S. Korea to develop indigenous Iron Dome-like system against N. Korean long-range artillery

The Korean version of Israel's Iron Dome air defense system is expected to be deployed in the late 2020s or early 2030s

Photo: Republic of Korea Army

South Korean newspaper The Korea Herald reports on its website that the country will begin developing its own interceptor system like Israel's Iron Dome in the next five years to defend core infrastructure in the capital area against the threat of North Korea's long-range artillery.

In a statement this week, the Defense Ministry unveiled its defense blueprint for 2021-2025, The program calls for spending $253 billion, representing an average yearly increase of 6.1 percent over the next five years. Of the total, a third was allocated for improving defense capabilities, while the remaining two-thirds was set for force management.

"When we talk about South Korea's missile defense system, it usually refers to one targeting North Korea's Scud-type or stronger missiles, whereas this new interceptor system will focus on protecting the capital area against the North's long-range artillery such as its 240-mm or 300-mm multiple rocket launchers," a ministry official said.

The Korean version of Israel's Iron Dome air defense system is expected to be deployed in the late 2020s or early 2030s, officials said.

According to Armyrecognition.com, North Korea’s conventional force continues to emphasize large defensive and asymmetric attack capabilities to counter the technologically superior forces of the U.S. and ROK Alliance. The (North) Korean People’s Army’s large artillery force is deployed along the demilitarized zone, posing a constant threat to the greater Seoul metropolitan area.

According to information released by the United States, North Korea has 8,600 artillery guns and over 4,800 multiple rocket launchers. The Forbes website said North Korean armed forces have 12,000 pieces of artillery including towed and self-propelled howitzers as wells as 2,300 MLRSs (Multiple Launch Rocket Systems).

North Korean rockets are capable of reaching Seoul, posing a serious threat to South Korea. North Korea has also developed a new unnamed large-caliber Multiple Launch Guided Rocket System which has a maximum firing range of 250 km.