advantages of light carriers
The USS America is designed to operate the new F-35s on her decks with the short take-off and landing variant (STOL). At most the decks can carry a dozen F-35s, but the rotorcraft will not be there to bring the marines to the beaches or landing area.
Seoul is very interested in getting the F-35s on their light flat tops soon. In 2019, the start of building the 30,000-tonner variant of the 15,000-tonner Dokdo. The LPH II is smaller than USS America, bot closer to Japan's Izumo-class light carriers.
Having a light carrier that carries a total of 16 F-35s is exactly what the South Koreans want.
It would take $300 million to get the Dokdo built, but the LP-II will cost more with the F-35s spending will increase.