S. Korea to purchase SM-6 interceptors amid N.K. missile threats

SEOUL-- South Korea on Tuesday approved a project worth 760 billion won (US$606 million) to purchase shipborne missile interceptors, the state arms procurement agency said, amid North Korea's evolving missile threats.

The Defense Project Promotion Committee endorsed the plan to procure the Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) interceptors through a government-to-government foreign military sale program by 2031, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

The approval followed a series of North Korean missile tests earlier this year, including its launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on March 24.

Under the project, SM-6 interceptors are to be installed on the Navy's Aegis-equipped KDX-III destroyers to be deployed in the coming years. Manufactured by the U.S. defense firm Raytheon Technologies Corp., the SM-6 is known to have a range of up to 460 kilometers.

The committee also approved a revision to a project to acquire a new homegrown tactical surface-to-surface missile in a move to enhance its survivability

South Korea started the mass production of the first type of the ground-based Korean Tactical Surface to Surface Missile (KTSSM) in 2020. Under the revision, it plans to complete the development of the KTSSM-II to be run on a transporter elector and launcher by 2034 with a budget of 1.5 trillion won.

The country also approved a 960 billion-won plan to upgrade the UH and HH-60 choppers to improve their operational capacities by 2030.

Source: Yonhap News Agency