Raytheon to Upgrade South Korea’s Shipboard Weapons

The US Navy has tapped Raytheon Missiles & Defense to upgrade the computer-controlled and radar-guided weapon systems of South Korea’s surface warships.

The $49-million deal, part of the US government’s foreign military sales program, procures four MK-15 Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS) Block 0 to Block 1B Baseline 2.

The systems upgrade will benefit South Korea’s Sejong the Great-class guided missile destroyer and other warships in development under the Korean Destroyer Next Generation project, Military Aerospace reported.

‘Double Duty, Multifunctional’

The rapid-fire weapon system can defeat anti-ship missiles and other close-in threats on land and at sea.

Raytheon’s Phalanx weapon system also allows multifunctional features including search, detection, threat evaluation, tracking, engagement, and kill assessment.

“The Block 1B version adds control stations that allow operators to visually track and identify targets before engagement,” the company writes on its website.

“With an added forward-looking infrared sensor, the 1B variant can be used at sea against helicopters and high-speed surface craft and on land to help identify and confirm incoming threats.”

Sejong the Great-Class Destroyers

The 166-meter (544.6 feet) Sejong is equipped with a 128 missile capacity compared to the US Navy’s Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, with 122 vertical launch system cells.

The Sejong is also capable of tracking and monitoring missiles. In April 2019, the warship was dispatched to the Sea of Japan for heightened surveillance after North Korea fired a long-range rocket “but failed to float a satellite into orbit.”

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