South Korea will soon begin a full-fledged project worth about 1 trillion won ($880 million) to build indigenous military reconnaissance satellites and put into operation by 2023.
The scheme, code-named the "425 Project" to be run by the national arms procurement agency and the state-run Agency for Defense Development, is aimed at developing five military spy satellite system capable of collecting security-related information and intelligence on the Korean Peninsula and in nearby regions, Yonhap reports Friday. DAPA plans to pick a contractor for the initiative by the end of this year.
"The satellites, if developed, will be operated basically under the ministry's responsibility for military purposes including the surveillance of core targets such as North Korea's nuclear and missile programs," The Ministry of National Defense said Friday.
The ministry is looking to tap best of local firms or research centers. "We will cooperate with foreign companies for inadequate technologies," it added.
The military is also set to decide by October whether or how to lease foreign spy satellites before the 425 Project is completed, said the ministry.
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