South Korea completes development of new L-SAM air defense system

South Korea has announced the completion of its locally developed Long-range Surface-to-Air Missile (L-SAM) system, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

The L-SAM, designed to intercept targets at altitudes of 50-60 kilometers, has been assessed as combat-ready after meeting the military’s technical requirements.

With development finalized, mass production of the L-SAM is slated to begin next year, with operational deployment expected by 2028. The L-SAM will be a crucial component of South Korea’s multilayered missile defense strategy, known as the Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) system.

Currently, the South Korean military operates the indigenous Medium-range Surface-to-Air Missile (M-SAM) system and the U.S. Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) system, both of which target lower altitude threats. For higher altitude interceptions, South Korea has relied on the U.S. Forces Korea’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, capable of defending against threats at altitudes of 40-150 kilometers.

The system is expected to enhance the country’s ability to counteract diverse missile threats effectively. Furthermore, a Block-II version of the L-SAM, designed to intercept even higher altitude targets, is currently under development.

The L-SAM’s introduction into the military arsenal will strengthen South Korea’s defense posture, providing a more robust and comprehensive shield against potential missile attacks.

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