Korea develops Aircraft Interceptor Missile -Cheongung

Korea has developed a medium-range surface-to-air missile dubbed Cheongung or Iron Hawk II. Korea is the fifth country after Russia, France, Taiwan and Japan to have developed such a weapon. 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. The Cheongung will replace the American-made Hawk, which has been the Korean 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 began development of the Cheongung in 2006, but started research in 2001 based on Russia’s S-400 missile system. In cooperation with Russia, a Korean engineering team replaced a massive Russian radar system with a small device, which can be installed on a truck. The team also began research on a missile propulsion system based on the small Russian-made 9M96 missile. The radar is installed at the head of the missile to let it trace its own target. The Cheongung missile will be deployed from 2013.

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