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South Korea to produce 120mm self-propelled mortar system.

| 2020

South Korea has decided to mass-produce a newly developed 120mm self-propelled mortar system later in 2020, the arms procurement agency announced on Sept. 9, Yonhgap reports.
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K242A1 mortar carrier (Picture source : Hawnha Defense)

The South Korean government held a defense project promotion committee meeting and decided to sign a $648 million contract in the fourth quarter to produce the mortar system for deployment in 2021. The new weapon system, which was developed with indigenous technologies last year, will replace aging 107-mm mortars fitted on K200A1 armored tracked vehicles, and has a maximum speed of 70 km/h and a range of 12 kilometers. The range and firepower are approximately double what the 107-mm mortar is capable of, and it also has an autonomic fire control and reloading system.

The self-propelled mortar carriers currenly operated by the South Korean army are the Doosan K281A1 (81mm), the Doosan K242A1 (107mm), and the Swedish licence-built Dagvagn K532 (107mm).

North Korea maintains nearly 6,000 artillery systems within range of major South Korean population centers, which it could use to kill many thousands in just an hour, even without resorting to chemical or nuclear weapons, the RAND Corporation estimates. Researchers assessed the magnitude of this threat across five attack scenarios, using estimates of the number of North Korean artillery systems, the population densities of potential target areas, and assumptions about the locations of people at the time of the attacks (outdoors, indoors, and below ground). The strike scenarios assessed were five minutes against a major industrial target, one minute along the DMZ, one minute against downtown Seoul, one hour along the DMZ, and one hour against downtown Seoul. Estimated total casualties from the attacks ranged from about 4,500 to more than 200,000.

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