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South Korea to Update Antimissile Software

The South Korean air force intends to carry out its own enhancement of crucial computer program components for its fallback antimissile system, both as a cost saving measure and to avoid potentially leaking information related to the equipment, the Korea Herald reported on Monday (see GSN, Oct. 25).

The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration and the air force have been in discussions with the United States on the software enhancements to the Master Control Report Center. Washington asked for $13.3 million to handle the upgrades, but the South ultimately determined it would be able to complete the improvement project on its own at a fraction of the cost -- $1.86 million, officials said.

"The air force has reached a conclusion that it can upgrade the software with its own technology accumulated through the project to enhance the MCRC system," a Defense Acquisition Program Administration official said.

The improvements would create an Integrated Command and Control capacity at the Master Control Report Center, located at the air force's Osan base. The enhancements would boost South Korea's ability to shoot down North Korean ballistic missiles in the event that initial intercept attempts by the South's Patriot Advanced Capability 2 system are unsuccessful.

Following a failed PAC-2 intercept, the South Korean air force would utilize medium-altitude Hawk missiles.

North Korea's long-range Musudan missile is considered capable of traveling as far as 1,864 to 2,485 miles, placing the U.S. military base in Guam within its possible strike range (Song Sang-ho, Korea Herald, Nov. 14).

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