S. Korean military unveils plan for light aircraft carriers
Updated: 2020-08-10 17:03:32 KST
The South Korean military on Monday unveiled its blueprint for mid-term defense plans for the period 2021 to 2025, which includes a plan to develop light aircraft carriers starting next year.
The goal is to have them operational after 2026.
Also, within a few years, it plans to add submarines with displacements of 36-hundred to 4-thousand tons along with destroyers equipped with locally developed missile systems.
In addition to dominance on the seas, the South Korean military plans to add to its air power, upgrading the AESA (ah-EE-sah) radars on its KF-16s and F15Ks to generation 4.5.
A fighter jet is also in development, the KF-X, which would make South Korea the 13th country in the world to have fighter jets designed and produced domestically.
And for service members, there'll be better pay and benefits.
South Koreans serving their mandatory military duty will get around 800 U.S. dollars a month starting in 2025, up from around 550 dollars a month currently.
With the number of women in service continuing to rise, the ministry is also looking to improve facilities for women in and around the bases.
And automation will allow the military to reduce the number of active-duty personnel, which right now is at 555-thousand but by the end of 2022 is planned to be 500-thousand.
The overall plan calls for spending worth around 250 billion U.S. dollars over the five years.
The ministry said that the plan is to build a stronger military and to prepare for the transfer of wartime operational control from the U.S.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News.