South Korea to purchase Patriot PAC-3 air defense missile system from United States next year 130314

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Defence & Security News - South Korea

 
 
Thursday, March 13, 2014 09:38 AM
 
South Korea to purchase Patriot PAC-3 air defense missile system from United States next year.
South Korea will procure new Patriot missiles PAC-3 capable of intercepting North Korea's ballistic missiles starting in 2016. The Defense Project Promotion Committee chaired by Minister Kim Kwan-jin reached the decision on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. South Korea will upgrade its present PAC-2 air defense system and buy PAC-3 missiles next year to improve its anti-ballistic missile capability against North Korea.
     
South Korea will procure new Patriot missiles capable of intercepting North Korea's ballistic missiles starting in 2016. The Defense Project Promotion Committee chaired by Minister Kim Kwan-jin reached the decision on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. South Korea will upgrade its present PAC-2 air defense system and buy PAC-3 missiles next year to improve its anti-ballistic missile capability against North Korea
U.S. Service members receive a briefing on the capabilities of the Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC) 3 missile launcher during a weapons system of the week tour at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia Jan. 28, 2010.
     

South Korea currently operates 48 PAC-2 Patriot missiles imported from Germany, and seeks to adopt the advanced interceptors as part of plans to build the indigenous Korea Missile Defense System. The missiles have an interception rate of less than 40 percent.

The project aims to buy "hit-to-kill" PAC-3 missiles with improved accuracy, and upgrade the PAC-2 fire control system to make it able to fire off both PAC-2 and PAC-3 missiles.

Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin approved the plan to open a bidding in June and finalize a contract by December.

After the South Korean parliament approved the acquisition plan in late 2013, U.S. aerospace giant Lockheed Martin has been in consultations to provide PAC-3 missiles, while another American defense contractor Raytheon is expected to be a main contractor for the PAC-2 upgrade program.

"Once the Patriot missile system is upgraded, it will be able to directly hit incoming missiles to reduce damage on the ground," Baek Yoon-hyung, spokesman for the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, said in a briefing.

The PAC-3 Missile is a high velocity interceptor that defeats incoming targets by direct, body-to-body impact. PAC-3 Missiles, when deployed in a Patriot battery, will significantly increase the Patriot system's firepower, since 16 PAC-3s load-out on a Patriot launcher, compared with four of the legacy Patriot PAC-2 missiles.

 

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