South Korea has decided to develop its own missile interception system similar to that of Israel's original Iron Dome, N12 reported citing foreign media.
The decision comes after past considerations for the acquisition of the Israeli system, and is part of a $253 billion five-year investment in combat defense systems, including areas of focus such as helicopter carriers, fighter jets, tanks and development of new weapons.
South Korea decided to develop the Iron Dome-type system in light of the hundreds of thousands of short and medium range missiles directed at them from North Korea, a country which also has many long range missiles with the potential ability to carry nuclear warheads. With North Korea on their border, South Korea has been looking for a solution for their defensive systems, and have been examining Israel's Iron Dome system since 2017.
"We are talking about a system that is able to defend the capital city, and handle a mass of 200 and 300 mm rockets aimed at it," N12 reported, citing a South Korean Foreign Ministry source. The Foreign Ministry added that the Iron Dome-like missile interception system will enter service in South Korea in 2030.
South Korea is currently relying on American defense against North Korea's missiles, after the US deployed THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) batteries there.
Additionally, the US recently also bought two Iron Dome batteries from Israel. The trucks set to be fitted with the batteries, called Oshkosh trucks, arrived in Israel last week on the world's largest cargo plane, called the Antonov An-225.