World News

New South Korean Destroyers to Have Ballistic Missile Defense Capability

A trio of planned South Korean guided missile destroyers will be built with the capability to intercept ballistic missile threats, USNI News has learned.


The addition of the capability will give the Republic of Korea (RoK) Navy a powerful organic BMD capability in addition to U.S. Army ground-based interceptors peppered throughout South Korea.


Under the plan, the three remaining ships in the Sejong the Great-class will be able to simultaneously intercept traditional air warfare threats while adding a ballistic missile defense capability through a series of hardware and software upgrades over the current class of ship, several sources confirmed to USNI News.


The destroyers will be fitted with the U.S. Navy’s Baseline 9 version of the Aegis Combat System that combines modern computing architecture to allow the ship’s AN/SPY-1D(v) radar to detect and track aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles at the same time.


The capability will likely be paired with Raytheon Standard Missile 3 BMD interceptors the ships can pair with the combat system to detect and destroy medium-range ballistic missile threats. Several Korean press outlets have reported the military is seeking to install SM-3s on the three new ships.

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