South Korea to develop “Iron Dome” system after Israel to strengthen air defense capabilities

South Korea’s defense ministry today approved a 2.89 trillion won procurement plan to begin developing an air defense interceptor system similar to Israel’s Iron Dome to strengthen its response to North Korean artillery threats to the Seoul area.

Reuters reported that the South Korean government authorities put forward a request late last year for the development of a “Korean Iron Dome system” to enhance the defense capabilities of Seoul and key facilities. Seoul and its surrounding area, which is home to almost half of the country’s 52 million people, is within range of North Korean artillery fire.

The South Korean Defense Agency said in a statement today that the project has been approved by a committee led by South Korean Defense Minister Seo Wook and is expected to be completed by 2035.

The statement said, “Through this program, it can be expected that the ability to respond to the threat of enemy long-range artillery fire will be enhanced, while also protecting domestic science and technology and better creating jobs.”

The South Korean Defense Ministry pointed out that although the country has now deployed air defense systems such as Patriot and THAAD, they are designed to counter short-range ballistic missiles, while the new system is designed to counter long-range artillery fire and multiple rocket launchers.