Thursday, March 15, 2007

Oh Snap! Take That JMSDF!

From the English language page of the Chosun Ilbo, with a head's up from The Marmot's Hole:

Navy to Build up Strategic Fleet with Six Aegis Warships

The South Korean Navy has begun the task of building up its mobile fleet by 2020. The strategic fleet will consist of six 7,000-ton Aegis-class warships, twelve 5,000 ton KDX-II destroyers and two Landing Platform Experimentals (LPX), which are similar to light aircraft carriers. South Korea will be the third after the U.S. and Japan in terms of the number of the Aegis-class warships, considered one of the world's most powerful naval vessels.

A military insider on Tuesday said that as part of its plan to build up the strategic fleet, the Navy will double the number it originally planned to build of Aegis-class warships and 5,000-ton KDX-II destroyers. Specific steps to do that will be proposed to higher-ups including the Joint Chiefs of Staff by as early as the end of this month, the source said.

Of course, the fact that Japan's Marine Self-Defense Forces will have, when at full strength, a fleet of...hmmm, let's see here..oh here it is...six 7,250 ton Kongō-class Aegis destroyers and...looking it up right now...seventeen conventional destroyers in between 4,550 and 5,050 tons and...searching, searching ...three Ōsumi-class platforms has nothing to do with the heretofore litoral warfare-focused South Korean Navy's sudden decision to double up its deep blue water force.

Nothing at all.

Later - I cannot help but wonder about the significance of the word "mobile" in the sentence, "The South Korean Navy has begun the task of building up its mobile fleet by 2020."

The sentence seems to indicate that a significant portion of the South Korean Navy's current fleet, possibly all of it, is sadly, perhaps permanently, immobile.

And if this is the case, what does one do with an immobile fleet, except, of course, look at it? Or perhaps play blackjack or Texas Hold'em on it?

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