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South Korea outlines development of enhanced air-defence systems

The M-SAM III system will be an enhanced version of M-SAM II (pictured above) with better interception performance and engagement capabilities. (DAPA)

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has announced a plan to develop enhanced air-defence systems to counter missile threats from North Korea.

In a press release on 29 May, DAPA said that it will initiate the development of long-range surface-to-air missile II (L-SAM II) system and medium-range surface-to-air missile Block III (M-SAM III) system in 2024.

DAPA said that the L-SAM II is a high-altitude interceptor with an increased interception altitude and range compared with the L-SAM system.

The L-SAM II will allow the Republic of Korea Armed Forces to be equipped with a multilayered missile defence capability that can respond to aerial threats at different altitudes in conjunction with the L-SAM and M-SAM systems, DAPA added.

DAPA allocated KRW1.06 trillion (USD778.9 million) to develop the L-SAM II from 2024 to 2032.

The L-SAM II is envisaged to feature two missiles: a high-altitude interceptor missile and a gliding-stage interceptor missile. DAPA earlier said that the high-altitude interceptor missile would have three times the range of the L-SAM and will be capable of intercepting missiles at higher altitudes. The gliding-stage interceptor missile is envisaged as a counter to hypersonic missiles.

The M-SAM III will be designed to respond to North Korean missiles by improving interception performance and engagement capabilities compared with the existing M-SAM II, according to DAPA.

β€œThis project is expected to improve deterrence capabilities against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats and further strengthen the Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD),” DAPA said.

DAPA allocated KRW2.8 trillion to develop the M-SAM III from 2024 to 2034.

A DAPA spokesperson told Janes

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