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South tests own ship-to-ship missile

Aug 27,2003
South Korea successfully tested a ship-to-ship cruise missile last week, the Ministry of Defense said yesterday. The missile, built in Korea, has a range of 150 kilometers (93 miles).
The missile system is a modified version of the Harpoon, a system developed by McDonnell Douglas of the United States in the 1970s, the ministry said. Harpoon has a range of 130 kilometers. The Agency for Defense Development, the defense ministry’s research arm, conducted the test Thursday in the waters east of the peninsula, the ministry said. During the test, the missile accurately hit the target ship 70 kilometers away, it added.
The agency has been testing the new missile for some time. It had successfully test-fired three missiles equipped with mock warheads.
“The successful test-launch of the indigenous ship-to-ship missile is particularly meaningful,” a military source said. “That means we will be able to have technology to produce our own cruise missile system compatible with the U.S.-made Tomahawk.”
South Korea is seeking to deploy the new cruise missiles in its next generation of destroyers if the system passes a feasibility study and cost comparison.
A missile system in 1980, code-named Haeryong, was never put into mass production because of technical problems. South Korea has been importing missiles, mainly from the United States, since then. The defense development agency resumed the project in 1998 because of the high price of U.S.-built ship-to-ship missiles.


by Lee Young-jong


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