South Korea unveils radar prototype of L-SAM interception system

SEOUL, April 10 (Yonhap) — Hanwha Systems, a South Korean defense company, has unveiled a prototype radar for the long-range surface-to-air missile (L-SAM) interceptor system under development , a sign of progress in the country’s missile defense technology.

The company revealed to reporters on Wednesday the prototype multi-function radar (MFR) at its research center in Yongin, just south of Seoul, amid increased efforts by Seoul to counter evolving missile threats from North Korea. .

The radar is a core component of the L-SAM system that the country seeks to deploy by 2026 as part of its low-level layered missile defense program. The L-SAM is designed to shoot down incoming missiles at altitudes of approximately 50-60 kilometers.

Led by the National Defense Development Agency, the L-SAM project involves a series of local defense companies, including LIG Nex1 in charge of missile development.

Yongin center officials expressed confidence in the ongoing interception project.

“From a technology developer’s perspective, the national foundations for the development of a THAAD-level equivalent interception system have been sufficiently established,” a researcher told reporters on condition of anonymity.

His remarks came in response to a reporter’s request to compare the capabilities of L-SAM and the US-made THAAD missile defense system.

The MFR radar, called the “eyes” of the system, is capable of rotating 150 degrees and responding to “hundreds” of aircraft and “tens” of ballistic missiles at the same time, a Hanwha official told reporters. journalists.

It can perform various missions, such as detecting, tracking, or identifying friends or enemies.

Once development is complete, the L-SAM interceptor would be a key part of South Korea’s anti-missile program, including the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile and a medium-range surface-to-air missile, dubbed Cheongung II.

Korean American Forces also operate a THAAD anti-missile battery in South Korea.

In February, the state-run Defense Development Agency also supervised the test firing of an L-SAM at a test site in Taean, 150 kilometers southwest of Seoul, amid evolving North Korean missile threats.

About Shirley L. Kreger

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