Monday, 10 September 2012

S. Korea to deploy indigenous surface-to-air guided missiles in 2015

South Korea plans to produce indigenously-developed surface-to-air guided missiles next year to gradually deliver them to the military starting in 2015, military sources said Monday.

   The medium-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, called "Cheongung" (Iron Hawk), was unveiled last year after a five-year R&D program by a consortium of 15 South Korean defense firms in a bid to beef up the country's air and missile defense.

   The state-run Defense Acquisition and Procurement Agency (DAPA) plans to sign a deal later this year to enter into production next year if the proposal is approved in a meeting slated for Tuesday, a senior military official said.

   "(The military) will begin fielding the missiles starting in 2015 and complete it by 2018 or 2019," the official said, asking for anonymity, as he is not authorized to talk to the media.

   Cheongung can intercept targets at an altitude of up to 15 kilometers and at a range of about 40 km, and simultaneously attack several targets with a multiple radar system.

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