During the National Assembly National Defense Committee audit held at the Naval Headquarters in Gyeryongdae, the South Korean Navy and Marine Corps announced sweeping reforms to the structure of their force.
The most significant is that they will reduce from three numbered fleets to two and establish the Marine Unmanned Forces Command which will employ unmanned surface warship squadron, an unmanned submersible squadron, and an unmanned aerial vehicle squadron.
The ROK Navy will also seek to reduce its enlisted troop ratio from 37.1% to 20% and increase its Officer ratio from 62.9% to 80%, by 2040. These new ratios seek to reflect the operators of these unmanned forces. These changes are to be completely implemented by 2040.
The ROK Marine Corps will also present an official plan to detach from the Navy and become a “fourth army” under its own branch to be the amphibious force for the South Korean military. After 2033, it plans to secure unmanned Korean-style amphibious assault vehicles (KAAVs) and amphibious swarm drones.
“The Navy is establishing a firm military readiness posture and expanding its response capabilities,” said Lee Jong-ho, Chief of Naval Operations. will,” he said. These changes seek to offset North Korea’s aggression and create a survivable “third axis maritime approach”, which seems to mirror the U.S. distributed fleet operations construct which relies on fewer large surface combatants for more, smaller unmanned combatants.