Air Defense: November 12, 2003


South Korea has developed its own portable surface-to-air missile; the Singung. Weighing about 30 pounds, and comparable to the U.S. Stinger and French Mistral (both of which South Korea already has), the Singung proved capable of hitting aircraft up to seven kilometers away 90 percent of the time. The main reason for spending $60 million to develop their own missile was to save money. The Mistral, at $200,000 each, was bought because it was cheaper than the Stinger. But the Singung only costs $153,000 each. The high tech Stinger was overkill for the generally ancient aircraft North Korea posses, which was why the slightly less capable Mistral was bought. But now the South Koreans can afford to buy several thousand Singungs, and provide another competitive (especially on price) weapon for the export market. Starting in 2004, at least 500 Singungs will be produced annually.


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