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New guided rocket to target N. Korean vessels to be deployed in '16

2015/04/26 12:00

ANHEUNG, South Korea, April 26 (Yonhap) -- A new South Korean guided rocket designed to target North Korean vessels could be deployed as early as next year, military officials said Sunday.

The Agency for Defense Development (ADD) said it recently conducted a successful test-fire of a 2.75-inch guided rocket. Following further tests in the next four months, the rocket could be deployed on the islands of Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong in the Yellow Sea, located northwest of Seoul and just south of the border.

The ADD began development of the rocket in 2012 on a 70 billion won (US$65 million) budget. The weapon is 1.9 meters long and weighs 15 kilograms.

The rocket's range is estimated at 5 to 8 kilometers, and it's designed to attack North Korea's landing craft air cushion (LCAC) vehicles.

In 2012, North Korea built a base that could hold some 70 LCAC vehicles at Goampo, South Hwanghae Province, about 60 kilometers from the western sea border, the Northern Limit Line (NLL). The country has recently bolstered landing and penetration drills using these vehicles.

The new guided rocket is equipped with target acquisition and designation sights (TADS), which can detect multiple targets simultaneously, and an uncooled infrared detector.

"If we can deploy launch vehicles at several areas with these 2.75-inch rockets, it will eliminate blind spots," one ADD official said. "We see this as a key weapon that strikes targets traveling on water at high speeds."

   jeeho@yna.co.kr

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