South Korea plans to deploy its indigenous Cheongung ('Firmament/Celestial') Korean medium-range surface-to-air missile (KM-SAM) systems from 2017, the Arirang TV network reported on 19 December.
Government sources told the media outlet that the military initially planned to have the missiles ready by 2018, but they could be deployed a year earlier than scheduled.
The missiles are being produced by the military in collaboration with the Agency for Defense Development and other South Korean defence firms.
The Cheongung is designed to take down targets flying at an altitude between 15 km and 20 km.
The Cheongung and the soon to be deployed US Patriot-3 missiles are key components of the Korea Air and Missile Defense system, which is expected to be implemented by the early 2020's.