Sunday, February 10, 2008

[The Chosun Ilbo, January 21 2008] Aegis Ships 'to Be Equipped With New Intercept Missiles'

The Defense Ministry apparently plans to equip the Navy's 7,600-ton-class Aegis vessels, including a King Sejong-class destroyer, with the newest-type American-made SM-6 missiles to intercept North Korean ballistic missiles. The development of the SM-6 has not been finished; once it is, some 100 of them will be deployed on Sejong and other South Korean naval vessels by around 2012. Since six or seven years ago, the Defense Ministry had intended to purchase SM-2 Block IVA missiles, which the U.S. was developing for Aegis vessels, to match the South Korean Aegis ships' state-of-the-art radar capacity to trace and intercept North Korea's ballistic missiles. But with the missile development plan cancelled, the ministry's purchase plan came to a standstill.

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