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South Korea, Germany to develop Cruise Missile “TAURUS KEPD 350K-2” for FA-50

Media reports state that the cruise missile, the KEPD 350K-2, which is set to be developed for use on the FA-50 fighter aircraft through the collaboration between South Korean and German companies, will have a weight of nearly 900kg and strike a target up to 400km away.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — At the ADEX 2023 exhibition held in Seoul, recently, South Korean company LIG Nex1 and its German partner,  Taurus Systems signed an agreement to develop a cruise missile that will be equipped on the FA-50 fighter aircraft.

The FA-50 fighter aircraft, which will be used by the Royal Malaysian Air Force (TUDM) starting from late 2026, is developed by the South Korean company Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI).

The cruise missile to be developed is the KEPD 350K-2 and is categorized as a Medium-Range Air-Launched Cruise Missile (MALCM).

Both companies have committed to a three-year development period to meet the demands of customers with existing FA-50 fighter aircraft worldwide.

The introduction of the KEPD 350-K cruise missile will make the FA-50 fighter aircraft more attractive to potential customers.

FA-50
FA-50

 

There is also a proposal to equip the KF-21 “Boramae” fighter aircraft currently being developed by KAI with cruise missiles through the cooperation between South Korean and German companies.

This cooperation will utilize the “Taurus” cruise missile developed by Taurus Systems of Germany and may involve developing a smaller variant for use on the FA-50 fighter aircraft.

The South Korean Air Force currently uses the TAURUS KEPD 350K cruise missile carried by its F-15K fighter aircraft.

The F-15K aircraft use these cruise missiles to target control and command centers and fortified bunkers to deploy conventional and nuclear guided missiles against North Korea.

However, the TAURUS KEPD 350K cruise missile is not suitable for use with the FA-50 fighter aircraft due to its size, leading to the recent cooperation between LIG Nex1 and Taurus Systems to develop a smaller variant of the guided missile.

Taurus
South Korean soldiers equipping F-15K aircraft with TAURUS cruise missile.

 

Media reports suggest that the KEPD 350K-2, developed through the collaboration of South Korean and German companies, will weigh nearly 900kg and have a range of up to 400km.

Both companies are planning of using South Korean-made components and equipment, including navigation and guidance systems, warheads, and engines in the local cruise missile.

This is aimed at overcoming the strict export controls imposed by the United States and Germany, enabling the KEPD 350K-2 cruise missile to be sold to many customers using FA-50 aircraft, including Malaysia.

Currently, FA-50 fighter aircraft are also used by the air forces of South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Iraq, Poland, and Malaysia.

Malaysia and Poland will receive the most advanced variant of the FA-50 fighter aircraft known as the FA-50 Block 20. — DSA

 

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