South Korea in contract to purchase 90 Taurus missiles

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  March 13, 2018 at 9:19 AM
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March 13 (UPI) -- The South Korea military plans to purchase more German air-to-surface missiles, according to Seoul's military on Tuesday.

A total of 90 Taurus missiles, capable of targeting and destroying North Korea's nuclear and missile facilities, are to be acquired from 2019 to 2020, South Korean newspaper Herald Business reported.

The contract was signed in February, according to the report.

This is the second round of Taurus missile acquisitions for the defense ministry and the investment is estimated to be about $760 million, according to local news service News 1.

"The introduction of more than 90 Taurus missiles was agreed upon in a contract signed in late February," a ministry spokesman said, adding the first round of 170 missiles completely deployed this month.

South Korea's military had signed a contract to acquire the 170 missiles in 2013, and the decision to acquire the 90 air-to-surface missiles was made in late 2016.

The missiles can strike within a range of 310 miles and are capable of targeting North Korean sites like Yongbyon, the Punggye-ri nuclear site, and the Sohae launch facility.

The disclosure from the South Korean military comes as Seoul plans a summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The missile measures 5.1 meters in length, 1.1 meter in width and can reach a maximum speed of 722 mph.

The weapons come with stealth technology that can evade enemy radar, and its GPS enables it to precisely hit targets within a 1-meter radius, according to reports.

The missiles, also known as "bunker busters," can penetrate walls with a thickness of up to 6 meters.

During South Korean drills in September 2017, the rockets were mounted on F-15K fighter jets, and flew 250 miles before successfully hitting a target.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute issued a report on Monday, indicating the South has been steadily acquiring air-launched cruise missiles to destroy North Korea weapons.

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