New opportunities for South Korea: on tests of a ballistic missile from an underwater platform
South Korea is likely to join the few powers in the world with submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Despite the lack of extensive information about the recent tests of the South Korean missile, it is known that they were still successful.
It is assumed that the test launch of the rocket was carried out not from a submarine, but from a submerged barge, but this does not change the essence of what happened: the Republic of Korea approached those countries that have the ability to launch ballistic missiles from the depths of the seas and oceans.
The Korean press describes the test missile as a modified Hyunmoo 2B ballistic missile, which currently has a maximum range of about 300 miles. A modification of this missile is known as the K-SLBM or Hyunmoo 4-4.
One of the Korean servicemen who did not introduce themselves to the press said that while the Korean Navy still cannot launch ballistic missiles from a submarine, but technical development in this direction continues. It is clear that in modern conditions it is a matter of time, and often not very long. Most likely, the South Korean fleet will receive such an opportunity after the submarines of a new type become operational. According to other information, in the near future the rocket will be launched by a Dosan Ahn Changho class submarine.
The named class of Korean submarines has six cells of the vertical launch system, in which ballistic missiles can be placed. New submarines are expected to have 10 vertical launch cells. However, no official confirmation of Seoul's plans to deploy ballistic missiles on Dosan Ahn Changho class submarines has yet been reported.
The impetus for new rocket experiments in South Korea was the recent lifting by US presidents Joe Biden and the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in of restrictions that have existed since 1979. Washington today is interested in increasing the combat power of its Pacific ally, capable of helping in the confrontation with China and the DPRK. The lifting of restrictions will allow South Korean enterprises to develop medium-range ballistic missiles with a maximum range of 1-000 km. Such missiles will be able to hit targets outside the Korean Peninsula.
Undoubtedly, the growing activity of the ROK in the military sphere should be associated with tensions in relations with North Korea. If the DPRK is constantly developing missiles and conducting their tests, then Seoul considers it necessary to respond to this. In addition, medium-range ballistic missiles can be used to deter potential US adversaries like China or Russia.
It is clear that the ROK alone is not going to fight with such powers, but now South Korea is part of the US "support group" in the Asia-Pacific region, and its military potential may well be used in the event of a confrontation between the United States and China over Taiwan or the United States. with Russia.
In addition, one should not forget that a nuclear warhead may be added to the ballistic missile in the future. If now Seoul has no nuclear weapons, this does not mean that it will not appear in the future, especially in the case of more reliable information about the growth of Pyongyang's nuclear potential.
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