S.Korea to Upgrade Patriot Missile Defense

      March 13, 2014 09:43

      South Korea will procure new Patriot missiles capable of intercepting North Korea's ballistic missiles starting in 2016. The Defense Project Promotion Committee chaired by Minister Kim Kwan-jin reached the decision on Wednesday.

      The military now has a PAC-2 Patriot air defense system which can destroy an incoming ballistic missile or aircraft with shrapnel by exploding near it.

      But it has a low interception rate and debris from the exploded missile can cause damage on the ground.

      In contrast, the newer PAC-3 has a higher interception rate and directly hits the target.

      The PAC-3 will be able to intercept a North Korean ballistic missile at an altitude of 40 km. It is being produced by U.S. arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin, which also makes the F-35A, a candidate for South Korea's next-generation fighter system.

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