South Korea has received its first lot of Taurus KEPD 350K cruise missiles during a ceremony at the headquarters of Taurus Systems in Schrobenhausen, Germany, it was announced on 14 October.
An undisclosed number of missiles were formally handed over to the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) during the event, which took place on the same day as the announcement. The RoKAF signed a contract for the Taurus KEPD 350K in November 2013, with reports putting the number at either 170 or 180 missiles.
The Taurus KEPD 350K is being integrated onto the RoKAF's Boeing F-15K Slam Eagle fleet. According to MBDA Deutschland (the lead company in the Taurus Systems consortium, which also includes Saab Dynamics), this work is now in its final stages.
The missile is an enhanced version of the Taurus KEPD 350 fielded by Germany and Spain on its Panavia Tornado, and Boeing EF-18 Hornet and Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft respectively. Sweden is looking at integrating it onto its Saab JAS 39 Gripens also.
The baseline Taurus KEPD 350 missile is a 350 km to 500 km-class weapon designed for use against hardened and buried targets with its Multi-Effect Penetrator Highly Sophisticated and Target Optimised (MEPHISTO) penetrator warhead and intelligent fuzing system. Once launched, the missile, which is powered by a small turbofan engine, flies at extremely low altitudes (30 m) at speeds of up to Mach 0.9. The Taurus KEPD 350 missile measures 5.1 m in length, 63 cm wide, 32 cm high, and weighs in at 1,400 kg.
The Taurus KEPD 350K for the RoKAF differs slightly in that it is equipped with a new Rockwell Collins GPS receiver that comes with a Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) to prevent jamming.
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