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UK, South Korea reportedly start talks on carrier technologies

The United Kingdom and South Korea have reportedly started talks on potential co-operation on aircraft carrier technologies.

The Telegraph newspaper reported the development on 21 March, saying the UK had offered South Korea technologies that support the UK Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.

A CGI showing the conceptual design of South Korea’s proposed future light aircraft carrier. (RoKN)

A CGI showing the conceptual design of South Korea’s proposed future light aircraft carrier. (RoKN)

According to the report, officials from the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) have held informal discussions with counterparts from South Korea about areas of technology the Northeast Asian country might be interested in.

Commenting on the report, a UK government spokesperson told Janes on 22 March, “The UK and South Korea have an important defence and security relationship. Our Indo-Pacific tilt will provide further areas for co-operation.”

However, an official from South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) denied the development. “It is not true that we began informal discussion with the British government on the issue,” a spokesperson from the government agency told the Yonhap news service on 22 March.

DAPA announced in February that work on developing the Republic of Korea Navy’s (RoKN’s) future next-generation light aircraft carrier will officially start in 2022 and be completed by 2033.

DAPA said that about KRW2.3 trillion (USD2 billion) had been tentatively earmarked for the project, which was previously known as LPX-II but has now renamed CVX.

The proposed carrier is expected to support operations of helicopters and short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

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