South Korea has concluded developmental trials of its long-range surface-to-air missile (L-SAM) system.
Trial conclusion follows the indigenous platform’s third successful trial out of four earlier this week, South Korean media reported, citing the Agency for Defense Development.
The final trial included testing the system’s “ground equipment, including multi-function radar and engagement control station, and its interception capabilities,” The Korea Herald explained.
The system’s interceptor is a three-stage projectile: ignition, separation, and kill vehicle collision with the target.
Part of Multilayered Missile Defense
The L-SAM has been designed to intercept aircraft and ballistic missiles in the terminal stage at 50-60 km (31-37 miles), more than twice that of the medium-range Cheolmae II or KM-SAM systems.
Seoul’s planned multilayered air and missile defense architecture includes the L-SAM, the Cheolmae, and the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile defense system.
“The L-SAM has great significance as it is the linchpin, broadly speaking, of the three-axis defense system, and more specifically of the Korean Air and Missile Defense system,” The Korea Herald quoted South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup as saying.
Production to Begin in 2025
Following developmental trials, the platform will go through operational testing and evaluation to determine its combat suitability.
South Korea plans to commence L-SAM’s mass production in 2025 following the completion of its development in 2024. The system is expected to be deployed in the late 2020s.