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S. Korea pushes to upgrade military communication: official
[July 29, 2009]

S. Korea pushes to upgrade military communication: official

SEOUL, Jul 29, 2009 (Asia Pulse Data Source via COMTEX) -- South Korea plans to improve the speed of its military communication network by at least 10-fold by 2020, sharpening its edge in information technology, an official said Tuesday.

South Korea leads in such technology as Wireless Broadband, or WiBro. Yoon Chang-oak, a Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) official, said the military will invite local communications experts to help develop a US$3.9-billion network capable of rapidly transmitting video and other forms of data between forces.

"The existing Spider system was only able to transmit still images and voice data," Yoon said. "The new system will allow for the integrated transmission of video, image and voice data at more than 10 times the (current) speed." The development of the Tactical Information Communication Network, or TICN, is expected to be completed by 2012, Yoon said.

"Full production will likely start in 2020," Yoon, a planning director, told reporters.

TICN will be a link between the command and control systems operated by the entire 655,000-strong South Korean force, Yoon said.

The plan was approved at a DAPA committee meeting overseen by Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee in Seoul earlier in the day, he said.

The committee also decided to localize the development and production of vehicles that would be used to detect signs of chemical agents, Yoon said.

"About 300 will be produced by 2015 to replace outdated ones," he said.

North Korea, which shares one of the world's most fortified borders with South Korea, is estimated to have up to 5,000 tons of chemical-warfare agents, according to the defense ministry in Seoul.

The amount makes North Korea one of the world's largest possessors of such arms, considered weapons of mass destruction, along with its nuclear devices and ballistic missiles.

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