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(LEAD) S. Korea develops counter-battery radar against N. Korea

2017/04/24 11:31

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with details from 4th para; MODIFIES headline; ADDS photo, byline)

By Lee Chi-dong

SEOUL, April 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea announced Monday it has developed an advanced artillery-locating radar to help counter North Korea's rocket threats more effectively.

The mobile radar system, called "counter-artillery detection radar-II," will be operational starting in 2018, according to the country's arms procurement agency.

"In recent tests it met all of the required operational capabilities of the military. It has been assessed to be fit for combat use," the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a statement.

Developed in a six-year project, worth around 54 billion won (US$47.7 million), the new system would add to the Army's existing ARTHUR-K radar imported from Sweden.

A prototype of South Korea's new counter-battery radar is shown in a photo provided by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration. (Yonhap) A prototype of South Korea's new counter-battery radar is shown in a photo provided by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration. (Yonhap)

The truck-loaded radar will be positioned immediately in case of indications of howitzer, mortar or rocket attacks from the North to detect the artillery projectiles and identify from where the shells were fired. The information will be sent to the South's artillery units for counterattacks.

South Korea's new radar can find the location of the enemy's artillery forces more than 60 kilometers further away than around 40km by the ARTHUR-K, said the DAPA.

It can also operate for around eight hours in a row, some two more hours than the Swedish radar, it added.

A prototype of South Korea's new counter-battery radar is shown in a photo provided by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration. (Yonhap) A prototype of South Korea's new counter-battery radar is shown in a photo provided by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration. (Yonhap)

"With the successful development of the counter-battery radar, our military has laid the groundwork for destroying the origin of the enemy's provocations, if carried out, in the early stage of combat, through immediate counter-fire," Army Col. Kim Dong-ho, a senior DAPA official, said.

The North has a vast array of artillery deployed near the inter-Korean border that can reach Seoul and nearby Gyeonggi Province which have a population of roughly 20 million.

lcd@yna.co.kr

(END)

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