South Korea has developed a high-altitude, medium-range interceptor missile, a state defense agency said Wednesday, Yonhap News Agency reported on Wednesday.
The Agency for Defense Development has completed the Iron Hawk-II surface-to-air missile, which can travel at 10 kilometers to 15 kilometers above ground.
The missile has been designed to counter North Korean ballistic missiles traveling at a similar altitude.
With other defense companies, the agency built the missile after five years of work, and it will continue to modify the weapon until 2018. The missile can attack multiple targets with a single radar and boast better accuracy than other surface-to-air guided weapons currently in operation.
Meanwhile, South Korea has been the world’s third-largest importer of weapons over the past five years, Yonhap said in a separate report.
In its Global Defense Market Year Book 2011 published Wednesday, the Seoul-based Defense Agency for Technology and Quality said South Korea imported USD 7.43 billion worth of weapons from 2006 to 2010. India topped the list with USD 11.1 billion and China came in second place with USD 7.7 billion.
Year by year, the South Korean weapons imports reached USD 1.13 billion last year.
The imports are expected to rise again next year, with Seoul poised to spend up to USD 1.2 billion in purchasing weapons, such as new stealth fighters, attack helicopters, maritime helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles, the report said.