South Korea Will Counter Ballistic Missile Threats by Ship-Based Interceptors

SEOUL, South Korea ( — South Korea will counter ballistic missile threats from North Korea by ship-based SM-3 (Standard Missile – 3) interceptors as revealed by a top commander of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) on 12th Ocotber 2018, learned

In response to a lawmaker’s question about the SM-3 missile procurement, the head of Joint Chiefs of Staff’s force buildup planning bureau Maj. Gen. Kim Sun-ho said, “The decision was made actually during a top JCS meeting in September last year.”

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During a parliamentary audit of the JCS Kim Sun-ho shared, “The type of the ship-based anti-ballistic missile to be procured is an SM-3 class. The interceptor will be responsible for shooting down an incoming ballistic missile in the upper tier of the KAMD system.”

KAMD stands for the Korea Air and Missile Defence network developed for the purposes of taking down low-flying missiles in the terminal phase. It is an indigenous land-based BMD (Ballistic Missile Defence) capability, which comprises PAC-3 medium- and long-range missiles to be deployed in 2020 and 2022. The greatest challenge, for which KAMD has been developed, given the geography of the Korean peninsula, is the interception of North Korean missiles during their terminal flight phase, at high speed and in a brief time window.

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The hit-to-kill SM-3 missile is used to destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles. It is reported to be capable of shooting down targets at altitudes of 150 to 500 km, and its newest SM-3 IIA variant – at an altitude of up to 1,000 km. The SM-3 interceptor’s “kill vehicle” hits threats with the force of a 10-ton truck traveling 600 mph, according to manufacturer Raytheon.

The military of South Korea consider that the SM-3 interceptors will be effective against electromagnetic pulse high altitude attacks.

The timetable for the acquisition of the SM-3 has not been determined yet.

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Source: Defense News, The Diplomat