South Korean company LIG Nex1 announced on 25 June that it has opened a new dedicated facility in the city of Gimcheon in North Gyeongsang Province that will specialise in the development of components as well as in the assembly and inspection of the Long-range Surface-to-Air Missile (L-SAM). LIG Nex1 said that development of the L-SAM, which is being carried out under the auspices of South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD), is slated for completion in 2024. The facility was built over a period of 14 months at a cost of $8.15 million (KRW9.2 billion).
L-SAM is a South Korean missile defense system under development, which intercepts missiles at an altitude of 40-60 kilometers. It aims to shoot down ballistic missiles from North Korea in their terminal phase. It will use a trailer-mounted S band AESA radar. It will be an upper-tier interceptor for a layered defense, as part of the Korean Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) project, slated to be ready in the early 2020s, with the lower tier composed of Patriot PAC-3 and KM-SAM batteries.
L-SAM’s missile is larger as it is intended for use against high-flying aircraft out to ranges of 150 km. Computer images of the L-SAM aircraft interceptor released at the time by the ADD revealed that it will be powered by a dual-pulse solid-propellant rocket motor, and feature larger control wings than those on the M-SAM II missile. Performance levels were to be twice as superior to the Patriot and Cheolmae II missiles, and was expected to be based on the Russian S-400 missile system (48N6) technology.
LIG Nex1 Co., Ltd. (formerly known as NEX1 Future and LG Innotek) is a South Korean aerospace manufacturer and defense company. It was established in 1976 as Goldstar Precision. It develops and produces a wide range of advanced precision electronic systems, including missile, underwater weapon systems, radars, tactical communication systems, fire control systems, naval combat systems, and electro-optics. It is one of the major suppliers of weapon systems for the Republic of Korea Armed Forces, as well as an international exporter of weapon systems.