South Korea’s First Military Satellite Launched

 In Industry, Acquisition, & Innovation, Defense, Local, Air, South Korea, Communications, Forces & Capabilities

South Korea’s first-ever mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ca­tions satel­lite has been suc­cess­ful­ly launched by pri­vate oper­a­tor SpaceX, Seoul said Tuesday, as it looks to build up its defense capa­bil­i­ties.

The ANASIS-II is intend­ed to enhance the South’s abil­i­ty to defend itself against the nuclear-armed North, which invad­ed in 1950.

A Falcon 9 rocket car­ry­ing the satel­lite blast­ed off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Seoul’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a state­ment.

SpaceX con­firmed the satel­lite deployed about 32 min­utes after lift-off, on Monday after­noon local time.

DAPA said the launch made South Korea the 10th coun­try in the world to own a mil­i­tary-only com­mu­ni­ca­tions satel­lite, which will pro­vide “per­ma­nent and secured mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ca­tions”.

The satel­lite is expect­ed to reach its orbit of 36,000 kilo­me­ters in two weeks and South Korea’s mil­i­tary will take over the system in October after test­ing, it added.

Seoul is look­ing to enhance its mil­i­tary capa­bil­i­ties as it pushes to end an arrange­ment under which, if war breaks out, American com­man­ders will have author­i­ty over their com­bined forces.

The satel­lite was “expect­ed to improve the South Korean military’s inde­pen­dent oper­a­tional capa­bil­i­ties”, an offi­cial at its defense min­istry told Yonhap news agency.

Seoul and Washington are secu­ri­ty allies and the US sta­tions 28,500 troops in the coun­try.

But their rela­tion­ship has been strained in recent years, trig­gered by dif­fer­ences in their approach­es to Pyongyang, and over cost-shar­ing respon­si­bil­i­ties.

DefenceTalk source|articles

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