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US, South Korea conduct THAAD remote launcher deployment training

THAAD is a long-range, land-based theatre defence system. The easily transportable battery of weapons is designed to engage incoming tactical and theatre ballistic missiles out to 200 km and to intercept them as high as 150 km. The picture shows a THAAD interceptor launched from the Marshall Islands during a flight test in August 2019. (US Missile Defense Agency)

The US Forces Korea (USFK) and the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA)have conducted deployment training for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) remote launcher.

According to a joint press release by the USFK and the RoKA, the THAAD remote launcher deployment training was conducted “for the first time”, as part of the bilateral South Korea-hosted Exercise ‘Freedom Shield', which concluded on 23 March.

The normalisation of the THAAD operations and capabilities provided the USFK readiness to ensure continued resourcing of the unit, as well as an opportunity to modify the defence design by exercising remote launch options, the RoKA said.

“In the face of [North Korea's] advanced missile threats, the training of our THAAD forces enhanced the units' combat readiness, combined defence posture within the alliance, demonstrates the ironclad commitment to support and defend the [Republic of Korea], and further strengthens the security and stability on the Korean peninsula,” according to a statement from the USFK.

In July 2016, the US and South Korea agreed to deploy the US Army's THAAD system in South Korea. The first components of the THAAD battery started arriving at Osan Air Base, South Korea, in early March 2017.

Janes reported in April 2017 that South Korea had completed the process required to provide 300,000 m2 of land in the county of Seongju to the USFK for the deployment of a THAAD battery system.

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