Monday, August 17, 2009

KDX-III Aegis Destroyer to Track Launch of Korea Space Launch Vehicle(KSLV)-1

Sejong the Great, the Navy's 7,600-ton Aegis destroyer, will monitor and track the Korea Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV)-1, or Naro-ho, in an effort to evaluate its missile tracking capability, an official of the Ministry of National Defense said. Naro-ho is set to blast off Wednesday from the country's southern region.

The KDX-III destroyer, equipped with the Aegis Combat System developed by Lockheed Martin of the U.S., entered service last December and underwent tests of its operational performances. The ship is to play a key role in monitoring, tracking and intercepting intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) from North Korea in the case of hostilities.

The KDX-III's SPY-1D radar is one of the most advanced among Aegis radar systems deployed around the world. It can track about 1,000 aircraft within a 500-kilometer radius simultaneously, providing full 360-degree coverage.

``The launch of the Naro-ho will offer a great opportunity for the Sejong destroyer to test and evaluate its performances, since a space vehicle, in general, has almost same design, components and technology as those of an ICBM,'' the official said, asking not to be named.

North Korea launched a rocket that it argued was carrying a communications satellite. The international community suspected the rocket launch was a disguise for an ICBM missile test.

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