South Korea will begin mass-producing an improved variant of its locally developed Cheongung ('Celestial/Firmament') Korean medium-range surface-to-air missile (KM-SAM or M-SAM) later this year to better counter North Korea's growing missile threats, the Yonhap news agency reported on 17 June.
The hit-to-kill (HTK) missile interceptor, which has been designed to engage incoming ballistic missile targets at an altitude of around 20 km, "was rated fit for combat operations after meeting all the requirements at a test conducted earlier this month", a South Korean defence official was quoted by the media outlet as saying on condition of anonymity.
The move marks the completion of the development of the improved HTK missile, which was led by the country's Agency for Defense Development in co-operation with South Korean companies such as LIG Nex1.
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