Tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang have risen in the recent years amid North Korea’s nuclear tests and the launching of ballistic missiles, conducted in violation of the UN Security Council’s resolutions.
During his recent meeting with South Korean top military officials, President Moon called for the enhancement of defense readiness, according to Yonhap news agency.
Seoul will increase military spending to 2.9 % of GDP.
The country’s leader also stressed the importance of the economy and defense for national well being.
But one important decision was already taken by South Korea last year; it was to acquire a potent precision strike weapon.
In this video, Defense Updates looks at TAURUS KEPD 350 that can be used by South Korea to neutralize North Korean missile and nuke sites in less than 15 mins.
Let us go into the details.
Taurus KEPD 350 is a German/Swedish air-launched cruise missile, manufactured by Taurus Systems and used by Germany, Spain and South Korea.
Taurus Systems is a partnership between MBDA Deutschland and Saab Bofors Dynamics.
NAVIGATION & TARGET DETECTION:
Mission planners program the missile with the target and planned ground path. Then the missile uses a low terrain-hugging flight path guided by inertial navigation system (INS), Image Based Navigation (IBN), Terrain Referenced Navigation (TRN), and GPS to get to the proximity of the target, although it is capable of navigating over long distances without GPS support.
Once close to the target the missile commences a climb maneuver to an altitude intended to achieve the best probability of target acquisition and penetration.
At this point, the missile attempts to match camera image with the planned 3D target model.
This robust navigation & target detection capability of KEPD 350 will enable the missile to hit remote targets in North Korea.
RANGE/ SPEED /POWER:
The missile has an official range in excess of 500 km (300 mi). It is powered by a turbofan engine, which enables it to travel at Mach 0.8–0.9 or about 1000 km/hr.
Tornado, Eurofighter Typhoon, Gripen, F/A-18, and South Korean F-15K aircraft can carry it.
Pyongyang is about 200km from the border; hence even if the missile is fired from within South Korean airspace, it will take less than 15 min to reach its target.
The double 500-kilogram (1,100 lb) warhead, called Mephisto (Multi-Effect Penetrator Highly Sophisticated and Target Optimized).
It features an initial penetrating charge to clear soil or enter a bunker, then a variable delay fuse to control detonation of the main warhead. The missile weighs about 1,400 kg (3,100 lb) and has a maximum body diameter of 1 metre (3.3 ft).
1. The missile is made of modular sections, which can be configured based on the individual missions. Its electronic systems are also modular.
2. The Taurus missile is suitable for day and night and all weather deployment.
3. It has stealth characteristics and terrain masking features for survivability. The missile also includes counter measures as a self-defense mechanism
4. Highly accurate, making it capable of undertaking precision strike missions
REJECTION OF AGM-158 JASSM:
South Korea initially wanted to acquire Lockheed Martin’s AGM-158 JASSM but Washington rejected this request.
The speculated reasons for the US rejection of the JASSM deal with South Korea vary. Primarily, the United States was reluctant to deal with South Korea because of export restrictions on highly capable delivery systems, as outlined by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
AQUIRING Taurus KEPD & CONCLUSION
South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) signed the deal in November 2013 for 170 KEPD 350 missiles. Taurus Systems opened an office in Seoul to handle various acquisition tasks and support technology-transfer and joint development of the next cruise missile.
The office was the company’s first outside of Germany, and the KEPD 350 is the first European missile to be integrated onto a Korean fighter aircraft.
In October 2016, South Korea announced it would acquire a further 90 Taurus missiles, in addition to the 170 previously ordered, in response to North Korean nuclear and missile provocations.
On 12 December 2016, the first 40 Taurus KEPD 350K missiles were delivered to the Republic of Korea Air Force, which began deployment for combat use on 22 December 2016.
Most of the North’s weapons of mass destruction production units and storage facilities are located in the mountainous areas near the Russian and Chinese borders. Due to distance, such a location provides protection from US and South Korean artillery and short- to mid-range missiles.
With Taurus KEPD 350K , South Korea also has way to take out these positions. It has about 59 F-15K, which can effectively launch this missile