http://bemil.chosun.com/nbrd/gallery...044&num=167206 (Music in this link)
Does anyone have information on the ROK navy's LST-II class ship? I can't find any sources on naver or Korean website, my Korean is very weak .
The ships are comparable to the Endurance class LPDs. They are slightly smaller (7100 tons vs. 8500 tons), but they have more advanced defensive armaments to cope with higher threat environment (VLS-launched ESSMs). The ships are labeled as LSTs among Asian navies (using empty instead of full tonnage to measure ship size), but in a western navy they'll become LPDs.
ST Eng lists their ship design as an “LST” (Landing Ship Tank) on their site, but the Endurance Class does not beach itself. The label LPD is more appropriate for these 6,500 – 8,000 ton vessels, which cost less than 1/10th as much as the USA’s 25,000 ton LPD-17 Class.
God, somebody has news about our FFX first batch ships? I wonder if they were already commissioned ….. Also waiting for newer pictures …. BTW, I heard rumors from Bemil that Israel is considering importing the FFX equipped with Israeli weapons and equipment …
Thanks Ambassador and welcome back! We have been anticipating your return! Also I would like to ask about the FA-50 light attack aircraft, how much is the ROK planning to purchase in the future and will they be a huge upgrade to the current fleet of aircraft in replacing the F-4 and F-5.
Also about the FFX, is the ROK navy really planning to build up to 20 ships? I find the ROK military always has difficulty making precise promises due to budget problems and etc.
FA-50 definitely has much more modern avionics equipment than F-4 and F-5 (and in some aspects, such as computers and software, more so than even most nations' F-16s). The EL/M-2032 radar in particular outstrips any radar that equips F-4 and F-5 in existence. The most advanced F-4, the Japanese F-4J 'Kai', equips a 90's F-16 radar, which is still less modern than EL/M-2032 that was precisely conceived to replace old F-16 radars. And the Korean military has even better gears for FA-50 in mind, such as RACR, or SABR, or either LIG Nex1 or Samsung Thales' AESA radar for FA-50 that will transform it into a very capable multirole fighter. FA-50 is more strategically valuable than F-4 and F-5 not only because of its present capabilities but its much bigger growth potential.
The SFW with WCMD makes FA-50 more potent than the legacy jets in close air support roles. It will also be able to equip KGGB, JDAM, and JDAM-ER. F-4's large loadout of LGBs and Popeyes are still very useful for strategic bombing though, and I believe they'll be retired pretty late.
Historical trends shows that Korea tends to fund the acquisition of direct combat weapons the best, such as tanks, artillery, IFVs, fighters, submarines, destroyers, and now frigates, even though they still rely on US capabilities for some support requirements. They buy weapons that visibly reduce American troops put at direct lines of combat and therefore at risk. The NLL is one such huge risk zone and the combatants that will fight in it will be chosen very seriously. A large fleet of FFX is a very obvious choice. Unlike the case of aerial tankers above, there is no available compromise with regards to the defense of NLL and the equipment to do that.
As for the Israeli news, their media does report that it's considering the Korean FFX as well as several other designs for the navy's corvette requirements. From the Israeli discussions though it seems that the Israeli navy is losing the budget fight. If the navy does get a corvette it's probably the Sa'ar 5 or a German corvette, with US FMF or German discounts. Most Israeli warships have been built with either benefits, and given the budget situation enlisting such benefits again seems very likely. The Korean frigate is at a disadvantage in that aspect; I completely doubt our government will approve giving Israel corvettes for free or at big discounts.
On the other hand, the FFX is the most affordable ship in the market for its tonnage, so we won't know until Israel makes its final decision (which may be indefinitely postponed?).
Thanks Ambassador for the reply, always good to hear from you!