South Korea about to start deployement of new Cheongung M-SAM air defense missile system 20308152

Defence & Security News - South Korea
South Korea about to start deployement of new Cheongung M-SAM air defense missile system
South Korea will deploy a new homegrown mid-range surface-to-air missile, M-SAM, in the country's armed forces this year following a successful test-fire, the South Korea's defense acquisition agency said last week. The missile with a 40-kilometer range, also called "Cheongung," was developed locally in 2011 to replace the ROK Air Force's (ROKAF) aging batteries of MIM-23 Hawk from the U.S.
South Korea about to start deployement of new Cheongung M SAM air defense missile system 640 001South Korea's "Cheongung" M-SAM surface-to-air missile system
The Defense Acquisition Program Administration said it recently carried out a successful test launch of the initial M-SAM, sealing the quality certification.

The new missile will be distributed to the Air Force starting in September, the DAPA said, adding that mass-production of the M-SAM will also kick off soon.

"The latest quality certification firing has proven the excellent quality of Cheongung," the DAPA said in a statement, adding that utmost efforts will be made to maximize the missile's contribution to military power.

Each Cheongung battery consists of a multi-function radar, a firing control system, a launch pad, and eight missiles, according to Lee Hee-chul of the ADD. The multi-function radar is capable of detecting and tracing incoming enemy aircraft, identifying friend or foe, and guiding missiles. It can intercept up to six aircraft simultaneously, whereas the Hawk can intercept only one at a time.

The Cheongung has a range of up to about 40 km and is aimed at intercepting aircraft flying at an altitude between 10-15 km. It will replace the American-made Hawk, which has been the Air Force's main surface-to-air weapon since 1964.

The Cheongung has a vertical launching system. Once it is launched into air based on a piston system, the missile's rocket motor ignites and the missile is guided by the radar. The missile can change direction quickly and has little chance of being detected by the enemy because it gives off little flare. Equipped with anti-electronic warfare capabilities, the missile system can keep functioning despite electronic jamming maneuvers.

The ADD plans to further develop the Cheongung as a PAC-3-level ballistic interceptor missile. It will have to increase the Cheongung's altitude to 30 km and its range to 100-150 km.