In South Korea, Busan, two shipbuilding firms have presented their concept for the small aircraft carrier, designated as CVX, that will be similar to the Wasp-class amphibious ships. One of them is Hyundai Heavy Industries.
Future carriers need not be humongous
These firms showed their concepts at the four-day International Maritime Defense Industry Exhibition (MADEX), which is a biennial naval defense show that started last June 9, in the southern port city located in Busan, remarked News Break.
From the MADEX, South Korea's arms procurement agency said the government is looking to spend $2 billion on a Korean-made 30,000-ton small carrier, that will see service by 2033. The project is now conducting a feasibility study by the Defense Ministry in readiness for official approval by the National Assembly, reported DefenseNews.
Hyundai Heavy Industries' model (HHI)
One firm showed its CVX concept, with a completed design from a year ago that offered several specifications that were part of the specifics included in the design proposal of the government agency. A feature included in the HHI concept vessel is a modular, ski jump takeoff ramp, which is a key feature that is found in the British Royal Navy's Queen Elizabeth class.
The ski-jump is a cheaper alternative to the steam catapults on the US Nimitz class, although the new Ford-class supper carrier has a magnetic catapult under testing. Still, the CVX future light carrier will be made by two Korean shipbuilders after it is approved by the government.
A model displaced by the shipwrights or shipbuilders has a 1-to-400 scale model of the proposed carrier, which has a length of 270 meters and 60-meters wide as its main dimensions. On the deck are two islands that are its exposed superstructure. The ship would be about 30,000-tons and when fully loaded, a whipping 450,000-500,000 tons said a company representative.
According to Hyundai's representative in a statement on June 11, cited by Flipboard," to improve the operational capabilities of fighter jets on board, the design concept offers a flight deck which is 30% bigger than the original concept including an optional ski jump ramp over the bow." One of the options is to remove the take-off ramp and use a catapult on the flight deck.
In the statement, the carrier is designed to hold about 16 short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing aircraft on the flight deck and a further eight in its hanger. The ski jump ramp would permit jets without the STOVL to take off from the ship. In addition, some 24 helicopters without planes are the total number on the CVX.
The proposed model includes an extra deck at the stern for launching tiny rotary-wing drones and an adapted well deck for releasing unmanned surface or subsurface drone vehicles. A contract with U.K.-based Babcock International for consultancy services helped design the Future Light Aircraft carrier. This is only one of the two Korean shipbuilders. The other one is Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering.
Related article: South Korea Building First Light Aircraft Carrier Armed With F-35bs