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S. Korea completes development of Haegung close-in weapon system for warships

By Lim Chang-won Posted : December 24, 2018, 10:24 Updated : December 24, 2018, 10:24

[Courtesy of the Agency for Defense Development]

SEOUL -- Development of South Korea's close-in weapon system for warships, called "Haegung (sea bow)," designed to intercept missiles and aircraft, has been completed, a state body in charge of procuring military equipment said.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said Monday that the production of Haegung with a dual detector system -- active radar guidance and an infrared detector -- would begin in 2019 for use in frigates and landing ships. It adopted a vertical firing method.

Development of the Korean surface-to-air anti-missile (K-SAAM) with a maximum range of 20 kilometers (12 miles) began in 2011 to replace Raytheon's Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM). The Agency for Defense Development, a state research body, has been involved in the project with LIG Nex1, but the development period was extended following test failures in 2016.

Haegung has been related to the development of Cheongung, a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system with technical support from Russia's Almaz-Antey and Fakel, that can intercept targets up to an altitude of 15 km at a range of 40 km.

South Korea has strived to develop an independent three-tier aerial and missile defense system, based mainly on Russian technology. A low-tier missile defense system was in the final phase of development.

The Cheolmae 4-H L-SAM, based on the Russian S-400 technology, is an upper tier interceptor to offer capabilities similar to that of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, an advanced missile shield deployed by American troops in South Korea. Because U.S companies are reluctant to transfer technology, South Korean developers have forged strategic partnerships with Russian firms.

This year, policymakers decided to deploy the first batch of seven batteries by 2023 for the Cheolmae-2 (Cheongung) middle-tier missile defense system which can intercept targets at an altitude of up to 40 km. Cheolmae-2 was compared to American Patriot systems. A complete battery consists of up to six transporter erector launchers (TELs), an X-band 3D radar, and a fire command vehicle.

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