Photo : The Agency for Defense Development
South Korea has successfully tested a homegrown missile interceptor capable of taking out a high-altitude ballistic missile amid persistent security threats from North Korea.
The state-run Agency for Defense Development(ADD) said on Thursday that the successful test with the Long-range Surface-to-Air Missile(L-SAM) took place at its Anheung testing site in Taean, South Chungcheong Province on Tuesday.
The agency revealed the entire testing process, including missile tracking and interception at a target altitude, in the third successful test of four since last November.
A key element of the Korea Air and Missile Defense(KAMD), the three-stage L-SAM, featuring the final "Kill Vehicle" stage equipped with an infrared seeker, is capable of shooting down an incoming ballistic missile at altitudes of 50 to 60 kilometers.
The KAMD also consists of the U.S. Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile and South Korea’s Cheongung-2 medium-range surface-to-air missile for interception at altitudes of 40 kilometers or lower.
The military plans to complete L-SAM development by next year, before starting mass production in 2025 and deploying the interception system in the late 2020s.