Air-Launched Weapons

South Korea signs for additional Taurus cruise missiles

14 March 2018
An artist's impression of a RoKAF F-15K launching a Taurus cruise missile. South Korea is now understood to have ordered about 260–270 such missiles, with a latest batch of 90 being disclosed on 13 March. Source: Boeing

South Korea has ordered a further 90 KEPD 350K Taurus air-launched cruise missiles to add to the nearly 200 it is believed to have already signed for.

The procurement of the additional batch was disclosed by a spokesperson for the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) on 13 March, national media reported. DAPA did not respond to a Jane’s request for confirmation, while MBDA Deutschland which is a partner in the Taurus GmbH joint venture with Saab Dynamics AB declined to comment.

The announcement of the further sale comes six months after the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) announced on 13 September 2017 that it had conducted the first test-firing of a Taurus missile from one of its Boeing F-15K Slam Eagle combat aircraft. The RoKAF signed its initial contract for the Taurus KEPD 350K in November 2013, with reports putting the number at either 170 or 180 missiles.

The missile fielded by South Korea is an enhanced version of the Taurus KEPD 350 fielded by Germany on its Panavia Tornado, and by Spain on its Boeing EF-18 Hornet and Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. Sweden is looking at integrating the baseline missile onto its Saab JAS 39 Gripen, and it is intended to equip the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon multirole combat aircraft, Boeing B-52H Stratofortress bomber, Boeing C-17 Globemaster III airlifter, as well as the Boeing P-8A Poseidon and Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft.

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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