The Cheongung II missile, considered the South Korean equivalent of the U.S. Patriot air defense system will soon enter mass production following successful completion of quality certification tests.
Cheongung II accurately hit a missile and an aircraft target in firing tests conducted at Taean’s Anheung test site in July and August, Defense Agency for Technology and Quality said.
Development of the system, which is an improved version of the Cheongung I, began in 2012. The improved variant is designed to engage not only incoming enemy aircraft but also ballistic missile targets at an altitude of about 20 km.
The Cheongung II was rated fit for combat operations after meeting all the requirements at tests conducted in early June 2017. The move marked the completion of the development of the system’s improved HTK missile, which was led by the country’s Agency for Defense Development in co-operation with South Korean companies such as LIG Nex1. The upgraded missile is believed to be capable of reaching a speed of Mach 5.
“With the successful completion of the quality certification tests, Cheongung II will now enter the stage of mass production,” the agency said in a release today.
Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) describes the Cheongung II (KM-SAM, M-SAM or Cheolmae-2) upgraded system to be Seoul’s first indigenously-developed medium-range surface-to-air guided missile. The system is built based on technology from the 9M96 missile used on S-350E and S-400 missile systems.
It is equipped with multifunction radar to strike aircraft and missiles simultaneously. The modernization project was kick-started in 2021. The system is said to have recorded a 100% accuracy rate at multiple test launches.
The Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) has received its first battery of the locally developed Cheongung II medium-range surface-to-air missile (M-SAM) system, according to a 26 November 2020 statement from South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration.
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