South Korea is planning to mass produce local air defense radars which can detect North Korean small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced on Friday in a written statement.
The state arms procurement agency said that Seoul had “succeeded in developing the local air defense radar with domestic technology” and would deploy the radars to Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) corps and field forces of the ROK Marine Corps stationed on the Northwestern Islands near the inter-Korean border.
The newly-developed detection radar will reportedly include three-dimensional active phased-array technology and an advanced detection range.
“Especially, it was developed to detect North Korea’s small unmanned aerial vehicle which becomes a threat in recent times,” according to the DAPA, adding the new radar can track the azimuth, distance, and altitude of the UAVs.
The Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced in June that Pyongyang had sent a drone to collect military intelligence at the site of the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery and on the frontline area between the two Koreas.
A UAV that crashed in Paju on March 31 2014 was found to have photographed a military installation and the official presidential residence, and, a week before that, another drone was discovered on Baengnyeong island.
“By succeeding in the project on local air defense radar, the air defense capabilities of our military can be further strengthened,” Army Colonel Jang Gwang-ho said in the statement.
“[The military] can effectively cope with North Korean drones, which are becoming a threat, in an effective manner.”
The South Korean defense ministry also reported in June that radars capable of detecting small drones and equipment for striking them are already deployed and in operation in strategic locations.
The ROK military now plans to deploy the radars and weapons in wider front-line areas.
DAPA also said the new local air defense radar can be “deployed and withdrawn quickly” and can “immediately” notify the South Korean military of the position of a target “in real time” via Command Control and Alert, allowing military forces to “destroy” the target.
“Effective operations can be implemented from target detection, sharing of the situation, to destruction of targets, as both the local air defense radar – the detection system – and Command Control and Alert – the dissemination system – have been developed.”
The South Korean military also announced on June 29 that it will replace the current hand-operated and radio-based verbal communications systems with a digital automation system.
While it takes several minutes to share information, the automated system enables the ROK military to “dramatically improve reaction capability,” DAPA said, “transmitting the digitized information in real time and visualizing information on battleground and reduced operational response time to a few seconds.”
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured Image: Uriminzokkiri
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