Babcock International has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hyundai Heavy Industries in order to work together to bid to build the Republic of Korea’s new Aircraft Carrier.
The ship will make use of an axial flight deck similar to those used by the Tarawa, Wasp and America class amphibious assault ships of the United States Navy. The South Korean Ministry of National Defense confirmed in August 2020 that twenty F-35Bs would be procured for the 45,000 tonne CVX.
Babcock say in a news release that it has firmly reinforced its commitment to the Republic of Korea and its support to the Korean Ministry of National Defence through investment in an assembly, maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in Busan, where Babcock currently assembles equipment for a growing number of Republic of Korea naval programmes.
The agreement brings the two parties closer together, “recognising that working collaboratively their individual expertise and capabilities can further support the design and build” of the new ‘CVX Aircraft Carrier’ that the Republic of Korea is intending to commission.
John Howie, Babcock Group’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, said:
“As a lead partner within the Aircraft Carrier Alliance that designed, built and delivered the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers for the UK, we are delighted to be able to sign this Memorandum of Understanding with HHI. Babcock has the proven capabilities to deliver large scale complex programmes and by affirming our already strong relationship with Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s largest shipbuilder, our collaborative and complementary skills and expertise can deliver a cutting edge sovereign Aircraft Carrier capability to the Republic of Korea.
Through our growing in-country business, continued long-term investment in our facility in Busan and collaboration with key partners both in Korea and internationally, Babcock is committed to supporting Korean industry in delivering the CVX Aircraft Carrier Programme for the Republic of Korea. We look forward to continuing to work closely with all stakeholders and partners involved in this effort.”
Mr. Sam-Hyun Ka, CEO, Korean Shipbuilding and Offshore Engineering (KSOE), the holding company of HHI, said:
“The MoU with Babcock develops the relationship between a leading aerospace, defence and security company and the number one shipyard in the world. Through this MoU, we will establish a stable foundation to integrate cutting edge technology into the Republic of Korea’s first light Aircraft Carrier build. Furthermore, the capability of both companies will help to grow future technology opportunities in the global market.”
Simon Smith, British Ambassador to the Republic of Korea said:
“I welcome this Memorandum of Understanding between, Babcock International Group, KSOE and HHI. It is another excellent example of the strong ties and growing industrial cooperation between the UK and the Republic of Korea, that is so beneficial for both countries. Babcock is representative of the thriving British naval sector, which the UK can offer Korea. Working with KSOE and HHI – one of the world’s largest shipyards, makes a perfect partnership for what will I’m sure be a fantastic and prosperous venture.”
Brigadier Mike Murdoch, MOD Defence Attaché to the Republic of Korea said:
“As a member of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, Babcock helped build the Royal Navy’s cutting-edge Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers, some of the world’s most advanced ships, and the prospect of bringing their knowledge and expertise together with HHI through this MoU on Carrier Design is very exciting. The timing of the MoU, signed between Babcock and HHI, is also particularly fitting as HMS Queen Elizabeth visits Korea at sea. The Royal Navy are keenly supportive of our friends and colleagues in the Republic of Korea Navy and this MoU shows how the UK and Korean industries are moving towards a closer relationship.”