Seoul's defense ministry has laid out its mid-term force enhancement plan a blueprint for how the defense budget will be allocated during the next five years.
A ministry official said on Wednesday the five-year plan aims to improve the country's deterrence to nuclear and missiles threats and build key military capabilities for the envisioned transfer of wartime operational control from Washington to Seoul as well as implementing the "Defense Reform 2.oh."
It predicts South Korea's yearly defense budget for 2020 will break the 50-trillion Korean won mark, roughly 41 billion U.S. dollars, for the first time.
As a whole, the ministry estimates the national defense budget will increase incrementally by 7.one-percent per year to amount to 240-billion dollars in 2024.
From 2020 to 2024, the ministry plans to increase the related budget by 10.3-percent each year to better respond to nuclear and missile threats.
That includes acquiring surveillance and reconnaissance forces which can help detect and identify signs of North Korea's provocations using military reconnaissance satellites and intermediate and high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles.
At the same time, it plans to improve the defense capabilities of the Korea Air and Missile Defense designed to intercept ballistic missiles by upgrading the Cheolmae II and Patriot missile systems.
To improve maritime security it plans to acquire more Aegis destroyers and radar for early detection of incoming missiles as well as submarines larger than 3-thousand tons.
Also, the ministry plans to adopt the SM-3 surface-to-air missile designed to intercept and destroy short to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats as well as electromagnetic pulse bombs that can cause power outages by disabling electric grids.
The budget is also being used to help the force apply technologies of the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution as well as develop local weapons to lessen the reliance on foreign weapons systems.
"And to improve the military's medical system and troops' welfare it plans to invest a combined 495-million dollars during the five-year period.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News."