The Korea Herald


S. Korea to use 'jam-proof' U.S. military GPS technology on guided bombs

By 이우영

Published : Aug. 14, 2016 - 13:56

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South Korea's ability to counter North Korea's long-range multiple launch rocket threat will get a boost after its guided bombs get "jam-proof" U.S. technology, the military said Sunday.

According to sources, the recent decision by Washington to allow its military global positioning system (GPS) technology to be used by Seoul will greatly enhance the capabilities of its Korea GPS guided bomb (KGGB) arsenal that will be tasked with taking out North Korean rocket launchers.

The first KGGBs that can use the encrypted military GPS data will be operational starting next month.

Last week the military said the United States allowed Seoul's German Taurus missile, which has a 500-kilometer range and can be fired from the country's F-15K, to be used with its highly precise military GPS. 

German Taurus missile on a F-15 jet (Yonhap) German Taurus missile on a F-15 jet (Yonhap)
The move comes at a critical time as North Korea has acquired considerable know-how in jamming conventional GPS over the years that could seriously impair South Korea's ability to use its precision tactical munitions. Effective jamming of signals can cause guided bombs to stray off course.

The communist country, in particular, engaged in extensive GPS jamming operations this year, which caused Seoul to ask for Washington's cooperation in dealing with the threat. No damage has been reported, but planes and ships operating near the inter-Korean border reported GPS-related problems.

Since 2013, South Korea has fielded its KGGB winged smart bombs, which have a range of upwards of around 100 kilometers when dropped from high-flying jets. These weapons can take out multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) and destroy underground bunkers used by Pyongyang to protect its long-range rocket and artillery assets.

The KGGB can be dropped not only from South Korea's latest jets but older planes like F-5s as well, making it possible for larger numbers to be dropped on targets. (Yonhap)