Aerial Warfare

South Korea to Mass Produce Korean Tactical Surface to Surface Missile (KTSSM)

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South Korea to Mass Produce Korean Tactical Surface to Surface Missile (KTSSM)

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Korean Tactical Surface to Surface Missile (KTSSM)
Korean Tactical Surface to Surface Missile (KTSSM)

The South Korean Defense Agency for Technology and Quality said that it successfully conducted live-fire tests for the tactical guided missile at a facility of the Agency for Defense Development(ADD) on 11 May. The test centered on quality certification. The agency said it will begin mass producing the missile given that the test focused on confirming whether the function of KTSSM that met requirements in research and development phases could be replicated in an actual product. South Korea will begin mass producing the Korean Tactical Surface to Surface Missile (KTSSM) which is one of the key assets of the Kill Chain system aimed at preemptively striking North Korea’s nuclear and other missiles.

Korean Tactical Surface to Surface Missile (KTSSM)
Korean Tactical Surface to Surface Missile (KTSSM)

KTSSM (Korean Tactical Surface-to-Surface Missile) is a short-range tactical surface-to-surface missile (SSM) developed by the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) and Hanwha Group through the “Lightning Project” started to counter North Korea’s artillery power. Although it is widely called KTSSM unofficially, its official name is known as Ure Tactical Surface-to-Surface Missile. The Ure was developed with the intention of quickly neutralizing North Korean long-range artillery. Dubbed the “artillery killer,” Hanwha Corporation designed the missile in partnership with the Agency for Defense Development (ADD). Four missiles can be launched almost simultaneously from a fixed launch pad and they can travel 120 km (75 mi); the launcher and missiles as a set have a combined cost of $1.9 million.

Korean Tactical Surface to Surface Missile (KTSSM)
Korean Tactical Surface to Surface Missile (KTSSM)

KTSSM is a GPS-guided to hit targets within two meters and have a shaped thermal warhead that can penetrate bunkers and hardened, dug-in targets several meters underground or 1.5 m (4.9 ft) of concrete. While it resembles the American MGM-140 ATACMS missile, the Ure is cheaper and more accurate with a shorter range, though still adequate to perform the counterbattery role. There are two versions of the missile: Ure-1 for attacking M1978/M1989 Koksan 170 mm howitzers and M1985/M1991 240 mm unguided multiple rocket launchers (MRLs); and Ure-2, a self-propelled system tasked with engaging KN-09 300 mm MRLs and KN-02 short-range ballistic missiles, having a Block I version employing a thermal penetrating warhead and a Block II version with a unitary high-explosive warhead.

Korean Tactical Surface to Surface Missile (KTSSM)
Korean Tactical Surface to Surface Missile (KTSSM)

On 21 December 2022, the Agency for Defense Development conducted a public test of Ure-2 under further development at Anheung Proving Ground. The missile was mounted on the K239 Chunmoo vehicle and hit a target 200 kilometers away after it was launched. On 13 March 2023, the 150th Defense Project Promotion Committee deliberated and approved the basic strategy and system development plan for developing a vehicle-mounted Tactical Surface-to-Surface Missile, and the revised plan included the agenda of completing the development of Ure-2 by 2032, two years earlier than the previous plan. On 11 May 2023, the South Korean Defense Agency for Technology and Quality (DTaQ) announced that it had successfully passed the quality certification launch test of Block I produced through the mass production process. The missile is a low-cost tactical ballistic missile, costing less than half as much as Hyunmoo-2 SRBM.

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