South Korea Weighs Purchase of Israeli Anti-missile System

Arrow's early-warning radar to be used for missile shield.

Yossi Melman head
Yossi Melman
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Yossi Melman head
Yossi Melman

Israel Aerospace Industries confirmed yesterday that it is in contact with the South Korean ministry of defense over the purchase of the Green Pine (Oren Yarok) Israeli radar warning system, in a deal worth around $200 million.

IAI refused to disclose any additional details, but the Korean media has reported that the radar system in question is indeed the Green Pine, which is developed by Elta, an IAI subsidiary. The decision is expected by the end of October, said Korean sources.

The sophisticated system is used as Israel's main radar warning system and is the radar for Israel's principle interceptor missile system, the Arrow.

The South Korean ministry of defense decided to purchase the Israeli radar system after surveying various products from different companies and running a number of tests. The $200 million deal will be for two to five years.

According to different reports, the radar has a range of about 500 kilometers, enough to cover most of South Korea's territory, and hopefully to protect the country from missile threats from North Korea.

Elta will incorporate the radar into the South Korean missile shield system, which is based on American interception systems such as the Patriot.

Korean reports say the deal is for two radar systems, which would become operational in 2012.

South Korea is also discussing with the IAI the possibility of purchasing the Arrow missile defense system. Israel is in contact with other countries on such a sale as well, with Turkey among those that have expressed interest. Nonetheless, chances are slim that a foreign country will purchase the Arrow before a joint Israeli-American missile defense development occurs.

The agreement would be one of the largest weapons deals ever between Israel and South Korea.

The IAI previously lost a tender to sell South Korea its Falcon radar warning system after the United States pressured the South Koreans to favor American suppliers.

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