South Korea is purchasing additional Israeli-made Spike missiles local newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported, citing a statement released by South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).
“We’ve recently struck a deal with the Israeli manufacturer of the missile” the report cited DAPA as saying.
It went on to say that the missiles will be equipped on AgustaWestland’s Wildcat maritime choppers that South Korea intends to purchase. According to Chosun Ilbo, Spike missiles are capable of hitting a window-sized target from 25 kilometers away.
South Korea has previously purchased Spike missiles from Israel. The Republic of Korea (ROK) military began deploying the missiles back in May and first tested one of them in October of last year. Seoul also displayed them at a military parade in October. They are currently stationed on the Yeonpyeong and Baengnyeong Islands in the Yellow Sea near North Korea.
North Korea shelled Yeonpyeong Island in 2010, killing four ROK soldiers.
A November report from Yonhap News Agency says that South Korea intends to use the missiles to “destroy North Korea’s underground facilities and strike moving targets.”
At the time of the test firing, the ROK Marine Corps said, “The missile accurately hit a sea-based target located 20 kilometers southwest of Baengnyeong Island.”
South Korea originally purchased 67 Spike missiles from Israel in 2011. The deal was worth $43 million. The missiles are made by the Israeli-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. According to Rafael, “Spike NLOS [non-line-of-sight] is a multi-purpose electro-optical missile system with a real-time wireless data link for ranges up to 25km.” Rafael also says the precision-guided missiles have mid-course navigability.
Israeli military sources have told reporters that Israel has used Spike NLOS missiles for some of its air strikes on Syria.