South Korea will buy upgraded Patriot surface-to-air missiles next year to improve its defenses against North Korea, officials said Wednesday.South Korea currently has 48 PAC-2 missiles from Germany, and plans to add PAC-3 missiles, which have improved anti-ballistic missile capability, to its arsenal next year, the Yonhap News Agency reported.
The country will also upgrade its fire control system to make it capable of firing both types of missiles.The plan was approved by Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin in an effort to open bidding in June and have a contract finalized by December.
“Once the Patriot missile system is upgraded, it will be able to directly hit incoming missiles to reduce damage on the ground,” Baek Yoon-hyung, spokesman for the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, said in a briefing Wednesday.
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