South Korea acquires US-made SM-6 shipborne missile interceptors

SEOUL, ($1=1,262.16 South Korean Wons) — Seoul will spend approximately $ 600 million to buy shipborne missile interceptors, writes the South Korean newspaper Yonhap. According to Kang Yoon-seung, this is a Standard Missile-6 [SM-6] [US anti-aircraft missile], which is manufactured by Raytheon.

South Korea acquires US-made SM-6 shipborne missile interceptors
Photo credit: Raytheon

South Korea’s arms supply committees have already approved a plan to purchase the SM-6. One of the reasons for the purchase of these missiles is the growing threat of missile attacks from North Korea, the Korean State Arms Supply Agency said in its arguments. Yonhap recalls a series of missile tests of Pyongyang, as well as the recently launched intercontinental ballistic missile.

Standard Missile-6 will arm major Seoul destroyers, such as the AEGIS KDX-III destroyers.

Yonhap writes that South Korea is advancing in the production of a domestic land-to-ground tactical missile. This is the KTSSM [Korea Tactical Surface-to-Surface Missile] missile and is a type of ballistic missile. In the next two years, Seoul will have to complete the development of the next version of this missile: KTSSM-II.

About Standard Missile-6

Standard Missile-6 is an American shipborne missile interceptor developed and manufactured by Raytheon Technologies Corp. Entered service in the US Navy in 2013, its main goal is to conduct anti-ship warfare, by countering fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and anti-ship cruise missiles in flight, both over sea and land, and terminal ballistic missile defense. Apart from the United States and South Korea, Australia and Japan are the other two countries that are armed with this missile.

So far, approximately 500 units have been produced. The maximum mass of the rocket is 1,500 kg and it is 21.5 ft [6.6 m] long. The rocket is powered by a motor in two stages: solid rocket booster, and solid rocket booster/sustainer. The maximum range is 200 nmi [230 mi; 370 km], flying at a speed of 3.5 Mach at a maximum altitude of 34,000 meters.

The missile is guided and has integrated inertial guidance, active radar homing, and semi active radar homing. The average price of Standard Missile-6 according to a financial statement from 2021 is 4.3 million USD per unit.

South Korea acquires US-made SM-6 shipborne missile interceptors
Photo credit: Missile Defense Agency


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