South Korea to Develop $2.56 BN ‘Iron Dome’-Type Air Defense System
South Korea announced Monday the development of a 2.89 trillion won ($2.56 billion) indigenous air defense system to intercept North Korean long-range artillery.
Development of the system is expected to begin next year with a projected completion date of 2035, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).
“The project is designed to secure an interceptor system with our own technologies to boost our capabilities of countering enemies’ long-range artillery threats so as to protect core facilities and military and security infrastructure,” Yonhap News Agency quoted DAPA as saying.
In addition to artillery shells, the Israeli Iron Dome-type system will be able to intercept short-range missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.
To Protect Seoul
North Korea has around 1,000 units of artillery deployed along the Military Demarcation Line separating the two Koreas, “including 240-millimeter multiple rocket launchers,” the Seoul-based outlet reports.
The rocket launchers, particularly, are aimed to strike Seoul.
F-35A Upgrade Plan
In addition to the new air defense system, South Korea’s defense project promotion committee has also announced a 370 billion won ($327 million) plan to upgrade its F-35A fighters “through a government-to-government foreign military sale (FMS) program with the United States.”
The program will see the US upgrade the country’s fleet of 40 F-35As by 2030, Yonhap News Agency wrote.
Indigenous Surveillance Drone by 2033
Another 1.28 trillion won ($1.13 billion) has been earmarked for the development of a home-grown vertical takeoff and landing surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle by 2033.
Additionally, 1.30 trillion won ($1.15 billion) has been set aside to purchase the replacement for the country’s aging CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift choppers by 2032.