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10:46 AM, August 14, 2019
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South Korea to Add Anti-missile Radars, Aegis Destroyers in $240B procurement Plan
South Korea hikes defense budget to counter North Korean missiles

South Korea plans to add two more ground-based anti-missile early warning radars and three Aegis-equipped destroyers in the next five years as part of a 290.5 trillion won (US$239.88 billion) 5-year defense spending plan.

The plan is part of a defense blueprint for 2020-2024 that the South Korean MoD unveiled today. The country will be spending 7.1% more than the average spending, to enhance its military might over the next five years.

Of the 290.5 trillion won, 103.8 trillion won (US$85.6billion) has been earmarked to improve defense capabilities while the rest has been kept aside to manage Seoul’s forces, the ministry noted.

While the two new anti-missile early warning radars for “Korea Air and Missile Defense system” could be bought and deployed next year, the country has planned to build and begin operating the aegis-equipped destroyers with advance radar systems by 2028. The warships will have vertical launching systems capable of firing Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) ship-based interceptors or comparable ones.

Also on the multi-billion dollar spending is the ministry’s plan to acquire additional precision-guided missiles (to be launched from the ground, the sea, submarines and fighters), deploy five military satellites to boost reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities by 2023, buy mid- and high-altitude drones, and develop ship-to-ground missiles for its destroyers & additional non-lethal weapons (such as electromagnetic pulse bombs and blackout ones).

The country will also seek to enhance its multi-layered interception capabilities by deploying the improved version of interceptors -- Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC)-3 and Cheolmae-II missiles, while wrapping up the development of L-SAM, a long-range surface-to-air missile.

In addition, Seoul will build an indigenous arsenal ship armed with precision-guided weapons, a light aircraft carrier to house its F-35B fighters, and 3000-ton submarines.

"South Korea will secure ample interception capabilities against new types of ballistic missiles North Korea has recently test-fired," the ministry said in a release.

The ministry has also vowed to procure advance weapons systems in replacement of its conventional weapons in line with the reduction in the number of troops, and to increase its investment in research and development for the latest defense technologies.

 

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