Wednesday, July 29, 2020

"Now South Korea’s Getting An Aircraft Carrier, Too"

From Forbes, July 27:
South Korea reportedly plans to order 20 F-35B stealth jump jets, a strong signal that the South Korean navy is moving forward with development of a light aircraft carrier.

A carrier might seem like an odd, even unwise, investment for a country whose major threat—indeed, an existential threat—is a huge land army poised just 30 miles from its capital.

Experts have pointed out the usefulness of a carrier in long-range force-projection in the event South Korea chooses to push back against Chinese expansion and illegal fishing in the Yellow Sea.
But a carrier also could contribute to the South Korean military’s main mission. Beating back an invasion by North Korea.

South Korea’s armed forces primarily exist to slow, then roll back, a North Korean tank army—with initial assistance from the U.S. Army’s 2nd Infantry Division and American air power in South Korea and Japan.

It’s not for no reason that Seoul long has devoted the bulk of its military resources to ground and close-air-support capabilities. Tanks and fighting vehicles. Artillery. Fighter-bombers, attack helicopters and precision missiles....