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THAAD Battery To Undergo Operational Testing Next Month

By March 20, 2017 at 11:33 am
The THAAD battery is expected to go through testing next month (Photo : United States Forces Korea via Getty Images)

The U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery will undergo operational testing next month. This will happen after the remaining equipment, which includes its radar, will be delivered this month.

The first parts of the U.S. missile defense system arrived in the country on Mar. 6. It included two launchers.

The defense ministry and the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) confirmed that the first batch of equipment of the THAAD battery arrived at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek. It was brought aboard a C-17 transport aircraft.

The equipment will be placed at an undisclosed location until a golf course in Seongju County, North Gyeongsang Province, is ready to host the battery system. Delivery of other equipment and operational personnel will soon follow to complete the alliance decision on the deployment.

"The remaining assets will arrive this month," an official from the military said. "Then, trial operations of the system will take place as early as next month."

If the delivery and evaluation of its environmental impact go according to plan, the THAAD battery will be put into service before the presidential election. The election has been confirmed for May 9.

There have been reports saying that the radar is already at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek. However, the Ministry of National Defense and the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) declined to comment on the matter due to security concerns.

"South Korea and the United States are currently working on the deployment based on the agreement to install the battery as soon as possible," the official added. A THAAD battery is made up of six truck-mounted launchers, 48 interceptors (eight per launcher), a fire control and communications unit as well as an AN/TPY-2 radar.

As soon as all the equipment has arrived, the system will go through testing at Camp Carroll. It will remain there until the golf course is made ready for the battery.

The ministry noted that it will take one to two months for the land to be prepared. Construction planning and environmental impact studies are still ongoing.

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