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KDDG-X Joint Firepower Ship / Arsenal Ship

The Joint Firepower Ship [hapdong hwaryeok shan] is expected to have a light displacement of 5,000 tons, and will be equipped with more than 80 surface-to-surface guided missiles, close-range defense weapon systems, and light torpedoes. It will be loaded with precision-guided weapons, including ship-to-ground ballistic missiles and Haesong-II surface -to-surface cruise missiles, for hitting ground targets. According to daily newspaper The Hankyoreh, the arsenal ship will likely be modeled on the locally produced KDX-II destroyer. It plans to deploy three 5,000-ton Joint Firepower Ships by the late 2020s.

As North Korea introduced the KN-23 ballistic missile , the North Korean version of ATACMS, and the large-caliber multiple-launch rocket in response to the kill chain, the ROK Hyunmoo-2 ballistics were designed to counterattack at sea even if a missile base on the land was attacked by the enemy's preemptive strike.

According to a report by Military Review , "The 5,000-ton-class Joint Firepower Ship conceptually designed by the Navy can carry about 150 ballistic or cruise missiles per ship ." According to a report by Defense Times Korea, a new hull platform different from the existing naval ship platform will be designed, and a low-noise electric propulsion system will be applied to prevent detection by submarines. Basically, the main task is a ground strike mission using surface-to-surface missiles, but in some cases, the possibility of using it like a Kirov-class nuclear-powered cruiser equipped with a large number of supersonic anti-ship missiles is being considered. Joint Firepower Ship is expected to be equipped with the 'Hyunmoo 4-2', a surface-launching type of the Hyunmoo-4 ballistic missile. In the 20th century, the ROK Navy operated the Siheung-class fire support ship , a warship that provides firepower support like a Joint Firepower Ship.

The plans of the South Korean command suggest that by the end of the 2020s, the country's navy should receive three 5,000-ton ships, each of which will be able to carry more than 80 cruise missiles capable of striking ground targets.

At the same time, as noted by Naval News , the new concept has enough critics who point to the high vulnerability of such ships: it is easy for the enemy to detect them, but it is difficult to defend them and requires additional support. In particular, the US Navy considered the idea of such ships - cruise missile arsenals, but refused due to the high risks associated with transporting a large number of expensive missiles on one ship, which can become a convenient target for the enemy.

The opponents of the Arsenal-class ships are convinced that the best option would be the development and production of submarines with cruise missiles, which from a strategic point of view may be more effective.

According to an article on the Seoul Economic Daily on December 22, 2017, the 'Joint Firepower Ship' review had begun because the operational environment is changing due to North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile provocations. On October 19, 2018, the Navy announced a plan to build a Joint Firepower Ship in a state audit. The Joint Firepower Ship will be equipped with ballistic missiles or cruise missiles to strike strategic targets in North Korea.

In the '2020-2024 Medium-Term Defense Plan' released on August 14, 2019, the construction of a Joint Firepower Ship was mentioned along with the expansion of precision guided missiles. There was no mention in the '2021-2025 Mid-Term Defense Plan' published in August 2020 and the '2020 Defense White Paper' published in February 2021. The introduction of aircraft carriers is the biggest issue among the navy's various warship introduction projects, whether within the navy, at higher standards such as the Ministry of National Defense or the National Assembly Defense Committee, or by the media or public opinion, so there seemed to be no room for Joint Firepower Ships. Estimating the amount of manpower and budget that will be consumed in this direction, the Joint Firepower Ship introduction project would inevitably collapse or be pushed back.

At MADEX 2021 in June 2021, there were rumors that the joint firepower project was postponed indefinitely. Rumors may be related to the contents of the paragraph above, or they may be dismissed as rumors because the rumors are rumors that have flowed from defense companies related to the navy. It is possible that the priority had been pushed back because of the CVX business. It is true that King Sejong-class and Yi Sun-sin-class are over-armed compared to other western-made ships of the same class, so the firepowerJoint Firepower Ship issue may become a lower-priority. In the 2020s, the Dosan Anchang-class , Daegu-class , FFX Batch-III , KDDX , and FFX Batch-IV are scheduled, and in the early 2030s, projects that consume a lot of budget, such as CVX , are scheduled. The Joint Firepower Ship appeared to have been delayed beyond 2030. issue may become a sub-priority.

On October 6, 2021, in the work report of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the National Audit, it was announced that the medium-term transition would be promoted after prior research and verification of the need for the introduction of a Joint Firepower Ship. The Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea officially confirmed plans in December 2021 to develop a new type of warships that should carry a large number of land attack missiles. According to the military, this long-term project is being considered simultaneously with the CVX-type light aircraft carrier program as a deterrent against the DPRK, which is building up its nuclear and missile capabilities. As pointed out by Naval News, for the first time South Korea's plans to create a new ship, which is conventionally referred to as "Arsenal", were announced in August 2019 - simultaneously with the announcement of the development of a light aircraft carrier.

In the official response of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the inquiry of the National Assembly of South Korea, it is said that at this stage it is planned to accelerate the research and verification of the requirements for the Arsenal-class ships. Based on the results of this work, the final decision on their design and construction will be made.

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Page last modified: 09-03-2022 19:42:21 ZULU