South Korea test-fires missile interceptor – Yonhap

The indigenously developed lo​​ng-range surface-to-air missile is reportedly designed to be part of a “layered defense network”

Seoul tested a new missile defense system it has developed, capable of intercepting a range of airborne weapons, on Wednesday, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

The outlet stated that the long-range surface-to-air missile (L-SAM) was successfully launched from a testing site in Taean, 150 km (90 miles) southwest of the capital Seoul. The Defense Ministry is yet to comment on the reports. 

S. Korea successfully tests L-SAM missile interceptor: sources

— Yonhap News Agency (@YonhapNews) February 23, 2022

According to plans cited by Yonhap, the system aims to target incoming projectiles at altitudes of around 50-60 kilometers (30-37 miles). Seoul intends for the system to be operational by 2026, but the paper reported that its deployment date could be brought forward.

The L-SAM is a “cutting-edge indigenous weapon system,” according to South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development, and is designed to be part of a “layered defense network.”

The system, which is still in development, would be deployed alongside existing hardware, including US-made Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles and locally produced Cheongung II KM-SAM medium-range projectiles. 

South Korea also hosts US military Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile batteries. One of the country’s presidential hopefuls has vowed to purchase a THAAD interceptor battery to deploy nearer to Seoul.

Seoul also has plans to create a $2.6 billion artillery interception system, similar to Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’.

Wednesday’s trial comes a month after North Korea tested a record number of increasingly capable warheads. Fired projectiles included the Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile, which is believed to be capable of striking the US territory of Guam. 

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