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September 17, 2021updated 20 Sep 2021 3:47pm

South Korean carrier design cements future aircraft decisions

At the beginning of September 2021 it was announced that Babcock and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) have signed an Memorandum of understanding to develop and build the new Aircraft Carrier for the South Korean Navy, and that it would be a Short Take off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) design, likely with a ski jump launch platform.

By GlobalData

At the beginning of September 2021 it was announced that Babcock and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) have signed an Memorandum of understanding to develop and build the new Aircraft Carrier for the South Korean Navy, and that it would be a Short Take off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) design, likely with a ski jump launch platform.

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What is driving and impacting South Korea’s Defense Market?

South Korea’s defense budget is currently valued at $48.3 billion after experiencing impressive and robust annual growth of 10.5% in 2022. Over the forecast period, South Korean defense expenditure is anticipated to register a strong CAGR of 6.3% over 2023-27 and reach $66.2 billion by 2027. The country’s acquisition budget, which includes research and development (R&D) funding, is also anticipated to register significant growth, projected to reach $21.6 billion in 2027, seeing significant rise from the anticipated $17 billion in 2023. South Korean defense spending is continuing to be fueled by the country’s hostile relationship with North Korea, coupled with the need to develop its own domestic industry. If you want to strategize successfully off this growing market, it is important to be fully informed. This report’s key findings include:
  • Details on the defense budget
  • Drivers of defense spending
  • Key trends impacting the market
Download the full report so you can formulate winning strategies for the road ahead.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

William Davies, Associate Analyst at GlobalData comments: “The selection of a STOVL design for South Korea has numerous advantages for the country, in particular the lower cost than the alternative ‘Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery’ (CATOBAR) system in use by several US carriers. However, this choice will drastically limit future decisions, the selection of this design will necessitate the purchase of Lockheed Martin F-35Bs because of their STOVL capabilities and rules out cheaper alternatives such as the Dassault Rafale or the Boeing Super Hornet – or even the potential of an indigenously produced aircraft.

Davies continues “The selection of a STOVL design will limit the South Korean navy in terms of offensive aircraft but also in terms of airborne early warning and control systems that it could field, the system in use by allies, mainly the E2-D Hawkeye, cannot launch from STOVL carriers and a less capable helicopter would have to be utilized instead – this would provide less coverage over a smaller distance.”

The central pull of STOVL designs over CATOBAR is likely price, the latter system costs significantly more and South Korea has likely decided they do not need that level of power projection considering that the majority of their operations take place in littoral waters adjacent to the country, which also reduces the need for long range early warning aircraft.

The purchase of F-35B’s, as necessitated by the selection of the STOVL carrier would provide a number of advantages. It would require significantly less training since landing in an F-35B is more automated than a CATOBAR landing. This adds to the argument that this carrier selection is a better choice for South Korea in terms of budget. It will however create payload limitations since only aircraft under a certain weight can launch from a STOVL carrier and reduce interoperability with allies who fly a greater variety of aircraft – in particular the US.

However, the STOVL design would be good news for the UK Government as it is pushing for the British military to have a much greater presence in the Asia Pacific Region. For the Royal Navy to be able to operate off of another nations carrier will be a boost to the UK ambitions in the region.

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Free Report
img

What is driving and impacting South Korea’s Defense Market?

South Korea’s defense budget is currently valued at $48.3 billion after experiencing impressive and robust annual growth of 10.5% in 2022. Over the forecast period, South Korean defense expenditure is anticipated to register a strong CAGR of 6.3% over 2023-27 and reach $66.2 billion by 2027. The country’s acquisition budget, which includes research and development (R&D) funding, is also anticipated to register significant growth, projected to reach $21.6 billion in 2027, seeing significant rise from the anticipated $17 billion in 2023. South Korean defense spending is continuing to be fueled by the country’s hostile relationship with North Korea, coupled with the need to develop its own domestic industry. If you want to strategize successfully off this growing market, it is important to be fully informed. This report’s key findings include:
  • Details on the defense budget
  • Drivers of defense spending
  • Key trends impacting the market
Download the full report so you can formulate winning strategies for the road ahead.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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