Raytheon’s SM-6 preferred for use by S. Korean Aegis warships to intercept ballistic missiles

[Courtesy of United States Navy]

SEOUL – SM-6, a missile system developed by US aerospace and protection firm Raytheon, has been chosen to be used by South Korean warships Aegis to intercept North Korean ballistic missiles. The SM-6 was developed as the one weapon that may perform anti-air warfare, ballistic missile protection and anti-surface warfare missions. The system presents navies extra flexibility in restricted area on the ship.

Raytheon’s proposed acquisition of the SM-6 via a Overseas Navy Sale (FMS) program that facilitates the sale of American weapons and protection tools to overseas governments gained fundamental approval on April 26 at a gathering chaired by the Minister of Suh Wook Protection, in line with the Protection Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), a state physique managed by the South Korean Ministry of Protection.

“This mission is anticipated to reinforce the Aegis’ air protection capabilities in opposition to enemy anti-ship ballistic missiles, plane and guided cruise missiles, in addition to its means to answer ballistic missiles,” DAPA stated in an announcement. South Korean warships are armed with SM-2 missiles that haven’t any ballistic missile intercept functionality.

The SM-6 sequence presents an prolonged vary over earlier SM-2 sequence missiles, primarily having the ability to intercept very excessive altitude anti-ship missiles or skimming. It’s also able to end-stage ballistic missile protection. It could actually additionally operate as a high-speed anti-ship missile.

About 760 billion gained ($600 million) shall be invested from 2023 to 2031 to be used by the KDX-III Aegis destroyers. South Korea’s KDX warship program requires the development of three courses of destroyers, beginning with a 3,800-ton ship ordered in 1998. Up to now, 12 destroyers have been constructed, together with three 7,600-strong KDX-III Batch I Aegis ships. tons.

The KDX-III Batch II program requires the development of three 8,100-ton Aegis destroyers with an Aegis fight system that may have enhanced capabilities to intercept ballistic missiles and conduct anti-submarine operations. The lead ship, which is 170 meters lengthy and might sail at speeds of as much as 30 knots, or 55 kilometers per hour, shall be delivered in late 2024.

The KDX-III Batch II program, meant to raised take care of North Korean missile and submarine threats, requires extra electrical energy, a excessive stage of automation, and an improved fight system able to detecting and monitoring targets at larger distances and with extra precision.

Individually, South Korea will construct six KDDX-class stealth destroyers (KDX-IV) by 2030. The 6,000-ton “mini Aegis” could have cruise missiles, superior sensors, a missile protection system and stealth options, all constructed with pure domestics. They may use a brand new system that improves stealth capabilities together with multi-functional radars to detect missiles, plane and the ocean floor on the similar time.

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