(ATTN: UPDATES with plan for anti-drone jammer development in last 2 paras)
SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has conducted a successful missile interception test of its L-SAM system under development, a key element of the country's envisioned layered missile defense shield, called the Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) designed to counter advancing threats from North Korea, according to military officials here Tuesday.
The L-SAM, or Long-range Surface-to-Air Missile, is aimed at shooting down ballistic missiles at the altitude of 50-60 kilometers, similar to the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) of the United States.
The state-run Agency for Defense Development (ADD) plans to complete the development of the system by 2024 for mass production starting in 2026 and deployment as early as in 2027.
The agency's recent L-SAM test of hitting target missiles was successful following the successful flight testing in early February, the officials said.
The move came as the Kim Jong-un regime is ratcheting up its nuclear and missile threats highlighted by its firing of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile into the East Sea last Friday.
Separately, South Korea's state arms agency announced a plan for the development of its own anti-drone jamming system.
The Defense Acquisition Program Administration said LIG Nex1 Co., a local defense firm, will lead the
24.4 billion-won (US$17.9 million) Block-I project to be carried out from this month till January 2026.