South Korea plans to enter low-rate initial production of a new tactical ballistic missile designed to destroy underground artillery bases in North Korea, according to multiple reports.
South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced on 25 November that it has decided that the initial production of the locally developed Korean Tactical Surface to Surface Missile (KTSSM) system will begin in 2020.
“This project is to destroy long-range artillery pieces hidden in underground tunnels in order to neutralize enemies’ attack at the shortest time possible,” the arms procurement agency said in a statement.
DAPA approved plans to acquire at least 200 tactical ballistic missiles, with a flight range of around 120 kilometers, capable of striking multiple targets precisely at the same time.
The KTSSM are GPS-guided to hit targets within two meters and have a shaped thermal warhead that can penetrate bunkers and hardened, dug-in targets several meters underground or 1.5 m (4.9 ft) of concrete. While it resembles the American MGM-140 ATACMS missile, the KTSSM is cheaper and more accurate with a shorter range, though still adequate to perform the counterbattery role.
National security correspondent, Ryan Chan also reported that the new missile system is expected to be put into combat operations around 2022.
KTSSM, with a flight range of around 120 kilometers, is capable of striking multiple targets precisely at the same time, South Korea officials said, adding that it is expected to be put into combat operations around 2022.
— Ryan Chan 陳家翹 (@ryankakiuchan) November 25, 2020