South Korea has received its first batch of advanced indigenous SAM (Surface-to-Air Missile) system named “Cheongung-II”, often dubbed as the Korean equivalent to the American Patriot missile defense system.
The deployments of the system have already commenced, and Seoul also expects the system to get international orders.
“The deployment is expected to contribute to establishing a Korean-style missile defense system, boosting the military’s core capabilities for a prompt transition of the wartime operational control, as well as to increasing exports in the defense sector,” the South Korean Agency for Defense Development chief Wang Jung-hong said.
While the reports of its deployments have been around since last year, but the official reports were published only on November 26 by the country’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration. The last units of Cheongung-I were delivered in April this year.
According to the agency, this is the first of the planned seven batteries of the system to see service in South Korea.
Also known as the M-SAM, the system is an air defense surface to air missile system developed by the Agency for Defense Development and is a Hit-to-Kill interceptor system, with a stated range of 40 kilometers. It will replace the country’s older MIM-23 Hawk SAM systems, which had been in service since 1964.
The system’s development started back in 2012, as an improvement over the Cheongung-I, and can intercept incoming aerial threats including ballistic missiles at altitudes of about 20 kilometers.
It is equipped with a multifunction phased-array 3D radar based on the Russian S-400 Triumf. The radar operates in the X-band and rotates at a rate of 40 rpm, covering up to 80 degrees in elevation. It can detect targets within 100 km (62 mi) and track up to 40 simultaneously.