South Korea To Develop High Altitude Interceptor Missile For KM-SAM

South Korea has greenlit a plan to develop advanced missile systems designed to intercept higher-altitude targets, enhancing its air defense capabilities against North Korean threats.

The Defense Project Promotion Committee approved the 2.8 trillion won ($2 billion) development plan for the midrange surface-to-air missile (M-SAM) Block-III system, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

The upgraded M-SAM system, known as Cheolmae II, aims to double its maximum interception altitude to 50 kilometers or more. A DAPA official stated that the Block-III version will defend against simultaneous missile attacks with a defense range four times greater than the current system.

The M-SAM system, already an improved multi-function surface-to-air missile interceptor for the Republic of Korea Army, will replace upgraded MIM-23 Hawk batteries and is available for export. The development of the Block-III version represents a significant enhancement in South Korea’s missile defense capabilities, ensuring better protection against evolving threats.

The approval of the M-SAM Block-III development plan signifies a critical step forward in South Korea’s efforts to enhance national security and maintain stability in the face of potential missile attacks from neighboring adversaries.

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