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An interception test of South Koirea's  Long-range Surface-to-Air Missile system is seen in this undated file photo, provided by the defense ministry. Yonhap

Korea has completed development of its locally developed Long-range Surface-to-Air Missile (L-SAM) system, the state arms procurement agency said Saturday, marking a major step in efforts to bolster the military’s air defense capabilities.The L-SAM, which is designed to shoot down incoming targets at altitudes of 50-60 kilometers, was recently assessed as combat-ready after meeting the military’s technical requirements, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).With the completion of its development, mass production of the L-SAM is expected to begin next year prior to operational deployment by 2028.

Once deployed, the L-SAM is expected to play a key role in the country’s multilayered missile shield, called the Korea Air and Missile Defense.The military currently operates the indigenous Medium-range Surface-to-Air Missile system and the U.S. Patriot Advanced Capability-3 system to intercept incoming missiles at lower altitudes than the L-SAM.For targets at higher altitudes, the country has so far relied on the U.S. Forces Korea’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system that can defend against upper-tier threats at altitudes of 40-150 km.The military is currently developing a Block-II version of the L-SAM designed to intercept targets at altitudes higher than the current 온라인카지노 one.

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