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Babcock backs both designs for Korean aircraft carrier

24th March 2022 - 18:01 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Babcock has been increasing its presence Korea, most recently with its investment in a facility in Busan. (Photo: Babcock)

Babcock has signed an MoU with Daewoo Shipbuilding and is now backing both of the main contenders for Korea’s CVX programme.

Babcock has signed an MoU with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, one of Korea’s largest shipyards, to collaborate on systems integration programmes for future vessels.

This follows the MoU signing between Babcock and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in June 2021 focusing on the South Korean Navy’s CV eXperimental (CVX) future light aircraft carrier programme.

As HHI and Daewoo Shipbuilding are the two major competitors for the CVX programme, Babcock appears to be guaranteed to influence the vessel’s design, bringing its experience designing and manufacturing the UK RN’s Queen Elizabeth-class carriers.

At the time of Babcock and HHI’s MoU signing, the potential for the CVX programme seemed tenuous, with debates questioning if an aircraft carrier would optimally address the Republic of Korea’s security concerns.

The National Defense Committee refused an application for KRW101 billion ($90.9 million) for CVX research requirements for FY2021, instead, the ministry was given just $900,000.

The rationale was that the projection of airpower a single carrier provides is less significant when considering the proximity of North Korea and insufficient when compared to the size and capabilities of the PLAN.

However, the Korean National Assembly approved the KRW7.2 billion (around $6.1 million) budget for CVX development in the final month of 2021 and the programme appears to be progressing.

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