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S. Korea succeeds in 1st drills of Taurus long-range missile

S. Korea succeeds in 1st drills of Taurus long-range missile

Posted September. 14, 2017 08:15,   

Updated September. 14, 2017 08:54


The South Korean Air Force said Wednesday that it has successfully conducted its first live-fire exercise for the long-range air-to-surface Taurus missile, which is capable of perform precision bombing of the North Korean leadership and key nuclear and missile facilities in North Korea.

In the exercise, which took place in the air over Taean, South Chungcheong Province, on Tuesday, the Air Force's F-15K fighter jet fired a Taurus missile, which flew about 400 kilometers and precisely hit a target set up at a firing range on an island off Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, the Air Force said. The Taurus, which was fired at an altitude of 1.5 kilometers, struck the target with a margin of error of less than 1 meter after cruising at a high speed and at a low altitude while avoiding an imaginary enemy air defense network with a self-guided navigation system, according to the Air Force. Although the missile has a range of over 500 kilometers, the Air Force said it reduced the range to 400 kilometers in consideration of the safety of the firing range and the surrounding areas.

“(The test firing) has proved the Taurus’s capabilities for striking key North Korean facilities by penetrating the North’s right air defense networks,” an Air Force official said. “If it is fired near Seoul, the missile can eliminate any target in North Korea within a 15-minute reach of the weapon.

Equipped with stealth technology, the Taurus has low chances of getting detected by North Korean radars. It also features a dual-stage warhead that has double the penetration power than other missiles and is capable of penetrating up to 3 meters of reinforced concrete and up to 8 meters of common ground structures. Mounted with a triple guidance device, the missile is capable of avoiding the North Korean military’s GPS jamming attack. The Air Force plans to purchase some 170 Taurus missiles from Germany by the end of this year and acquire an additional 90 missiles next year.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com