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THAAD radar in S. Korea has range of up to 1,000 km: USFK

2017/10/07 10:30

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SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Yonhap) -- The radar of an advanced U.S. missile defense system deployed in South Korea can detect missile threats at a range of up to 1,000 kilometers, U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) said Saturday.

South Korea announced last month the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in the southeastern county of Seongju has been completed in a "tentative" step to counter threats from North Korea.

X-band ground-based radar that comes with THAAD can detect, classify and identify threats of incoming missiles "at ranges up to 1,000 km," the USFK said in its yearly magazine titled "Strategic Digest," published jointly by the United Nations Command and the Combined Forces Command.

China has been voicing strong opposition to the THAAD installment, saying that its radar could spy on its military facilities and hurt its security interests.

The maximum radar range unveiled by the USFK could theoretically cover North Korea and some parts of China from the site for the THAAD battery.

But military experts said that the radar cannot detect ground facilities in China, given the curvature of the Earth. The THAAD's radar is known to have an optimal range of 600 to 800 km.

"THAAD intercepts short and medium range ballistic missiles inside and outside the atmosphere," the 2017 Strategic Digest said. "It is interoperable with other ballistic missile defense systems, highly mobile, and deployable worldwide."

   As an integral part of the U.S.-led missile-defense system, THAAD is designed to shoot down a ballistic missile at altitudes of 40 to 150 km in its terminal phase of flight using a hit-to-kill method.