The South Korean government has announced an investment of 290 billion South Korean won ($218 million) to develop an upgraded surface-to-surface precision missile.
The vehicle-mounted Korea Tactical Surface-to-Surface Missile (KTSSM)-II will have greater range and penetration than its predecessor.
Development will take place from September 2023 to December 2027.
The prototype manufacturer is about to sign a contract following multiple selection rounds, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration stated, without disclosing its identity.
“By successfully developing the Tactical Surface-to-Surface Guided Weapon-II, the core force of the three-axis system, we will significantly strengthen our ability to respond to enemy provocation threats and expand defense industry exports in the future,” Defense Acquisition Program Administration Guided Weapons Division Director Jeong Jae-jun said.
Tactical Surface-to-Surface Missile
Seoul announced the KTSSM’s deployment in 2018 as a faster counter-fire option against North Korean long-range artillery. The missile is currently in mass production.
Its development was in response to North Korea’s shelling of South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island near the western sea border from underground tunnels, killing two marines and two civilians.
The GPS-guided KTSSM is capable of penetrating hardened underground bunkers and tunnels.
The South Korean Hanwah Corporation led its development in partnership with the state-funded Agency for Defense Development.
It can strike a target up to 180 kilometers (112 miles) away within two meters (6.56 feet).
Four missiles can be fired simultaneously from a fixed launch pad.
The new missile is likely to have a range of 300 kilometers (186 miles), according to Yonhap News Agency.