SEOUL, Feb 17 – South Korea plans to launch its first military surveillance satellite in November under a project to deploy a total of five such satellites by the mid-2020s, the state arms procurement said Friday.

In a briefing to the National Assembly’s defence committee, the Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) unveiled the plan to launch an electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) satellite under the project worth 1.2 trillion won (US$927 million), according to Yonhap news agency.

Along with the EO/IR satellite, the country seeks to secure four synthetic aperture radar (SAR) ones under the project key to Seoul’s efforts to bolster surveillance capabilities and reduce reliance on foreign intelligence sources.

Once those satellites go into service, they are expected to enhance the South’s overall capabilities to monitor and track North Korea’s military movements.

The South has been striving to build space-based defense capabilities as the North unveiled a plan to launch a military surveillance satellite “at the earliest possible date” during a key ruling party meeting late last year.


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