South Korea first live fire exercise with KM-SAM Cheongung missile system


South Korean military on Thursday, November 2, 2017, conducted its first live-fire exercise with its local-made anti-aircraft missiles, local media reported. Two medium- range surface-to-air missiles (KM-SAM), called Heaven Arrow, or Cheongung in Korean, were fired to accurately strike a target at a distance of 40 km. It flew at a speed of Mach 4.5.


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A Cheongung surface-to-air defense missile TEL (Transporter Erector Launcher) vehicle at ADEX 2017 Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition, in South Korea (October 2017)


The Cheongung (Iron Hawk) or KM-SAM / M-SAM is a South Korean medium range surface-to-air missile system (SAM) that was developed by the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) with technical support from Almaz-Antey and Fakel with collaboration of local defense companies Samsung Thales, LIG Nex1, and Doosan DST, based on technology from the 9M96 missile used on S-350E and S-400 missile systems.

The Cheongung SAM system is intended to replace South Korea's MIM-23 HAWK SAM systems, which are locally referred to as Cheolmae.

In April 2017, it was announced that all testing and evaluations of the KM-SAM have been completed, and it now awaits a final process next month to determine its suitability for intended combat missions. Seoul aims to deploy the indigenous Cheongung between 2018 and 2019.

The KM-SAM can intercept up to six targets simultaneously, and the missiles have anti-electronic warfare capabilities to keep functioning despite jamming. It can intercept targets up to an altitude of 15 km (49,000 ft) at a range of 40 km (25 mi).


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Missile launcher unit of HAWK SAM system at ADEX 2017 Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition, in South Korea (October 2017)


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