Army Missile Command
Guided Missile Command (GMC)
North Korea conducted flight tests of seven ballistic missiles on 05 July 2006 (local time, 04 July 2006 Washington time). South Korea responded emphatically in the military sphere. Within days, South Korean officials disclosed that the country had developed a long range land attack cruise missile (LACM), capable of covering targets in North Korea.
In September 2006, the ROK military established the Missile Command to enhance its precision strike capability. The center will be headed by a brigadier general and will serve as the nerve center for South Korea's various missile units. Those include tactical missiles, new cruise missiles and drones armed with bombs. Besides missiles, the command center will oversee operations related to North Korea's missile bases.
The National Defence Reform 2020, adopted in 2006, is oriented to securing long-distance attack and precision strike capabilities. This includes plans to acquire multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) and ATACMS (army tactical missile system; land-to-land guided missiles), artillery radar, and K-9 self-propelled artillery, in the name of securing "early deterrence" against North Korean long range artillery.
In the field of precision-guided munitions (PGM), the South Korean Army had deployed an advanced artillery system, including the world-class, Korean developed K-9 self-propelled 155 mm howitzer and the U.S. multiple launch rocket system, in response to the North's long-range artillery. Aligned with the new Army Missile Command, more cutting-edge weapon systems were to be acquired: F-15K strike fighters, Aegis destroyers, Type 214 submarines, Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) with GPS-aided guidance and precision-guided missiles such as SLAM-ER. Thanks to the augmented arms, Korea is expected to obtain a striking ability by 2011 against a core strategic target in any deep battle zone during a counter fire operation.
Besides the Ch'onnyong, the Command will be equipped with Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS); the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) (surface-to-surface ballistic missiles with ranges up to 300 kilometers); Hyonmu surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, with a range of 180 kilometers; and K-9 self-propelled artillery. The Command will not have a missile defense capability, but the unit will have unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to provide surveillance and firepower support.
South Korea set up the Missile Command to thwart North Korea's hundreds of 170 mm and 240 mm artillery rocket launchers, which are positioned along the demilitarized zone (DMZ), with ballistic missiles deployed deeper in its territory. The Missile Command provides command and control of South Korea's ATACMS and standard Hyunmoo missile battalions. This command also enables Seoul to better respond to hostile actions by any enemy. The command controls Korea's new Cheon Ryong (Sky Dragon) cruise missile, which has a range of 500 km, and the Hyunmoo I and II ballistic missiles, with ranges of 180-300 km.
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