June 02, 2023 10:52
South Korea has succeeded in the first outdoor test of the homegrown L-SAM missile interceptor system, which shot down a supersonic missile, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.
L-SAM batteries will have an intercept altitude of 50 to 60 km and strengthen the combined missile defenses of South Korea and the U.S. against any North Korean attack.
The Agency for Defense Development previously conducted three indoor tests of the L-SAM system since last November.
Development will be completed next year and production will begin in 2025 so the batteries can be deployed warfare-ready later this decade.
The test was conducted with a ballistic missile in Taean, South Chungcheong Province on Tuesday, coincidentally a day before North Korea failed in an attempt to launch a surveillance satellite. The test was watched by Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup and top military officers.
The target missile was fired from a mobile launcher on an uninhabited island in the West Sea and flew at a supersonic speed on a similar trajectory and altitude as a North Korean missile.
Within a few minutes, an interceptor missile was fired from an L-SAM launcher on a barge floating in the West Sea that flew directly toward the incoming missile and blew it up in mid-air.
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