South Korea to develop long range rocket to counter North Korea threats
Erin Yoon, Nov. 16, 2016, 9:18 a.m.
South Korea on Wednesday approved three major defense projects, including a long-range rocket system, to help bolster its capabilities to better counter growing North Korean military threats.
The government's approval comes amid mounting geopolitical uncertainties surrounding the Korean Peninsula as Pyongyang ratchets up its saber rattling and many countries in the region feel uneasy about Donald Trump's surprise victory in last week's U.S. presidential race.
During the 2017-2020 period, Seoul will develop and deploy an unguided projectile that can be mounted on a new 230mm multiple rocket launch system (MRLS) built locally to deal with the North's artillery threats, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a statement.
"If deployed and launched, the new unguided projectile MRLS could wreck considerable havoc on exposed targets deep within enemy territory," DAPA spokesman Kim Si-cheol said in a press briefing.
One such rocket could lay waste to an area roughly the size of three football fields.
In another project, the government will inject about 18.4 billion won (US$16 million) for 27 months through the end of 2019 to develop the country's 3,000-ton next-generation Batch-III frigates.
The warships are a continuation of the Incheon and Daegu class of ships entering the Navy but will be larger and more capable, according to DAPA.
The vessels in these classes are officially referred to as Ulsan ships, which is also the name give to nine frigates that were commissioned in the 1980s and 1990s and are in the process of being phased out of service. (Yonhap)