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TypeSurface-to-air missile/Anti-ballistic missile
Place of originSouth Korea
Service history
Used bySouth Korea
Production history
DesignerAgency for Defense Development
ManufacturerLIG Nex1
Weight400 kg (880 lb) (Missile)
Length4.61 m (15.1 ft)
Diameter27.5 cm (10.8 in)

Maximum firing range40 kilometres (25 mi)

EngineSolid-fuel rocket motor
Flight altitude15–20 km (49,000–66,000 ft)[2]
SpeedMach 4.5 (1.0 mi/s; 1.5 km/s)[3]
inertial guidance with midcourse updates, Active radar homing for terminal guidance[4]

The KM-SAM which is also known as the Cheolmae-2 or Cheongung or M-SAM is a South Korean medium range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system that was developed by the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) with technical support from Almaz-Antey and Fakel, based on technology from the 9M96 missile used on S-350E and S-400 missile systems.[5]

Design and development[edit]

A complete battery consists of up to six 8-cell transporter erector launchers (TELs), a passive electronically scanned array (PESA) X-band multi-function phased array 3D radar (based on the one from the Russian S-400), and a fire command vehicle.[6] Radar operates in the X band, it rotates at a rate of 40 rpm and covers up to 80 degrees in elevation.[4]

The KM-SAM is the middle-tier of South Korea's three-tier aerial and missile defense system. Though it was developed in Russia by the Almaz Design Bureau with assistance from Samsung Thales, LIG Nex1, and Doosan DST, localization and industrialization were done in South Korea enough to consider it an indigenous system. The Cheongung (Iron Hawk) can intercept targets up to an altitude of 15 km (49,000 ft) at a range of 40 km (25 mi). It is to replace upgraded MIM-23 Hawk batteries in South Korea and be made available for export. Almaz-Antey continued with the program after prototypes were transferred and have created a distinctly Russian version called the Vityaz missile system.[7]

The Republic of Korea Air Force revealed in mid-2015 that the KM-SAM would soon enter mass production and begin delivery to the Air Force that September, replacing the Hawk missile that had been in Korean service since 1964, which the United States military retired in 2002. The system can intercept up to six targets simultaneously, and the missiles have anti-electronic warfare capabilities to keep functioning despite jamming.[1][8] The system passed the military's operational requirement verification test in July 2015, and began deployment in early 2016 near the maritime border with North Korea in the Yellow Sea.[9]

In April 2017, South Korean military officials revealed that a low-tier missile defense system based on the Cheongung was in the final phase of development. Modifying the standard SAM with hit-to-kill technology enables it to intercept incoming ballistic missiles at altitudes of around 20 km (66,000 ft). Mass production is planned to begin in 2018 with deployment in 2019.[10][11]

Further development[edit]

The Cheolmae 4-H L-SAM was to be an upper tier interceptor designed to take down ballistic missiles. It was to offer capabilities similar to that of the American Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile with a range of 150 km (93 mi) and ceiling of 200,000 ft (61 km). Performance levels were to be twice as superior to the Patriot and Cheolmae II missiles, and was expected to be based on the Russian S-400 technology.[7]

The ADD plans to further develop the M-SAM as an anti-ballistic missile similar to the Patriot PAC-3, with increased range of 100–150 km (62–93 mi) and altitude coverage of 30 km (98,000 ft).[8]

The Cheolmae-2 medium-range air defense missile will be able to be launched from the Korean Vertical Launch System (K-VLS) aboard Daegu-class frigates in a naval role.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Korean-made missiles to replace aging Hawks -, 31 July 2015
  2. ^ "South Korea 'in final phase' of developing Cheongung M-SAM - Jane's 360". Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  3. ^ South Korea first live fire exercise with KM-SAM Cheongung missile system -, 2 November 2017
  4. ^ a b "Cheongung – a New MR-SAM for the South Korean Multi-Tier Defense System - Defense Update:". Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  5. ^ Pike, John. "Cheolmae II / Cheongung (Iron Hawk) M-SAM Medium Surface to Air Missile". Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  6. ^ leojinpark2299 (21 September 2012). "psy K-MSAM". Retrieved 4 November 2017 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ a b Cheongung – a New MR-SAM for the South Korean Multi-Tier Defense System -, 17 December 2011
  8. ^ a b South Korea about to start deployment of new Cheongung M-SAM air defense missile system -, 3 August 2015
  9. ^ South Korea deploys surface-to-air guided missile system along maritime border -, 10 March 2016
  10. ^ Korea in final phase of developing low-tier missile defense system: official -, 16 April 2017
  11. ^ South Korea missile interceptor in final development -, 18 April 2017
  12. ^ ROK Navy Launches New Warship Capable of Hitting Targets Inside North Korea -, 9 June 2016

External links[edit]