South Korea is concerned about the growth of China’s military power at sea
Held a few days back the handover ceremony of China’s first aircraft carrier «Liaoning» (The last «Varyag») armed forces of the PRC again heightened concerns over South Korea’s growing power of Beijing’s views. In Seoul, recognize that they are increasingly and increasingly lagging behind in terms of equipping its own Navy in comparison with major regional powers — China and Japan. In this regard, the media heard louder calls to intensify construction of new Korean warships and submarines.
Recall that on Sunday September 23 the first aircraft carrier of China, which received the title of «Liaoning» (Named after the province in the north-east of the country), was transferred to the naval forces of China. Zabugornye experts disturbed by the fact that, although it was clear in advance. Beijing himself emphasizes that «Liaoning» will be used initially for military training. In addition, until this time, the PRC was the only one in the midst of the countries are permanent members of the UN Security Council, which did not have its own aircraft carrier. It is expected that the main strike force «Liaoning» become marine fighter J-15 modeled by Russian Su-33. True military experts pointed out that China is still far far creation of carrier battle groups. For example, China is not yet a sufficient number of pilots can soar from the deck of an aircraft carrier and sit on it. Certain time is needed for the creation and testing of ships within the action of carrier groups.
Despite a certain skepticism that express some Western military about actual combat abilities «Liaoning» in the adjacent South Korea with great concern embraced commissioning of the first aircraft carrier of China. Representatives of Seoul in one voice say that the carrier not only changes the balance of power in the region, and can eventually transform into danger interests of South Korea, which does not have adequate deterrent forces of the sea.
«No matter what country, when producing development plans of its own armed forces, takes into account all potential threats from neighbors. Wet combat aircraft carrier has an even wider range offense and it is therefore reasonable that we begin to take into account the existence of such a massive factor in the ship, «- explained MoD officials in South Korea on the criteria of anonymity.
The South Koreans are concerned about the fact that in recent years China will have more such ships. Thus, they lead the U.S. data, according to which the second aircraft carrier will be in China in 2014, and by 2020 their total number will be from 4 to 6 units. «Carriers can be the factor that ensures China undisputed dominance of the sea in East Asia», — said the Defense Research Institute research Korean Pak Scion Zhu.
In this regard, in Seoul become louder voice in favor of increasing its naval strength to be able to react to the growing power of China, also the Land of the rising sun over the sea. «At the moment the development of our armed forces is aimed only at curbing North Korea’s danger, but we should take into account what is happening in other neighbors, and respond suitably,» — said Pak.
«At the moment, we simply do not have the ability to deter Chinese aircraft carrier. The only solution at this point — the creation of a mobile combat squadron «- allocated Korean Defense Ministry spokesman. Note that the creation of similar squadron incorporated into the development plans of Korea Navy. It should include several new destroyers with the combat information control system (CICS) «Ichzhis» new models Korean destroyers, escort ships, support, large transport and amphibious ships, and submarines.
At the moment, as recognized in Seoul, the South Korean Navy has only the opportunity only to ensure the safety of coastal waters without projection effects at greater distances. South Korea has 12 submarines, about 140 warships, 20 support ships and about 50 sea planes and helicopters. Of this amount, only 9 ships can operate without the help of others on distant sea boundaries — three class destroyer KDX-I (3200 tons displacement), KDX-II (4500 tons) and KDX-III (7600 tons with CICS «Ichzhis») . All other ships are small in size and can only act in the interests of ensuring the protection of the coast. With submarines more deplorable, according to Seoul, the situation: there are 9 209 class submarines (1,200 tons displacement) and 3 214 class submarines (1,800 tons), which can not long remain under water and make long trips. Harsher submarines displacement of 3,000 tons will have only to South Korea in 2020.
In past years, South Korea has tried to develop a navy capable of operating in the oceans, but clashes with North Korea in 2010 showed its vulnerability to North Korea. Ultimately, it was agreed to abandon unnecessary ambitions, concentrating on neutralizing the hazards of Pyongyang. True South Korea managed to make some ultra-modern class destroyers KDX-III with CICS «Ichzhis» also launched the helicopter «Dokdo» displacement of 14,500 tons.