The nation’s arms procurement agency said Wednesday that it will finalize a deal of importing the Taurus air-to-ground standoff cruise missiles for its F-15K fleet next month.
According to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), it reported to the military decision-making committee, chaired by Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, that it will conclude the contract including a classified number of the missiles in December.
Taurus Systems, a German-Swedish joint venture, welcomed Korea’s decision.
“We are pleased to have won South Korea as customer for Taurus KEPD 350 and are proud to have earned the government’s trust with this state-of-the art and technologically convincing product,” said Christoffer Drevstad, vice president of Taurus Systems.
“Since we are now capable of performing long-range strikes against deeply buried and reinforced targets, launched far away from enemy threat, the survivability of the fighter and its crew will be greatly improved while the missile will be an effective deterrence against war,” said a military official.
The GPS-guided cruise missiles can hit strategic targets such as nuclear and missile bases with precision.
If launched above the central city of Daejeon, where the headquarters of three military branches are located, they can hit an underground bunker in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.
The modular stand-off missile is capable of performing deep penetration missions with pinpoint accuracy, making it ideal for taking out hard targets such as underground installations and bridges.
In addition, the Taurus has three independent navigation systems ― terrain reference, imagery, and GPS ― that makes it very resistant to any form of jamming.
The acquisition of the strategic strike weapon is one of the few times that Korea has purchased from a non-U.S. supplier. Currently, the only long-range missiles in the Air Force's inventory are 40 SLAM-ER missiles with a range of 278 kilometers.