South Korea has selected Elon Musk’s SpaceX to launch five of their military satellites into low-earth orbit (LEO) over the next three years.
The deal will see the first launch onboard a Falcon 9 rocket take place by the end of 2023. The payload will be a 800-kilogram electro-optical infrared satellite according to South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).
The contact between SpaceX and South Korea was signed under the ‘425 Project,’ which seeks to upgrade the country’s military satellites at a cost of $970 million, reports Space News.
Under the project, the five satellites will be launched into orbit by 2025 and be used to monitor North Korea’s key military facilities.
This isn’t the first time South Korea has selected SpaceX to carry out a launch for their military objectives.
In July 2020 the aerospace company launched a military communications satellite, Anasis-2, onboard a Falcon 9 rocket.