South Korea’s aircraft carrier plans have gotten big:
The Republic of Korea Navy’s (ROKN) decision to push forward with aircraft carriers was made over the past 18 months, and was initially expected to produce ships in the 30,000 ton range, somewhat larger than the Japanese Izumos. Hyundai Heavy Industries worked with the British firm Babcock on the design of the 40,000-ish ton ships, resulting in a design substantially larger than the original projection. As David Axe reports, the model made available for the vessel strongly resembles a somewhat smaller version of the British Queen Elizabeth-class carriers, featuring two superstructure islands. The mock up shows the ship carrying some 20 F-35 “Panther” fighters, with space for half a dozen or so helicopters.