KDDG-X Joint Firepower Ship - Alternatives
Some argue that Korea should buy more Sejong the Great-class with the same number of VLS cells as the money to build a Joint Firepower Ship, but DDG is already hiring more, and the latest destroyers equipped with various advanced combat systems, including Aegis, simply need a missile loading capacity. It is an argument that ignores the fact that it is much more expensive than the Joint Firepower Ship.
On the other hand, there are situations in which it is difficult to increase the armament of new warships such as KDDX. Considering that the main force of the navy will be deployed to the south such as Jeju Island in the future, it takes time to project firepower and makes it difficult to use short-range weapons. In case of actual naval battle, the possibility of losing a ship must be fully considered. Unlike the Joint Firepower Ship, which has nothing to do but launch missiles and has to come out of the port, these individual ships are always exposed to the risk of being sunk while performing their respective roles. Therefore, increasing the missile payload of each ship that must come forward in naval battles would rather increase the possibility of missile losses due to sinking. It is a fact that cannot be compared with the US Navy, which has a low probability of losing ships.
Above all else, even considering various circumstances, the ROK Navy's warships are already carrying so many missiles that they are close to the limits of their weight class and mission due to their unique overcharging ideology. Submarines are more expensive, fewer, busy, and have a much lower missile capacity. The Dosan Anchangho-class submarines, which cost close to 1 trillion won per ship, can carry only 6 to 10 rounds.
It is argued that when introducing nuclear submarines and carriers, there will be difficulties in the introduction/operation of a Joint Firepower Ship due to budget or escort power problems, but nuclear submarines are not a subject to be considered immediately because their introduction is far from decided. However, since the introduction of light carriers has been confirmed to some extent, it is necessary to carefully consider how to operate each power in peacetime/wartime.
Given the limited budget of the Republic of Korea Navy, it is not an easy decision to mass-build submarines. It is impossible for submarines to replace Joint Firepower Ships. The Dosan Anchang-class deployment 1 can carry 6 missiles per ship, and the Dosan Anchang-class deployments 2 and 3 can carry 10 ballistic missiles per ship. These ships were scheduled to be 3/3/3 each. This can carry a total of 78 ballistic missiles. With this amount of firepower, the joint firepower can never be replaced. In addition, the Dosan Ahn Changho class is a very important strategic asset for other purposes. Due to various equipment, the price per ship is 850 billion won based on the 1st and 3rd ships. If the Dosan Anchangho-class is to completely replace one joint fireship, 25 ships based on 1st batch and 15 ships based on 2/3rd batch of ships would be needed. To build this level of construction, at least 15 trillion won would have to be spent. In addition, as three Joint Firepower Ships are scheduled to be built, there is no option at all with the Dosan Anchang-class deployment 1 25 or the Dosan Anchangho-class deployment 2/3 15.
Therefore, it is unreasonable to substitute a Joint Firepower Ship with a submarine. Furthermore, in the case of submarines that have to perform complex tasks such as military operations while moving to the operational zone in the first place, diesel submarines cannot be used in situations that are not at the level of strategic nuclear submarines such as Ohio-class submarines, Typhoon-class submarines, and Borey-class submarines of the United States and Russia. It is unreasonable for even a nuclear submarine of any size to completely replace the role of a Joint Firepower Ship.
Destroyers and Joint Firepower Ships have very different personalities. A destroyer is an all-round warship equipped with various equipment and interceptor missiles, and a Joint Firepower Ship is a missile carrier equipped with a number of ballistic missiles with minimal self-defense air defense equipment. Moreover, none of the destroyers are capable of carrying ballistic missiles . And because they go directly into battle, if they sink, they lose a lot of missiles. Realistically, it is not easy to secure a large number of destroyers loaded with expensive equipment. The US just has a lot of money, so it has over 80 destroyers, and it's not easy for other countries to secure 10. The average price of one destroyer is 800 billion won to 1.8 trillion won. Building six ships costs 4.8 trillion won to 10.8 trillion won. Most of the countries with limited budgets at such a high cost can't even afford to buy destroyers in bulk. The only exceptions are China and the United States, which have a lot of money. Therefore, it is unreasonable to replace a Joint Firepower Ship with a destroyer.
If it is difficult to build a Joint Firepower Ship, there is also a plan to mass-produce an unmanned missile launch platform. Many of these do not require expensive equipment, and even some unmanned missile launch platforms that require expensive equipment cost much less than a single frigate. can do. Moreover, some types of unmanned missile launch platforms are very simple to build, all you need is a VLS, a simple control unit, and a fixture. And when it's all made, just fix it in the sea or on the bottom of a lake. Even if it is under the sea, there is a possibility that the enemy will hit it or be swept away by the current, but if it is fixed at the bottom of the lake, survivability can be sufficiently increased.
Moreover, training soldiers takes a long time and is very difficult, so the emergence of unmanned platforms can reduce the likelihood of soldiers being killed. If the cost-effectiveness is improved and the design is good, if the unmanned missile launch platform is mass-produced, both price and firepower can be captured. If each platform is well placed, it will be sufficient to replace the Joint Firepower Ship. However, unmanned VLSs scattered and installed in this way might be very difficult to manage, and their locations will be discovered even if they are only fired once. Not only cannot protect all the VLSs scattered like this, but also cannot put many missiles, which limits the number of launches. As long as it is safely protected from sinking, the Joint Firepower Ship can continuously project ballistic missile firepower, so there are trade-offs.
Assemblyman Rep. Park Seong-jun of the Democratic Party of Korea (Seongdong-gu, Jung-gu, Seoul) said 29 September 2020, “As the weaknesses of the joint firepower ship are clear, the Ministry of National Defense needs to reconsider its introduction in consideration of these weaknesses. We have to do it, and we have to fully consider the situation in Korea and the possibility of its operation”.
Unlike the Middle East, North Korea's safe waters are wide, and the East Sea, which is not in contact with China, is almost free pass. This is because North Korea's land-based anti-ship detection capabilities and anti-ship missile power are very poor. So, the navy and officials in favor of building a joint thermal powership said that, for North Korea, It appealed that it was a useful power that could be launched by approaching within the range of a surface-to-surface ballistic missile.
Although the joint firepower is a ship, its mission unit is probably the Army Missile Command. The biggest concern of the Missile Command, which operates Hyunmoo 1, 2, 3, and 4, will be the security and defense of the missile base. They may be protected deep inside a tunnel, but missiles have to be loaded into the TEL to enter and exit the tunnel. It is these bases that rank high for attacks by enemy ballistic missiles. No matter how secure it is, North Korea probably knows its location. It's also difficult for TELs, mobile launchers, to change positions every day. The joint firepower ship is a mobile launcher that floats in the sea carrying Hyunmoo 1, 2, 3, and 4, etc. If it is buried between the archipelago islands, there is no way for North Korea to find it. Fortunately, they change locations every day. Automated and stealthed 5,000-ton small Arsenal ships can store and maintain missiles with minimal cost and less manpower instead of ground bases, which normally have relatively high maintenance costs.
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