South Korean defence officials have announced the purchase of another 90 Taurus KEPD 350K long-range air-to-ground missiles.
The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) chose the Taurus KEPD 350K to provide its F-15K Slam Eagles with a standoff conventional cruise missile capability.
The ROKAF announced the first deliveries of the Taurus KEPD 350K cruise missile in December 2016. South Korea acquired a reported total of 170 or 180 missiles in November 2013 and an initial batch of 60 had been delivered to Daegu Air Base by December 5, 2016.
According to Kang Hwan-seok, a spokesman for the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), the latest 90-missile contract was signed in late February and is part of an on-going weapon system introduction programme.
DAPA elected to buy more Taurus missiles last year as a counter to developments in the North Korean nuclear and missile programmes. The Taurus forms part of the South Korean Kill Chain pre-emptive strike system intended to provide a bulwark against its communist neighbour. In case of war on the peninsula, it is speculated that the KEPD 350 would be used to attack North Korean command bunkers, radar sites and other key targets.
Produced by Taurus Systems GmbH, a joint venture between MBDA Deutschland GmbH and Saab Dynamics AB, the Taurus KEPD 350 has a range of 500km and carries a dual-stage MEPHISTO warhead. It is also deployed on German Tornado IDS and Spanish EF-18 Hornet fighters.