South Korea’s locally developed submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) was successfully test-fired from a new submarine, sources said on Tuesday, making the Asian country to be the eighth in the world to secure the said weapon.
The military sources said the tests were carried out by the Agency for Defense Development (ADD). The underwater ejection trial was conducted last week from the Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine following last month’s successful releases from an underwater barge.
The homegrown weapon, a 3, 000-ton submarine, has six vertical launch tubes.
Sources said that mass production of the SLBM will follow after another set of more tests.
They added that the weapon, codenamed Hyunmoo 4-4, is said to be a kind of South Korea’s Hyunmoo-2B ballistic missile with about 500 kilometers flight range. It will also be tailored with conventional missiles.
Apart from South Korea, other countries that possess the same weapon include the United States, Britain, France, India, Russia, China, and North Korea.
SLBMs are different from predictable land-based missiles as they are more difficult to monitor since they are released underwater for surprise attacks. This makes them get the tag “a game changer”.
The successfully-tested weapon is anticipated to become South Korea’s significant tool with the security threats posed by the North, which recently showed multiple SLBMs types. In addition to this, a new submarine with 3, 000-ton SLBMs capability is on the works in the secluded state, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The new development was not yet officially confirmed by the defense ministry.
“Our military secures advanced high-powered military assets to ensure peace on the Korean Peninsula by building strong military capabilities, and plans to continue to develop them,” it said in a press release.