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Delayed U.S. license halts S. Korea's Taurus missile adoption: sources

2016/01/26 17:25

SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- The U.S.' stalled decision over the export of a key GPS system is causing a major delay in South Korea's plan to introduce Taurus missiles by the end of this year, sources said Tuesday.

The U.S. government is currently delaying its decision on whether to approve the export of a military GPS receiver for the local project to arm its fighter jets with the made-in-Germany air-to-surface missiles, military and defense procurement officials said.

Any decision on the matter is expected to come after August, according to the officials.

The GPS component is an integral part of the missile integration project for its trace and key-target hitting functions.

The missing piece of the puzzle has halted the project in the middle of missile installation, resulting in skepticism on the success of the push to deploy them within this year.

Including those intended for this year, the military is reportedly planning to acquire a total of some 170 Taurus missiles by the first half of next year as the country is beefing up defense against North Korea's growing nuclear and missile threats.

With a range of 500 kilometers, the air-launched cruise missile can automatically detect, trace and hit targets and penetrate a concrete wall as thick as six meters.