The South Korean military is expected to put domestically-produced mid-range surface to air missiles into service from as early as next year.
Government sources say the military initially planned to have the Chungoong missiles ready by 2018, but they could be deployed a year earlier than scheduled.
The missiles are being produced by the military in collaboration with the Agency for Defense Development and other South Korean defense firms.
The Chungoong is designed to take down North Korean ballistic missiles flying at an altitude of up to 20 kilometers.
Chungoong and the soon to be deployed U.S. Patriot-3 missiles are key components of the Korea Air and Missile Defense system, which is expected to be implemented by the early 2020's.