South Korea Tests New Taurus Missile

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On September 12, the South Korean Air Force conducted its first live-fire test of the Taurus air-to-surface cruise missile. The missile, air-launched from an F-15K fighter jet, flew over 400 km and successfully navigated several obstacles at low altitude before hitting a target off South Korea’s western coast. Part of South Korea’s “Kill Chain” air defense buildup plan, the country is on track to deploy around 170 Taurus missiles. After receiving the first shipment of Taurus missiles on December 12, 2016, South Korea decided to order roughly 90 more of the new cruise missiles.

Manufactured in Germany, the Taurus has a 500 km range, top speed of Mach 0.94, and stealthy design to avoid radar detection. If launched near Seoul, the missile could strike targets anywhere in North Korea within 15 minutes.

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Missile Defense Project, "South Korea Tests New Taurus Missile," Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies, September 12, 2017, last modified June 15, 2018,