Report: Korean Marine Corps may add new LPX ship, UAVs

ROKS Dokdo. Photo: US Navy

The Republic of Korea Marine Corps (ROKMC) has unveiled the possibility of adding a large platform experimental-type ship and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in an effort to improve amphibious and surveillance capabilities, the country’s news agency Yonhap reported. 

“We are considering building the LPX (large platform experimental)-type ship capable of carrying aircraft in close cooperation with the Navy,” Lt. Gen. Jun Jin-goo, ROK Marine Corps Chief, was cited by Yonhap as saying.

During his address, Jun also expressed his desire to utilize robotics and other cutting-edge technologies with the aim to enhance the Marine Corps’ maritime power projection capabilities.

The announcement comes only a few months after the Republic of Korea Navy launched its second Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship, ROKS Marado (LPH-6112), which is expected to be commissioned in 2020.

The first Dokdo-class ship, ROKS Dokdo (LPH-6111), was launched in 2005 and commissioned in 2007.

With this move, the Marine Corps allegedly wants to secure its own LPX ship apart from the two abovementioned Dokdo-class vessels. As explained by Jun, ROKMC intends to “expand its currently brigade-level capability for amphibious landing capabilities to division level by introducing more warships and aircraft.”

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