New ships in the western Pacific

Discussion in 'Modern' started by parsifal, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    On the 3 July 2007 South Korea commissioned the ROKNs Dokdo, vastly improving the republics amphibious capabilities , which analysts say transforms her capability from a small coastal force to a medium sized blue water force.

    Three ships are planned, the first of which are already in Commission. The lead ship is the Dokdo, she is being followed by the Marada, due for comissioning 2010. The Koreans also have a third ship under construction, the Baeknyendo, which is larger and designed to accommodate the new F-35 Stovl multi role aircraft. if so, she can be viewed as the Koreans first aircraft carrier

    Koreas response to the maritime defence problem in the eastern hemispher, in light of the rapidly growing carrier capabiliries of the Chinese is an intersting comparison to the Australian response. The Australians have ordered two Canberra Class LHDs, (from the Spanish which are larger (27000 tons compared to the Korean 18000 tons), and designed from the outset to accommodate the F-35. The RAN has made submissions to the Joint Services Committee for a third "carrier" dedicated to the Air warfare role, but at this stage this appears an unlikley outcome. The Navy is pressing for a small number of F-35s to be purchased (about 10), as and when they become available. The need for this capability is still being assessed.

    The Korean ships can transport about 750 fully armed troops, as compared to the 1100 on the Australian ships. The Australian ships can also load about 150 vehicles each, and 16-24 helos. Both ships incorpororate a well deck to enable amphibious landing craft to dock load and unload troops and supplies to and from the ship.

    The two navies have arrived at similar decisions regarding fleet defence. The "carriers" are only fitted with a light AA suite, suitable for close in defence, relying instead on support ships for their principal defences. The Dokdo class are using 2 x 30mm"goalkeeper CIWs, facing fore andaft, as well as the new Mk 49 anti-ship missile launcher for surface vessels. At this stage the Australian ships are being fitted with 4 x 25 mm CIW gatling gunscapable of both anti-surface and anti-air defences. Both Navies are relying heavily on the effectiveness of their new AEGIS AAW destroyers. Australia is also placing a lot of faith on its upgraded Anzac class for anti surface and ASW capability, whilst the main anti-surface missin is entrusted to the six Collins class subs, which, with their new torpedo, and sublaunched cruise missile systems at last appear to pose a credible threat. The Koreans have a similar force structure, with their new KDX-II II class destroyers, as well as their KSS class submarines.

    It seems to me that this new impetus for naval expansion by the two countries is being driven by the bapparent belligernece of their near neighbours. In the case of the Koreans the obvious threat is North Korea, but for both countries, the increasing capability of the Chinese Navy is a major concern. It appears that the primary focus of the Chinese is Taiwan. A friend of mine has recently returned from China, wher he says nearly half the news broadcast time is spent berating the evil Taiwan, or Japan, or both. It appears that the Chinese may be gearing up for some sort of effort if the US remain focussed on the Middle east.

    The US has also made some intersting developments that may be crucial to controlling this situation. The development of their new LCS ships (littoral Combat ships), of the Freedom and Independance classes, and the construction of the 42000 ton WASP Class LPHs appears to me to be a clear indication that the Americans are not going to let the Chinese have a completely free hand in the western pacific

    I will post some pictures of the new Dokdo Class in my next post.
     
  2. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Images of the Dokdo
     

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  3. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Why does South Korea need an Amphib?
     
  4. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tim

    Its not just an amphib. Its actaully an assault ship. It could land troops 50 or more miles inland, using its Helo and hovecraft capabilities. With the number of Helos they carry, the three ships could land an entire brigade in about 6 hours.

    Having this sort of capability means that they dont have to negotiate the heavily fortified lines to get to a target. Say the North Koreans are threatening a nuclear strike on the South, and the US is not being clear a to its response. These ships give the ROK the ability to insert a sizeable force behind the lines, anywhere on the peninsula, remove the threat (in this example, destroy the nukes) and get out before the North has any time to react. Its all about flexibility. In a full on shooting war, these ships would need to wait until the norths airborne capability had been dealt with by the US and ROK air forces. The allies are confident of that, provided the Chinese dont get involved. Once the air threat is removed, the Koreans have enormous capability to outflank the North wherever such action is deemed necessary. If the US forces are committed, the Allies will have the ability to land forces that would be substantial and possibly decisive in their effect

    Just the classic application of seapower, dressed up to meet modern requirements......
     
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