South Korea and United Arab Emirates are in discussions to carry out a test of Korean-built missile interception system at a site in the Middle Eastern country, to bolster a military cooperation project between the countries.
The Seoul newspaper JoongAng Ilbo quoted a source in the UAE’s capital city as saying: “Speedy progress is seen in the discussion between the two countries about defense cooperation”.
“The discussion includes a plan to conduct a test in the UAE of an antimissile system being developed as a part of Korea Air Missile Defense [KAMD] program,” the source said Monday.
KAMD is a terminal-phase, lower-tier missile defense system. It will use U.S.-built Patriot missiles and M-SAM systems for lower-altitude interception.
According to the report, missile cooperation between Korea and the UAE is possible for Korean-made medium-range surface-to-air missiles (M-SAM) system, capable of intercepting incoming missiles at altitudes of 20 to 40 kilometers (12 to 25 miles). It is the core system of KAMD, which is one of three key projects being pursued by the Korean military to defend against North Korean missile threats.
“The missile cooperation project between Korea and the UAE has reached a final stage,” said the source. “Discussions are picking up to conduct an interception test in the UAE.”
The source added that the UAE is an optimal location because test sites are in under populated desert areas. The UAE also has ample experience in operating U.S. Patriot missiles.