South Korea will reportedly use a large-scale military parade on Tuesday to publicly unveil its new L-SAM surface-to-air missile system.
The launcher of the new L-SAM anti-ballistic missile system was spotted during military parade rehearsals at the Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province.
The L-SAM, or Long-range Surface-to-Air Missile, is developed as an interceptor missile system to counter incoming ballistic missiles at altitudes of 50-60 kilometers to protect South Korean citizens and the country’s core facilities and infrastructure.
The development of the L-SAM interceptor holds particular significance due to the persistent threats posed by Pyongyang. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has expressed intentions to attack targets in South Korea with missiles equipped with tactical nuclear weapons.
According to local media, the L-SAM interceptor is capable of intercepting incoming projectiles at high altitudes of the terminal phase, complementing the current lower-tier defense system. The South Korean military currently operates the US-made Patriot air defense system and South Korea’s Cheongung II mid-range surface-to-air missile weapon system that can engage incoming enemy missiles at altitudes up to 40 kilometers.
The deployment of the L-SAM, which can bring down incoming airborne targets at altitudes of 60 kilometers, can ameliorate and make up for the weakness of the current missile defense architecture.