Armed Forces International News - April 2008
South Korea to Purchase Cruise Missiles: Reports
Posted by Paul Fiddian on 27/04/2008 - 16:19:24
It was reported on the 26th April that South Korea intends to make a large-scale cruise missile purchase - missiles capable of reaching targets in North Korea.
The Korea Times, as well as other newspapers, wrote that the 21 Boeing F-15 combat jets that South Korea is soon to acquire from the US would be fitted with these missiles.
A Defence Acquisition Programme Administration spokesman described how the decision had been made to purchase "top-of-line air-to-ground guided missiles from abroad", rather than locally-manufactured ones.
"No decision has yet been made as to the type and supplier for the missiles," he added, in comments made to news agency AFP.
Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles
However, according to reports, the missile order would be for around 400 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles - made by Lockheed Martin. Alternatively, South Korea would go for comparable weapons with a 400 kilometre range.
The reports coincided with the current drop in dialogue between North and South Korea - the former having referred to Lee Myung-Bak, the new South Korean president, as a "traitor".
North Korean Nuclear Sites
Last month, General Kim Tae-Young - Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Republic of Korea Armed Forces - spoke of the importance of identifying and destroying the North's nuclear sites before the South came under attack.
North Korea considered his remarks - made in reply to a hypothetical query - evidence of planned, pre-emptive military action.
On the 25th April, South Korea announced an order for 21 additional F-15s, supplementing the 30 already in service.
In Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) service, the F-15 is known as the F-15K Slam Eagle, an upgraded version of the F-15E Strike Eagle used by the USAF.
Source - Armed Forces International's Aviation Expert
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