S.Korea to Deploy German Taurus Missiles

Seoul will buy scores of Taurus long-range air-to-surface missiles from Germany to deploy them warfare-ready late this year, source from Chosun said yesterday.

Taurus air-to-surface missiles are being launched from a German bomber jet. /Courtesy of Taurus Systems GmbH

Carried by fighter jets, the bunker buster missiles have a range of 500 km and are capable of striking any target in North Korea from near the demilitarized zones.

The purchase can begin because the U.S. government recently approved the sale of military GPS receivers, which will be installed on the missiles, a military source said on Tuesday. Some 100 more will be purchased next year.

Some 5.1 m long and with a payload weight of 480 kg, the missiles can evade radar flying at a low altitude of 40 m. Their penetration capacity is better than that of U.S. air-to-surface missiles.

With a triple navigation system, including inertial and infrared, the Taurus can hit targets even if the GPS signal is being jammed. 

The Taurus will be used as a key part of a so-called "kill chain" in an emergency whereby the military can detect signs of an impending enemy missile launch and preemptively destroy it, the source added.

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