South Korea’s new aircraft carrier could look like a mini HMS Queen Elizabeth

Flight deck of the U.S aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln © Garrett LaBarge/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SEOUL, Sep 4, 2021, CNN. South Korea’s planned aircraft carrier could have a distinctly British flavor. In fact, it could be a mini version of the Queen Elizabeth, CNN reported.

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) this week signed a memorandum of understanding with top British defense contractor, Babcock International, to work together to design and build the new CVX, South Korea’s light aircraft carrier.

“This partnership is to collate the core technologies of the two companies to win an order for the basic design of a light aircraft carrier and to build a ship. Hyundai Heavy Industries and Babcock had successfully completed the conceptual design, the first stage of ship design, last year,” a statement from Hyundai said.

Babcock designed and built the Queen Elizabeth-class carriers for the UK and has its operation in Busan, South Korea’s southern harbor city. The company assembles equipment for South Korea’s naval programs, according to the company’s statement.

Since starting the special ship project in 1975, Hyundai has designed and built a total of 90 warships and submarines, including South Korea’s first Aegis guided-missile destroyer, the Sejong, and the next-generation frigate, Incheon, HHI said.

The deal does not mean the pair will get the contract with the South Korean military. The country’s industrial giant Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) is still in the hunt.

Hyundai’s concept design of the ship, first revealed at an exposition earlier this summer, displays an uncanny resemblance to the UK’s HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The company’s animated promotion video of the ship design shows a ski jump take-off ramp for F-35 stealth fighter jets, twin islands and two aircraft elevators on either side of the flight deck.

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