Amidst heightened tension with North Korea, it has been revealed that only five of the nine South Korean guided missiles test-fired this year struck the intended target.
A South Korean lawmaker raised concerns over the military’s guided missile systems that showed poor accuracy in test launches as well as the country’s aged computerized command and control system, Korea Herald reported today.
It quoted Rep. Kim Jin-pyo of the main opposition The Minjoo Party of Korea said Defense Ministry data showed the accuracy of the military’s guided missiles in launches had dropped from 94.4 percent in 2014 to 55.6 percent this year.
Only five of the nine weapons test-fired this year struck the intended target, as opposed to 17 of 18 in 2014 and 10 of 11 last year.
Among the failures, the home-made SSM-700K Haeseong anti-ship cruise missile plunged into the sea before reaching the intended target during a drill in May this year.
During the July Rim of the Pacific exercise, one of two RIM-66 missiles fired from the Aegis (guidance system)-equipped destroyer King Sejong the Great missed its mark. The drill was the first time the Navy had attempted an automated interception of a multiple threat.
In addition, the proficiency of the military’s computers was also questioned. Korea Herald also quoted Rep. Kim Jong-dae of the minor opposition Justice Party, most of the South Korean Army’s devices for its C4I -- command, control, communications, computer and intelligence -- systems have exceeded their standard life span.
Out of 499 Army tactical C4I intelligence system servers, 492 were used for over six years, which is the machines’ standard life span within the military. All of the 1,600 items of networking hardware exceeded their seven-year life span, while 3,139 of 9,174 Army laptops had been in use for more than the recommended six years.
“It was learned that the aged equipment had caused hindrance in information sharing during war games, and even caused the server to crash altogether,” said Rep. Kim in a press release.
The Army is slated to replace the outdated ATCIS servers starting from 2018, but this would mean that some servers would be used for up to 16 years until the project is completed in 2022.