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South Korea to mass-produce TAipers anti-tank missiles

South Korea's domestically developed TAipers anti-tank missile is scheduled to start replace the Republic of Korea's (RoK's) military stocks of ageing TOW missiles from 2024. (Janes)

South Korea is preparing to mass-produce its domestically developed TAipers (‘Tank Snipers' or Cheongeom) air-launched anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).

The TAipers will go into mass production from 2024 to 2031, a spokesperson from South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) told Janes . According to the agency, the programme has a cost of KRW724.8 billion (USD550.5 million).

The TAipers is a lightweight, air-launched, lock-on-before-launch (LOBL) ATGM. According to DAPA, the missile system uses a dual-mode seeker utilising both visible light and infrared images and guided by a fiber-optic datalink.

Comprising four major sub-sections (seeker, propulsion, control mechanism, and battery) and the optical fibre cable at the rear, the missile has a smokeless solid-propellant rocket motor, which gives it a cruise speed of about 200 m/s and a maximum strike range of 8 km. Hanwha has said the missile can penetrate up to 1,000 mm of rolled homogeneous armour (RHA).

The DAPA spokesperson said the missile will arm the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) Light Armed Helicopter (LAH) and MUH-1 Marineon helicopters of the Republic of Korea Marine Corps (RoKMC) from 2024.

Hanwha has developed a variant of the missile capable of being launched from land vehicles. However, the decision to mass-produce the missile is limited to rotary-wing platforms, according to information published by DAPA.

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